Former World Championship semi-finalist Jamie Lewis saw off current world champion Peter Wright to be crowned the inaugural winner on the PDC Home Tour as he secured victory in Group One on Friday night.
The innovative live streamed event will see four-player groups competing over the next 32 nights – bringing top-quality darting entertainment to fans across the world from the homes of PDC Tour Card Holders, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Reigning world champion Wright was Friday’s headline act, where he competed alongside 2018 World Championship semi-finalist Lewis, promising Dutch star Niels Zonneveld and former Pro Tour finalist Peter Jacques.
Wright was the overwhelming bookmakers favourite to progress through as group winner, yet the world number two endured a frustrating evening – averaging a meagre 84.83 over the course of his three matches.
As a result, it was 28-year-old Lewis who secured the bragging rights on a night of history, despite kicking off his campaign with a 5-3 defeat against Zonneveld. Lewis’ winning legs came in 15, 13 and 15 darts, but Zonneveld fired in four maximums to prevail with an impressive 96.20 average.
Nevertheless, ‘Fireball’ bounced back with a stunning 5-1 success over world champion Wright, in a repeat of their Alexandra Palace classic in 2018. ‘Snakebite’ avoided the whitewash with an 81 kill in leg five, but it was Lewis who claimed the spoils with a 99 average to Wright’s 81.
This set up a crucial clash between Lewis and Jacques in the battle for top spot. Jacques had succumbed 5-4 to Wright in the evening’s curtain-raiser, before converting a classy 155 checkout and averaging 94.70 en route to a convincing 5-2 win over Zonneveld.
However, both men produced statistically their worst performances of the evening in an edgy tussle, with Lewis narrowly running out a 5-4 victor. The match featured just two breaks, but the advantage of throw proved decisive for the World Championship semi-finalist.
That meant going into the final game of the evening, Wright was unable to top the table due to his inferior legs difference, whilst Zonneveld needed to record a 5-1 or 5-0 win over the colourful Scot to advance through to the last 32 as group winner.
The 21-year-old secured the early initiative, only to spurn a multitude of darts at double in the remainder of the contest and Wright capitalised, taking out finishes of 127 and 118 to close out a 5-1 victory, despite averaging a modest 77.60.
Grand Slam champion Gerwyn Price will headline Saturday night’s action, with Development Tour winner Ted Evetts, Austrian ace Rowby-John Rodriguez and emerging star Luke Woodhouse also set to feature, with all the action exclusively live on PDC TV.
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PDC Home Tour
Night One Results
Peter Wright 5-4 Peter Jacques
Niels Zonneveld 5-3 Jamie Lewis
Peter Jacques 5-2 Niels Zonneveld
Jamie Lewis 5-1 Peter Wright
Jamie Lewis 5-4 Peter Jacques
Peter Wright 5-1 Niels Zonneveld