Rusty-Jake Rodriguez will finish top of the EU Development tour Order of Merit with a day to spare.
The Austrian has dominated proceedings in Niedernhausen through 10 events, winning half of the titles on offer so far. As a result he will now participate in the Grand Slam of Darts next weekend, whilst also earning a 2 year tour card.
As Rodriguez has already qualified for the PDC World Championship, the player that finished second in the order of merit will now take that spot.
Today wasn’t all about Rusty-Jake though, as 16 year old Fabian Schmutzler also picked up his maiden title.
The German youngster is participating on the Development Tour for the first time this weekend. After coming close yesterday, he made an instant impact, and already finds himself fourth in the rankings.
High 5 for Rusty-Jake
Another day on the Development tour. Another day of brilliance from one of the RJR faction.
Rusty-Jake was desperately unlucky not to win a tour card at Q-School earlier this year. However since then, he has played some phenomenal darts, as proven by his World Championship qualification via the Pro Tour order of merit, despite not having said tour card.
Rodriguez’s 5th title this season once again ensured he would end the day with a minimum 50% success record this season, before a dart was thrown in event 10.
His run to the title included just 4 dropped legs, as he moved past Koch, Lopau, Plaisier and Damien Mol. As the format increased, Fransen Lars went down 5-1 in the quarter-finals, before Fabian Schmutzler was on the receiving end of a truly special performance.
Rodriguez swept aside the German 5-0 with a 110.51 average!
In the final, Niko Springer found a 92 average himself, but that was only good enough to win one leg. Rusty-Jake with a 96 of his own getting the job done 5-1.
Fabian Schmutzler 5-0 Sebastian Bialecki
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 5-1 Lars Fransen
Niko Springer 5-0 Adam Gawlas
Roman Benecky 5-4 Owen Roelofs
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 5-0 Fabian Schmutzler
Niko Springer 5-0 Roman Benecky
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 5-1 Niko Springer
Fantastic Fabian makes his mark
Fabian Scmutzler has made an instant impact to the EU Development Tour. Having come close to winning a title in his debut event (losing in the final to Rusty-Jake), just 3 attempts later, he got his wish.
The 16 year old from Frankfurt, Germany, became old enough to play on the Dev Tour earlier this year, but unfortunately for him, not in time to play in events 1-6.
He’s wasted no time in chasing the lost ground on the rest of the field, and after reaching a final, and a semi-final, todays victory means he is just £300 away from qualifying for Alexandra Palace, with 2 events to go.
Schmutzler opened proceedings in event 10 with a preliminary round victory over Phil Ende. Simon Schreier, Christian Hokse and Owen Roelofs were also beaten on the way to the last 16. Compatriot Nico Kurz has been unable to back up his rapid rise in the last 18 months, he was beaten 4-2 by Schmutzler before a crucial last leg win over Geert Nentjes in the quarter-finals.
Alex Flohr was whitewashed in the semi-finals, before fellow German Marcel Gerdon was defeated 5-2.
Marcel Gerdon 5-1 Roman Benecky
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 5-2 Niko Springer
Alex Flohr 5-4 Lars Plaisier
Fabian Schmutzler 5-4 Geert Nentjes
Marcel Gerdon 5-1 Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
Fabian Schmutzler 5-0 Alex Flohr
Fabian Schmutzler 5-2 Marcel Gerdon
The EU Development Tour concludes tomorrow, with a spot in the World Championship’s on the line for field, should they finish second on the order of merit.