In a new format, dartsweb looks back on the big stories from a manic 3 days in Minehead.
Michael van Gerwen got the proverbial monkey off his back last night, winning his first title of 2020. And he had to work hard for it, with potentially one of the hardest routes to a UK Open title ever seen, defeating Nathan Aspinall 10-8, Jason Lowe 10-8, James Wade 10-4, Rob Cross 10-4, Daryl Gurney 11-3 and then Gerwyn Price 11-9. Not easy by any stretch.
A rivalry between MvG and the Iceman seems to be brewing. This tweet from Sporting Life’s Chris Hammer shows the competitiveness of the pair’s last nine clashes, and Price does really seem to be the Dutchman’s strongest competitor at the moment. Peter Wright of course denied a World final meeting between the pair, but more major final face-offs could be ahead this year.
When it comes to cup runs, two players are certainly worthy of note. The aforementioned Jason Lowe defeated former UK Open winner Adrian Lewis in the last 64 to book a dream match-up with the world number one, and despite going 5-0 down early on, he stuck in right until the end. In the last leg, he missed the big 18 to give himself a good chance of winning the match, before missing the bull to potentially be a double 16 away from a huge scalp. Nonetheless, for Lowe, 2020 keeps getting better, with the thrower from the West Midlands having picked up his tour card back in January. And the Northern Irishman Kyle McKinstry too had a fantastic run in the event, making it all the way to the last 16. He defeated Martin Schindler and Bradley Brooks en route to name just a couple. Certainly not a weekend to forget for either of them.
Glen Durrant might take the biscuit for the unluckiest arrowsmith in the South West over the weekend after drawing Peter Wright in the last 64. He was a 10-8 loser in the end despite putting up a good showing against the Scotsman and coming off the back of a 7-3 defeat of Gerwyn Price in the Premier League on Thursday, which sent the man from Middlesbrough back to the top of the table. Not all bad then, Glen.
It wasn’t to be for the two female competitors in this year’s event. Lisa Ashton and Fallon Sherrock both lost out in the first round, to Mike de Decker and Kyle McKinstry respectively. Ashton was there by virtue of winning her tour card in January, whereas Sherrock won through to the event via the Riley’s qualifiers. We will be seeing plenty more of them both on the PDC circuit in the rest of 2020, however.
Image Credits: PDC