Gates completes World Seniors Hat-Trick as Soulger dominates at the Matchplay
After defeating Scotsman Jim McEwan 9-6 in the Final at the York Barbican, Winmau’s newest hire Leonard Gates continued his dominance on the World Seniors Circuit with victory at the 2023 Seniors World Matchplay.
Soulger had already won the World Senior Darts Masters and Seniors Champion of Champions earlier in the year.
The American won both Finals over Richie Howson and accomplished the hat-trick this weekend versus Chucky in the final Seniors TV Event of the year.
The American’s career took off after winning the 2022 PDC North American Darts Championship, and he hasn’t looked back since. He qualified for his first PDC World Darts Championship and advanced to the second round there.
Gates defeated Northern Irishman Colin McGarry 9-7 in overtime to win the opening match of the 2023 Senior World Matchplay, which had reached a race to eight legs score of 7-7.
In his Quarter Final victory over previous Senior Masters champion David Cameron, the Winmau player demonstrated once again why he has been the player to beat on the World Seniors Circuit this year.
The American defeated Excalibur 11-9 with a score of 101.28 to go to the Semifinals, where he would take on Paul Hogan, a past Champion of Champions champion.
The defending WDF World Champion Neil Duff advanced to the Last 4 with victories against Richie Howson in the Quarter Finals and Crocodile Dundee, who overcame Phil Taylor 8-6 in the Quarter Finals.
Chucky beat a Ballyclare-born player 9-5 to get to his first Seniors televised Final, ending Duffman’s run against Jim McEwan in the Semi Finals.
In the other Semi Final, Leonard will take on Paul Hogan. Against his English opponent, Leonard quickly fell behind 2-0 after receiving a Crocodile Dundee breaking throw in the first leg. In York, Soulger answered by winning the following four legs without a challenge, including a 121 finish on double 14, to take a 4-2 lead at the half.
After Hogan landed a 61 checkout with his final dart at double 18 for 7-7, the American international was once more forced into a level game. The Winmau player struck another tonne plus checkout, this time the Shanghai (120) finish, to secure a 9-7 victory and move one match closer to a second Seniors Title.
In the first four legs of the Final, Gates averaged 102 and won all of them at the York Barbican without opposition from fellow finalist Jim McEwan. Chucky did manage to achieve a finish of 117 in the fifth leg of the match to get himself going in the Final.
In the Final, the Texas-native player kept up the pace and rekindled his love on tops to claim the title and the £10,000 winners cheque.
2023 World Senior Darts Matchplay Results
Paul Hogan 8-6 Scott Mitchell
Richie Howson 8-3 Trina Gulliver
Kevin Painter 8-1 Deta Hedman
Leonard Gates 9-7 Colin McGarry
David Cameron 8-4 John Henderson
Phil Taylor 9-7 John Part
Neil Duff 8-5 Robert Thornton
Jim McEwan 9-7 Glen Durrant
Neil Duff 11-9 Richie Howson
Jim McEwan 9-7 Kevin Painter
Leonard Gates 11-9 David Cameron
Paul Hogan 8-6 Phil Taylor
Jim McEwan 9-5 Neil Duff
Leonard Gates 9-7 Paul Hogan
Leonard Gates 9-6 Jim McEwan