The action at the 2021/22 PDC World Darts Championship continues to come thick and fast.
Six more round one games take place today across two sessions on the Alexandra Palace stage, alongside two more round two games.
Today, we’ll see:
- the winner of four TV titles in 2021
- a former BDO World Champion
- someone making their 31st appearance at a World Darts Championship
Plus, one of the biggest names in the sport all make their bow at this year’s competition.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of day five at the 2021/22 PDC World Darts Championship.
Bunting looks for another big run
Stephen Bunting, who made the last four at last year’s event, is the seed in action in Sunday’s afternoon session.
The Bullet, who won the BDO World Darts Championship in 2014, almost defeated Gerwyn Price in the semi finals in 2021. He also reached the semi finals of the BoyleSports World Grand Prix earlier this year, so knows what it takes to do well in set play competitions.
He faces off against Ross Smith, who saw off Jeff Smith on Friday to make round two. Can Smudger avoid The Bullet and make the last 32 at the Worlds for the first time? Or will Bunting, who won a Pro Tour earlier this year, continue his excellent set play record?
Elsewhere, the last of the three round one games see Alan Soutar face Diogo Portela. Soutar had a fantastic start to his Pro Tour career after coming through Q-School, but has since tailed off slightly. Portela won the Central/South America qualifier to make it back to Alexandra Palace again, and beat Steve Beaton on the opening night last year. Can he make it to round two for the second straight year, or will Soutar seal the spot on his Worlds debut? The winner takes on Mensur Suljovic on Thursday.
Jason Heaver takes on Gordon Mathers in the second game on. Heaver won his tour card earlier this year, and has been consistent all year making the semi finals of a Pro Tour in the process. Mathers also claimed his card this year, with the Australian a replacement for Juan Rodriguez of Spain, who tested positive for COVID-19. Who will get their first win on the Alexandra Palace stage and play Danny Noppert on Thursday evening?
Maik Kuivenhoven and Ky Smith start off Sunday’s action though, in what could be an intriguing contest. Kuivenhoven has had an extremely solid year on the Tour, and is guaranteed to keep his card in 2022. 19 year old Smith won the Oceanic Masters to qualify for this event, and saw his Dad Raymond win on Saturday against Jamie Hughes. Will the Australian follow his father’s footsteps, or will the Dutchman Kuivenhoven win his first ever game at the PDC World Darts Championship? James Wade awaits the winner on Monday night.
Sherrock headlines evening session alongside Clayton
The biggest draw on Sunday night is The Queen of the Palace, Fallon Sherrock. Two years on from her run which saw her beat Ted Evetts and Mensur Suljovic to be the first woman into the last 32 of this tournament, she takes on Steve Beaton looking to continue her fantastic form.
Sherrock has been brilliant in 2021. She topped the Order of Merit at the Women’s Series, and made the quarter finals at the Grand Slam of Darts, hitting a 170 to beat Gabriel Clemens, and Suljovic again, narrowly losing out to Peter Wright. By contrast, Beaton had a slow start to the year, but recovered to be one of the 32 players to qualify via the Order of Merit. Can the 1996 World Champion, and man who’s making his 31st appearance at a World Darts Championship, make round two? Or will Sherrock continue her excellent year? Kim Huybrechts awaits the winner on Wednesday evening.
That’s not to say the rest of the evening does not have star power. Jonny Clayton is the seed in action on Sunday night, as he faces exciting youngster Keane Barry.
Barry came through a tight contest against Hong Kong’s Royden Lam on Friday afternoon, but he will need to improve if he’s to stand any chance against Jonny Clayton. The Ferret has won more TV titles than anyone this year, starting off with The Masters in January, and continuing with the Premier League, BoyleSports World Grand Prix, and the World Series of Darts Finals. Can he he take one step closer to the perfect ending to his 2021? Or will Barry produce the upset of the World Darts Championship so far?
Another cracking round one game sees an all German clash, as Florian Hempel plays Martin Schindler. Both won Tour Cards in 2021, and both have seriously impressed. Hempel made a semi final on the Pro Tour, and knocked out Peter Wright to make the second round of the European Championship. Schindler has been very consistent on the Pro Tour, making four quarter finals. He also was the only player to beat Gerwyn Price at the 2021 Grand Slam of Darts, despite losing out in the group stage. In one of the ties of the opening round, who will book themselves a place against Dimitri Van den Bergh on Tuesday evening?
We get going on Sunday night with Martijn Kleermaker against John Michael. It’s been a fantastic year for the big Dutchman Kleermaker, who made the last 16 of the UK Open, and was two legs away from winning his maiden Pro Tour title in Germany back in April. For Greek player Michael, it is his first match at the Alexandra Palace in five years having won the South East Europe qualifier. He’s played three and lost three, while Kleermaker lost on debut this year. Who will get their first win at this event, and set up a tie against Simon Whitlock on Wednesday night?
PDC World Darts Championship Day Five Schedule of Play
Sunday 19 December
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x Round One, 1x Round Two
Maik Kuivenhoven v Ky Smith (R1)
Jason Heaver v Gordon Mathers (R1)
Alan Soutar v Diogo Portela (R1)
Stephen Bunting v Ross Smith (R2)
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x Round One, 1x Round Two
Martijn Kleermaker v John Michael (R1)
Florian Hempel v Martin Schindler (R1)
Steve Beaton v Fallon Sherrock (R1)
Jonny Clayton v Keane Barry (R2)