The Hungarian Darts Trophy day one roundup
After defeating home favourite Janos Vegso on Friday’s opening night in Budapest, Simon Whitlock will rekindle his rivalry with Michael van Gerwen at the Hungarian Darts Trophy.
Whitlock was one of several high-profile names in first-round action at the BOK Sportcsarnok, and the World Cup winner from Australia delivered as the European Tour returned after a two-month hiatus.
The 53-year-old began his campaign with a 6-2 triumph over host-nation qualifier Vegso, racking up six maximums and converting 122 and 147 finishes in consecutive legs.
Whitlock squandered a number of match darts in the closing stages, but regained his composure to advance to a showdown with top seed Van Gerwen, who is aiming for a sixth consecutive title.
Daryl Gurney, on the other hand, delivered the performance of the day in Budapest, averaging 105.3 to defeat fellow countryman Nathan Rafferty 6-1.
Gurney was brutal in Budapest, winning all six legs in five visits to the board to set up a showdown with Michael Smith for a place in Sunday’s final stages.
Stephen Bunting was also on fire on Friday, averaging 103.66 to beat Callan Rydz and book a match with former UK Open winner Nathan Aspinall in the second round.
Bunting’s St Helens teammate Dave Chisnall cranked on the style in a 6-1 thrashing of Daniel Larsson, hitting a spectacular 137 checkout to set up a mouth-watering clash with Jonny Clayton.
Chris Dobey won a critical match in his quest for European Championship qualifying, defeating World Youth Champion Ted Evetts 6-3, and will now face Dirk van Duijvenbode tomorrow afternoon.
Ryan Meikle won 6-4 over German number one Gabriel Clemens with an 11-darter, and now faces Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski on Saturday afternoon.
Martin Lukeman, meanwhile, continued his excellent European Tour form with a 6-4 victory over Ian White, earning him a date with Masters champion Joe Cullen.
All four Hungarian representatives were eliminated in round one, as William O’Connor won a gritty match against Pal Szekely to set up a meeting with 13th seed Dimitri Van den Bergh.
Earlier in the day, Jeffrey De Zwaan and Boris Krcmar both defeated regional qualifiers Andras Borbely and Levente Sarai to set up clashes with Rob Cross and Luke Humphries, respectively.
Josh Rock continues to dazzle on the big stage, hitting four 180s and a spectacular 121 finish to defeat Darius Labanauskas and set up a showdown with Australia’s number one Damon Heta.
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez will face UK Open champion Danny Noppert for a place in the last 16. He fired four maximums his route to a 6-2 victory against Canadian veteran Jeff Smith.
Jim Williams survived four match darts against Brett Claydon to face World Champion Peter Wright, while eighth seed Ryan Searle faces Karel Sedlacek, who held off a late rally to beat France’s Thibault Tricole.
Madars Razma landed two ton-plus finishes, including a 108 skin-saver in the penultimate leg, as he came back from 5-2 down to defeat Germany’s Franz Roetzsch.
The Latvian was scheduled to face defending champion Gerwyn Price in the second round, but he now has a bye following the world number one late withdrawal.
Following Rowby-John Rodriguez’s withdrawal, Raymond van Barneveld received a Bye and will now face Jose De Sousa in a heavyweight second round fight.
The event will end on Sunday with the third round in the afternoon session, followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final in the evening session, with the seeded stars taking the field on Saturday.
Schedule of Play
Friday September 2
Madars Razma 6-5 Franz Roetzsch
Jim Williams 6-5 Brett Claydon
Boris Krcmar 6-1 Levente Sarai
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 6-2 Jeff Smith
Josh Rock 6-4 Darius Labanauskas
Karel Sedlacek 6-4 Thibault Tricole
Jeffrey De Zwaan 6-2 Andras Borbely
Daryl Gurney 6-1 Nathan Rafferty
Martin Lukeman 6-4 Ian White
Dave Chisnall 6-1 Daniel Larsson
William O’Connor 6-2 Pal Szekely
Chris Dobey 6-3 Ted Evetts
Simon Whitlock 6-2 Janos Vegso
Stephen Bunting 6-0 Callan Rydz
Ryan Meikle 6-4 Gabriel Clemens
Bye: Raymond van Barneveld
Saturday September 3
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Damon Heta v Josh Rock
Danny Noppert v Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
Ryan Searle v Karel Sedlacek
Dirk van Duijvenbode v Chris Dobey
Michael Smith v Daryl Gurney
Krzysztof Ratajski v Ryan Meikle
Dimitri Van den Bergh v William O’Connor
Jonny Clayton v Dave Chisnall
Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Rob Cross v Jeffrey De Zwaan
Jose de Sousa v Raymond van Barneveld
Luke Humphries v Boris Krcmar
Joe Cullen v Martin Lukeman
Peter Wright v Jim Williams
Michael van Gerwen v Simon Whitlock
Nathan Aspinall v Stephen Bunting
Bye: Madars Razma