Van Barneveld marks European Tour return with whitewash win

Raymond van Barneveld marked his European Tour return with an emphatic whitewash win over James Wilson on the opening day of the German Darts Grand Prix in Munich.

The five-time world champion – featuring in his first European Tour event since May 2019 – delighted the capacity crowd at Zenith by punishing a below-par display from Wilson to prevail with a 94.93 average and 55% on the outer ring.

Wilson has endured a difficult start to 2022 since regaining his PDC Tour Card, and he was left to rue four missed darts at double in the opening leg, enabling Barney to establish an early lead despite a sluggish start.

However, the doyen of Dutch darts soon found his range, reeling off the next four legs in 14, 17, 15 and 13 darts to set up a blockbuster second round showdown against Australian No 1 Damon Heta.

Van Barneveld was joined in the second round by his protege Jeffrey de Zwaan, who converted clinical 104 and 98 finishes in the final two legs to triumph in a last-leg decider against fellow Dutchman Vincent van der Voort.

‘The Black Cobra’ is potentially facing a battle to retain his PDC Tour Card following a tumultuous 18 months, but he’s shown signs of a revival over recent weeks, and now plays Luke Humphries in the second round.

Martin Schindler and Max Hopp delivered the goods on home soil by battling past Jermaine Wattimena and Alan Soutar respectively, and the former World Cup partners will play Brendan Dolan and Dimitri Van den Bergh on Sunday.

Dave Chisnall fired in six maximums as he fended off a spirited fightback from Ryan Meikle to advance to the second round, where he will lock horns with reigning Premier League champion Jonny Clayton.

Chisnall raced into a commanding 5-1 cushion, but Meikle came roaring back, reeling off three straight legs in 15, 14 and 14 darts. However, the St Helen’s star kept his cool, conjuring up a sublime 11-darter in leg ten to prevail with a 98.18 average.

Chris Dobey will meet Michael van Gerwen for a place in round three after defeating former World Masters champion John O’Shea in a contest dominated by missed doubles, while Madars Razma faces Jose De Sousa, having taken out a stunning 150 kill to topple Kim Huybrechts.

UK Open semi-finalist Keane Barry defied a partisan atmosphere to edge out host nation qualifier Lukas Wenig, and his reward is a clash with world No 2 Gerwyn Price, while world No 1 Peter Wright will take on two-time BDO world champion Scott Waites, who eased past Dragutin Horvat.

Wesley Plaisier produced the performance of Saturday’s double-session in Munich, averaging 104.05 to dump out former BDO world finalist Jim Williams.

The Welshman clinched his maiden Pro Tour title last month, but he was blown away by the rampant Dutchman, who produced 122 and 128 combination finishes in consecutive legs to set up a 6-3 victory.

Berry van Peer also impressed in his victory over Sweden’s Daniel Larsson, sealing the deal with a classy 126 on the bullseye to book a meeting with World Championship runner-up Michael Smith.

Keegan Brown closed out a commanding 6-2 success against Adam Hunt with a delightful 129 outshot, and the former World Youth champion has been pitted against Callan Rydz in Sunday’s curtain-raiser.

Elsewhere, Croatia’s Boris Krcmar kicked off this weekend’s showpiece by landing two ton-plus finishes to account for Luke Woodhouse, while Martin Lukeman and Danny Baggish also progressed, courtesy of convincing wins over Adam Gawlas and Thomas Junghans respectively.

Meanwhile, Karel Sedlacek received a bye through to round two due to Krzysztof Ratajski’s withdrawal, and ‘Evil Charlie’ now takes on German No 1 Gabriel Clemens for a place in the last 16.

Image: PDC Europe

2022 Interwetten German Darts Grand Prix 
Saturday April 16
First Round
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Boris Krcmar 6-3 Luke Woodhouse
Berry van Peer 6-4 Daniel Larsson
Martin Lukeman 6-3 Adam Gawlas
Wesley Plaisier 6-3 Jim Williams
Keegan Brown 6-2 Adam Hunt
Scott Waites 6-1 Dragutin Horvat
Chris Dobey 6-2 John O’Shea

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Madars Razma 6-4 Kim Huybrechts
Max Hopp 6-4 Alan Soutar
Danny Baggish 6-2 Thomas Junghans
Keane Barry 6-4 Lukas Wenig
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-5 Vincent van der Voort
Martin Schindler 6-3 Jermaine Wattimena
Raymond van Barneveld 6-0 James Wilson
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Ryan Meikle

Bye – Karel Sedlacek

Sunday April 17
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Callan Rydz v Keegan Brown
Rob Cross v Karel Sedlacek
Dirk van Duijvenbode v Boris Krcmar
Jose de Sousa v Madars Razma
Joe Cullen v Wesley Plaisier
Luke Humphries v Jeffrey de Zwaan
Brendan Dolan v Martin Schindler
Jonny Clayton v Dave Chisnall

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Max Hopp
Damon Heta v Raymond van Barneveld
Gabriel Clemens v Martin Lukeman
Gerwyn Price v Keane Barry
Peter Wright v Scott Waites
Michael van Gerwen v Chris Dobey
Ryan Searle v Danny Baggish
Michael Smith v Berry van Peer

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