15-year-old Beau Greaves enjoyed a dream World Championship debut as she defeated Australian qualifier Tori Kewish in straight sets to progress to the quarter-finals on the opening day of the 2020 BDO World Championship.
In the first staging of the tournament at the Indigo at the O2, Greaves stole the show with an impressive display on Saturday evening, averaging 80.37, firing in two maximums and converting 55% of her attempts at double, dropping just the solitary leg in the process.
Sixth seed Greaves has scooped four senior ranking titles on the BDO circuit this season and is the youngest female player to compete in the World Championship, although she showed little sign of debut nerves, firing in an early maximum and racing to the first set without reply.
The opening two legs of the second set were shared, but Greaves converted a classy 120 kill on double 10 to move to the brink of victory, which she wrapped up moments later, after following up a sensational 150 set-up shot by pinning double eight.
Elsewhere in the women’s draw, 2017 finalist Corrine Hammond defeated Vicky Pruim in straight sets to register her first World Championship victory since her exploits three years ago.
Hammond has succumbed to Fallon Sherrock in each of the last two years and the Australian was due to take on the history-making Sherrock for the third straight year until the 25-year-old’s withdrawal, but experience paid dividends for Hammond, who dominated after Pruim’s bright start.
In the men’s section, Dave Parletti became the first seeded player to exit the tournament after losing out to Chris Landman in an entertaining five-set affair. Landman landed a stunning 170 checkout in the opening stanza as he fought back from 2-1 down to draw first blood.
The Dutchman doubled his lead by claiming the second set, but fourth seed Parletti displayed impressive brinkmanship to reduce the arrears and prolong the contest, before prevailing in a tense fourth set to force a decider.
Nevertheless, Landman, who averaged 84.17 and fired in six maximums en route to victory, regained his composure in the latter stages to condemn Parletti to a second consecutive opening round defeat at the BDO World Championship.
Second seed Jim Williams dodged a major bullet as he defeated Scotland’s Gary Stone in the evening’s finale. Williams is the bookmakers favourite to lift the men’s title although he had to survive a match dart in a topsy-turvy tie.
The Welshman drew first blood in a nervy opening set which saw both men squander set darts, although the roles were reversed in the second, as Stone levelled after Williams missed multiple opportunities to double his tally.
‘The Quiff’ upped the ante to establish a 2-1 cushion but Stone enjoyed a purple patch to clinch the fourth and race into a 2-0 lead in the fifth. However, he spurned one match dart at tops and frittered away further break chances and Williams capitalised to triumph via double four.
Debutant Thibault Tricole edged out Ross Montgomery in a thrilling sudden-death decider to set up a showdown with Ryan Hogarth. Lakeside wasn’t a happy hunting ground for Montgomery, although a change of venue didn’t inspire better fortune despite the Scot averaging 93.
‘Ross The Boss’ stormed to the opening set to nil with an eye-catching 102.48 average. Tricole started nervously but he rallied to secure a 2-1 advantage, only for Montgomery to force a fifth and final set after keeping his cool in a tense conclusion to the fourth.
Montgomery landed checkouts of 138 and 99 in the decider, but the contest went to a sudden-death shoot-out after the Scot missed one match dart at tops for a 114 finish. Tricole won the bull, which proved decisive as he converted a classy 76 kill on double eight, with Montgomery poised on 60.
Elsewhere, Mario Vandenbogaerde booked his place in the last 16 with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Poland’s Sebastian Steyer. Vandenbogaerde had never previously averaged below 90 on the BDO big stage and although he dropped just below that figure, the 11th seed still impressed on debut.
The Belgian averaged 88.98, crashed in five maximums and boasted an impressive 50% checkout success rate and he grew in confidence as the contest progressed, sealing the deal with 13 and 15-dart legs to set up a potential tussle against Nick Kenny.
World Cup singles champion Darren Herewini recovered from losing the opening set against Simon Stainton to set up a tie with former PDC World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton in the last 32.
Herewini, who defeated Glen Durrant at PDC Qualifying School in January, has enjoyed a prolific end to the season in New Zealand and he underlined his credentials with an impressive comeback against Stainton, averaging 87.30 and relinquishing just two legs on his own throw.
Meanwhile, in the afternoon’s preliminary clash, experienced Australian Justin Thompson breezed past debutant Scott Williams in a scrappy affair to set up a meeting with fifth seed Wayne Warren for a place in the last 16.
Photo Credit: Chris Sargeant/Tip Top Pics
Saturday, January 4
Afternoon session (from 13:00)
Mario Vandenbogaerde 3-0 Sebastian Steyer (First Round)
Justin Thompson 3-0 Scott Williams (Prelims)
Vicky Pruim 0-2 Corrine Hammond (First Round)
Dave Parletti 2-3 Chris Landman (First Round)
Evening session (from 19:00)
Darren Herewini 3-1 Simon Stainton (Prelims)
Beau Greaves 2-0 Tori Kewish (First Round)
Thibault Tricole 3-2 Ross Montgomery (Prelims)
Jim Williams 3-2 Gary Stone (First Round)