So Phil Taylor won the Japan Darts Masters at the weekend, eventually overcoming Peter Wright 8-7 in the final.
Very few people could argue that both days of the tournament were great entertainment and the opportunity offered to the eight qualifying Japanese players was second to none – even if they all inevitably fell at the first hurdle.
What you may not realise, as nobody seems to be talking about it very much, is that there are ranking points at stake in each of the five World Series of Darts (WSoD) events, of which the Japan Darts Masters was the second. The eight players with the most points after the five qualifying events will get to play at the finals in Glasgow this November.
What’s the Point?
Now my question is this – what’s the point of the points?
Firstly, let’s consider the Dubai Darts Masters – the first event in the WSoD. Eight hand-picked players competed for the title (van Gerwen winning for the third successive year). All eight of the players received at least three ranking points just for turning up.
Now let’s give some thought to the Japan Darts Masters last weekend. The same eight PDC heavyweights were present, along with eight Japanese qualifiers. The draw was arranged so that each of the heavyweights would play a Qualifier in the first round. We know that the Japanese players acquitted themselves well, but ultimately, all failed to progress past the first round and subsequently received one WSoD ranking point each.
This PDC article on the remaining three WSoD events outlines the places available to qualifiers, but I’m thinking none of the Japanese players will be included in the final three events, therefore, we won’t be seeing any of them in Glasgow!
Simon Whitlock (ranked 8th in the PDC Order of Merit) and Paul Nicholson (31st) will both compete in the remaining events and have an outside chance of making Glasgow if they can have three exceptional tournaments. But with the bottom three heavyweights already having six points, that seems unlikely.
Assuming the last three WSoD events (the Perth, Sydney and Aukland Darts Masters) include the same heavyweights and some one-off qualifiers, who do we think will be competing in Glasgow come November? The same eight who started in Dubai I imagine. So to answer my own question – there isn’t any point to the points, it seems we might already know who the finalists are going to be, which is a shame really.
Hopefully I’m wrong, and like a reality TV show twist, the PDC have something up their sleeve to mix it up a bit, otherwise it’s the same faces, just in hotter countries (until they come to Scotland!)! So how about it Mr Hearn – what’s the plot twist?
World Series of Darts Rankings
after the Japan Darts Masters…
20 Phil Taylor
17 Michael van Gerwen
11 Peter Wright
10 Gary Anderson
8 Adrian Lewis
6 James Wade, Raymond van Barneveld, Stephen Bunting
1 Haruki Muramatsu, Morihiro Hashimoto, Sho Katsumi, Masumi Chino, Yuki Yamada, Chikari Fujimori, Shintaro Inoue, Katsuya Aiba
World Series of Darts Events
The remaining World Series of Darts events are…
- 14-16 August – Perth Darts Masters
- 20-22 August – Sydney Darts Masters
- 28-30 August – Aukland Darts Masters
The final of the World Series of Darts will be held in the Braehead Arena, Glasgow on November 21-22.