Gary Anderson won his first UK Open title on Sunday after a weekend of twists and turns concluded at Butlins Minehead. The event was out-of-bounds to the public for all three days after bad weather had left the venue unsafe which left some disappointed fans turned away. Things got even stranger on Friday evening when world number one Michael van Gerwen lost to Jeffrey de Zwaan in the third round. It was his first loss on ITV since November 2014 when Terry ‘The Bull’ Jenkins knocked him out of the Players Championship Finals. De Zwaan overcame the former UK Open champion Van Gerwen 10-8 with a stellar performance edging out the tournament favourite. Defending champion Peter Wright was also defeated on Friday evening. He lost to youngster Nathan Rafferty who defeated ‘Snakebite’ 10-9.
Anderson impressed early on, comfortably dispatching Robert Rickwood in round three and Ricky Evans in the fourth round. He then defeated Jermaine Wattimena with an incredible 104.72 average in the last 16. Elsewhere in the draw, Corey Cadby progressed to the last 8 with ease, defeating Martin Schindler, who only just arrived at the event in time after the poor weather delayed his plane to Gatwick. Last year’s surprise story Paul Hogan made it through to the last 16 again following last year’s incredible run. His campaign for the UK Open title was ended by Gerwyn Price in the fifth round once again.
After the draw for the quarter-finals placed Gary Anderson to play current world champion Rob Cross, a few of the smaller names certainly fancied their chances. David Pallett lost his tour card at the end of last season but played excellently to reach the semi-finals. Also impressing was Robert Owen, who retained his tour card in January. The Welshman was superb in his defeat of John Part in the quarter-final, outplaying the Canadian.
Australian Corey Cadby defeated Owen in the semi-final. Joining him was Gary Anderson, who did not enjoy the same fate as worlds number one and two Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright and instead knocked out David Pallett to make his first UK Open final since 2010. The final was closely fought and Cadby put up a good fight in what was his second TV final, after his loss to Kyle Anderson in the Auckland Darts Masters. But, in the end, Anderson’s experience came through and carried him over the line to a first UK Open title. After an unconventional weekend in Minehead, Anderson will be pleased he was able to put that behind him and win a first PDC major title since the 2016 World Championship.
Three-times world champion John Part had a somewhat unexpected weekend at Minehead last week after reaching his first PDC premier quarter-final since the 2012 Grand Slam of Darts. After narrowly making it to the event, Part defeated John Morris, Paul Whitworth, David Evans, Ron Meulenkamp and Mervyn King to reach the last 8. Along the way, Part exhibited some fine finishing to see him return to form similar to that which won him his three World crowns in 1994, 2003 and 2008 respectively. The event will almost certainly give him a big boost in confidence for the rest of the year as he aims to retain his tour card.
The Premier League moves onto Leeds on Thursday after last week’s games were postponed due to the weather. Those games have all been transferred to Wednesday 18th April in Rotterdam, meaning that the Dutch city will now host two nights of action instead of the initial one. Thanks for reading and catch you later!