Scott Waites edged out Martin Adams in a battle of the former world champions to set up an enticing clash against top seed Wesley Harms, as Mikuru Suzuki produced a fine comeback to keep her title defence alive on a thrilling day which saw Paul Hogan miss double 18 for a nine-dart finish.
Monday’s line-up was stacked with experience and quality and it lived up to the billing with a number of captivating contests at the Indigo at The O2, although the big story saw two-time world champion Scott Waites edge out three-time winner Martin Adams in a topsy-turvy tussle.
It was a match dominated by missed doubles – 66 in total. However, ‘Wolfie’ was the more profligate on the outer ring and that proved decisive as the 63-year-old was beaten at the first hurdle by the 16th seed.
Adams made the perfect start to draw first blood, but double-trouble proved costly for the veteran as Waites recovered to establish a 2-1 cushion. Adams battled back to claim the fourth set and force a decider, although consecutive finishes of 116 and 84 from Waites in the fifth saw him seal his progression.
Paul Hogan produced the performance of the tournament thus far to whitewash former World Masters champion Adam Smith-Neale in the evening’s finale. ‘Crocodile Dundee’ averaged 97.51, landed five maximums and missed double 18 for a nine-darter as he breezed through to the last 16.
The two-time World Championship quarter-finalist made a blistering start to clinch the opening stanza with a 115.62 average. He followed up a 16-darter by producing a majestic 155 checkout for a 12-darter, before wiring double 18 for a nine-darter in leg three – eventually cleaning up in 11 darts.
It would have been the first BDO World Championship nine-darter since 1990, when Singapore legend Paul Lim fired in the perfect leg against Jack McKenna, yet the former UK Open qualifier was cruelly denied by the width of a wire.
Hogan converted clinical 82 and 96 checkouts en route to claiming the second set to nil and although Smith-Neale provided more resistance in the third, Hogan eventually wrapped up victory with a scrappy 21-dart leg to set up a clash with Martijn Kleermaker for a place in the last eight.
Elsewhere, top seed Wesley Harms survived a major scare as he battled past qualifier Andreas Harrysson in a topsy-turvy five-set epic. The two-time semi-finalist was given a stern examination by the Swede, but he produced the goods when it mattered to prevail with a 91.79 average.
The Dutchman claimed a high-quality opening set which saw Harrysson average over 100. Harms stole the opening leg with a classy 101 checkout after the Swede had missed four at double, although Harrysson responded with a stunning 11-darter and a 121 outshot on the bull for a 12-dart break.
After reeling off two legs in just 23 darts, the debutant was throwing to draw first blood, but history repeated itself. He squandered three clear set darts and Harms punished this error by converting his second 101 checkout of the contest to hit the front.
However, the former Finnish Masters champion bounced back by producing a classy 95 finish on double five in a second set decider to level proceedings, before closing out a 13-dart hold on tops in a third consecutive set decider to establish a 2-1 cushion.
The top seed punished a sluggish period from Harrysson to reel off five consecutive legs and seal control and although the Swede conjured up a sublime 120 kill to force a tie-break, experience paid dividends for Harms, who followed up a 12-dart break by pinning tops to progress to the last 16.
Former PDC World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton kicked off his campaign with a comfortable 3-1 win over World Cup singles champion Darren Herewini, to set up a last 16 showdown against fifth seed Wayne Warren.
‘The Hammer’ was beaten on his BDO World Championship debut by David Cameron 12 months ago, although he made a winning return at the Indigo, recovering from losing the opening set to prevail with an 82.59 average, four maximums and a spectacular 150 checkout.
Justin Hood produced an impressive display on his World Championship debut to defeat Romania’s Gabriel Pascaru and set up a last 32 showdown against third seed Richard Veenstra. The Somerset star averaged 90.24, hit three maximums and converted 32% of his attempts at double to progress.
Pascaru kicked off proceedings with a classy 130 checkout, but Hood replied with a clinical 103 kill and wrapped up the opening stanza in a decider. However, the Romanian levelled the contest at 1-1 via double 14, having missed the same target for a 121 outshot in the preceding visit.
The mid-game interval appeared to quash Pascaru’s momentum and it was one-way traffic for Hood in the latter stages. The Englishman won six of the last seven legs and afforded Pascaru just the solitary dart at double, as the first Romanian to feature at the BDO World Championship bowed out.
Nick Fullwell was another debutant to impress at the Indigo O2, with the 50-year-old former PDC star defeating Canadian qualifier David Cameron to set up a meeting with 14th seed David Evans on Tuesday afternoon.
Fullwell, who crashed in six 180’s and posted 10 scores of 140+, secured a tight opening set with a fine 13-dart hold in a decider, although Cameron restored parity at one apiece with a 15-dart hold in another set that went the distance, in spite of Fullwell being sat on a double after 12 darts.
The Wolverhampton veteran was consistently outscoring his opponent and that was reflected in the final summary, with Fullwell reeling off six of the remaining eight legs to triumph with a 90.44 average and an extremely impressive first nine-dart average in excess of 107.
The solitary women’s game of the day saw reigning world champion Mikuru Suzuki recover from a set down to defeat Maria O’Brien, in a repeat of last year’s semi-final. O’Brien clinched the opening set without reply, but Suzuki demonstrated her championship credentials to respond.
The Japanese sensation reeled off the second set to nil with legs of 13, 17 and 18 darts and she continued her impressive revival in the decider, dropping the solitary leg and sealing the deal with a 17-dart leg to triumph with an 84.92 average – the highest of the women’s tournament thus far.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Monday, January 6
Afternoon session (from 13:00)
Gabriel Pascaru 1-3 Justin Hood (Prelims)
David Cameron 1-3 Nick Fullwell (Prelims)
Wesley Harms 3-2 Andreas Harrysson (First Round)
Evening session (from 19:00)
Andy Hamilton 3-1 Darren Herewini (First Round)
Mikuru Suzuki 2-1 Maria O’Brien (First Round)
Scott Waites 3-2 Martin Adams (First Round)
Adam Smith-Neale 0-3 Paul Hogan (First Round)