So last weekend saw the two darts organisations each hold a major darting event – the BDO’s Dutch Open in Assen and the PDC’s Unibet Masters in Milton Keynes. Immediately from the tournaments titles you can see an obvious difference that distinguishes these two proud organisations – sponsorship. There were plenty of differences between the two events, as well as some connections and coincidences.
Assen v Milton Keynes
The tournaments were quite different in terms of size and media coverage. The Masters is a competition reserved for the top 16 players in the PDC and was shown in full on ITV4 over the course of the weekend, whereas the Dutch Open had just under 3,000 entrants and is actually the largest darts tournament in the world, in terms of entrants. Unfortunately though, it was almost impossible to follow the Dutch Open in any way at all, which is a real shame and something which hopefully can be worked on in future.
This was the 37th time that the Dutch Open had been held and had previously been won by one of the PDC big guns, Raymond van Barneveld – in fact, van Barneveld has won the tournament on three occasions (2001, 2004 & 2006). Last weekend though, he was busy reaching the final of the PDC Masters, losing to fellow countryman, Michael van Gerwin, 11 legs to 6 in only that tournaments third running.
The quality of the PDC final was pretty good and everyone had been hoping for (in some cases expecting) a nine-dart leg during the course of the weekend. Well, there was a nine-dart leg, but not in Milton Keynes – it was during the final in Assen. Darryl Fitton hit the perfect leg against Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams in the fourth set. Unfortunately for Darryl, he went on to lose the final, Wolfie going one step further than he did in the recent Lakeside World Championships where he lost to ‘Scotty Dog’ Scott Mitchell in the final.
‘Scotty Dog’ Scott Mitchell
Speaking of the BDO World Champion, the Dutch Open was Scott’s first tournament after winning at the Lakeside in January. We got to speak briefly with Scott after Assen – here’s what he had to say on…
…the match he lost – “I won my group with four wins out of five, but then lost to Martijn Soomers in the next round. At 1-1 I was on the wrong end of an eleven-darter whilst sat on tops after 12 darts myself. Then in the deciding leg I was on 64 in 12 darts and he shot out on 170. Didn’t play bad at all – just one of those things.”
...his conquerors fortunes the next day – “He went out in the last 32 on Saturday. It’s a shame – guys who play well on Saturday often don’t play so well on the Sunday.”
...winning the pairs with Martin Atkins – “Winning the pairs was a landmark. Only Raymond van Barneveld has achieved back-to-back victories in the pairs at the Dutch Open before. In 2002 with Co Stompe and 2003 with Tony David.”
…the eventual finalists riding their luck – “Wolfie had one young dutch lad have six match darts to beat him on Saturday. Darryl (Fitton) survived match dart’s against him too on the Saturday.”
“Didn’t play bad at all – just one of those things.”
Scott Mitchell, after his exit from the Dutch Open 2015
Meanwhile, the newly-crowned PDC World Champion, Gary Anderson, was also failing to make the final in the Masters, losing 11-6 to Raymond van Barneveld in the semi-final on Sunday evening. This ended his 20 match winning streak just ahead of the Premier League which starts this week. Although I’m sure he was disappointed with that, I reckon the £17,500 for losing the semi-final will have softened the blow.
Incidentally, the total prize fund for the Dutch Open was 18,400 euros – that’s slightly under £14,000.
The all-Dutch Final was completed when Michael van Gerwin beat Adrian Lewis in the other semi-final. van Gerwen won the final on Sunday evening, scooping the Unibet Masters title and £60,000.
Jamie ‘Yozza’ Hughes
BDO world number four and friend of this site, Jamie Hughes, shared his thoughts with us on his weekend at the Dutch Open. Jamie won the Romanian Classic two weeks ago and has been impressing with his successes lately.
“I lost 3-2 in the last 128 to Roy Gokoel. I wasn’t really happy with my performances and eventually my opponent punished me with a couple of ton-plus finishes, so I’ll just move on to the next tournament, when hopefully I can play a lot better.”
When asked what he’s up to next, Jamie said, “I’m playing County for Warwickshire this weekend and doing a local exhibition on Saturday, before travelling to the Scottish Open the following weekend – so I’m very busy at the moment.”
I asked him if he considers the impact on his BDO Ranking after a disappointing tournament. He was, as ever it seems, pragmatic about the situation – “I don’t think any of the players know what to expect from the new ranking system, so we are all just seeing how the season pans out.”
You can read our interview with Jamie from last week, where he shares his thoughts on success and being away from home.
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