Van Veen keeps his World Grand Prix hopes alive on day 1 at the Hungarian Darts Trophy

Gian van Veen defeated Brendan Dolan 6-2 in the opening round of the Hungarian Darts Trophy on Friday, maintaining his chances of qualifying for the BoyleSports World Grand Prix.

Van Veen, a Dutch talent, is one of the players vying for a berth in the double-start competition after this weekend’s PDC European Tour event in Budapest, the last competition before the deadline for World Grand Prix slots.

Despite Dolan’s 11-darter in response to Van Veen’s 2-0 and 4-1 leads, Van Veen won the match to advance to Saturday’s tantalising second round matchup against World Matchplay champion Nathan Aspinall.

With a win versus Aspinall, Van Veen will move into the provisional qualification spots after Ricardo Pietreczko’s shocking loss to Host Nation.

Pietreczko, who now holds the final qualification position, suffered a shock 6-4 to Host Nation Qualifier Nandor Major. Major won five of the match’s final six legs to become the first Hungarian to ever triumph in a match on the European Tour.

Luke Woodhouse maintained his chances of winning World Grand Prix qualification on Friday, defeating Gabor Jagicza of Hungary 6-3 with a thrilling 160 finish to back up an earlier 100 checkout and go to the next round to take on Rob Cross.

Jermaine Wattimena opened the action on Friday with a tough victory over Joe Murnan, pinning 50% of his double attempts to set up a matchup with seventh seed Jonny Clayton on Saturday night.

The Dutchman, who expressed relief after winning his first European Tour match of 2023 in the sixth attempt, could still qualify for the World Grand Prix if he wins the Hungarian Darts Trophy.

In another match, veteran player James Wade defeated Irish ace William O’Connor at the MVM Dome by a score of 6-3 to earn a tie with defending Hungarian Darts Trophy champion Joe Cullen.

Jose de Sousa, who defeated Daryl Gurney in a thriller despite missing nine match darts before finally winning, will now face World Champion Michael Smith in the second round.

Ross Smith, the current European Champion, defeated Welsh qualifier Robert Owen 6-2 with an outstanding average of 100, setting up a matchup with Michael van Gerwen on Saturday.

Smith completed the first five legs of the competition without being challenged, finishing with a 152, and when Owen produced a 121 combination to recover a second leg, the Dover ace secured the victory in leg eight.

Van Veen keeps his World Grand Prix hopes alive
Van Veen keeps his World Grand Prix hopes alive

Despite Gabriel Clemens, the top-ranked German, smashing in five maximums, Keane Barry also started his season in style, cruising to a 6-3 triumph.

With scores of 144, 122, and 100, Mike De Decker defeated UK Open winner Andrew Gilding 6-4 to advance to a matchup with Josh Rock in the second round.

Following an impressive 6-4 victory over Stephen Bunting, Nathan Rafferty, a fellow countryman of Gerwyn Price, earned a matchup with Price. In an impressive performance, the Northern Irish youngster averaged above 99.

Patrik Kovacs of Hungary was penalised for missing five match darts earlier in the evening as Rowby-John Rodriguez defeated him in a thrilling last-leg shootout.

In a match between two European Tour rookies, Sweden’s Anton Ostlund defeated Denmark’s Vladimir Andersen by hitting five 180s and converting a 145 checkout.

In his first match on the European Tour, Scott Mitchell triumphed as well, defeating Andy Boulton in the last leg to set up a match against top seed Dave Chisnall with a 13-dart break.

Another former Lakeside Champion, Scott Waites, joined Mitchell in the second round on Saturday. Waites overcame Madars Razma’s late comeback to claim his first victory on the European Tour in 2023.

Richard Veenstra’s careless performance was punished by Scott Williams, who went on to defeat Veenstra 6-3 and advance to face fourth seed Dirk van Duijvenbode.

Earlier in the day, Poland’s Sebastian Bialecki breezed through to round two with a 6-1 win against Hungarian debutant Mihaly Vida, who raised the roof with a spectacular 161 finish in the penultimate leg. Saturday’s second round sees the 16 seeded stars enter the action for a huge day of darts at the MVM Dome. Sunday’s final stages feature the third round in the afternoon session and the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in the decisive evening session.

2023 Hungarian Darts Trophy

Friday September 22

First Round

Jermaine Wattimena 6-4 Joe Murnan

Anton Ostlund 6-2 Vladimir Andersen

Sebastian Bialecki 6-1 Mihaly Vida

Scott Waites 6-4 Madars Razma

Scott Mitchell 6-5 Andy Boulton

Scott Williams 6-3 Richard Veenstra

Mike De Decker 6-4 Andrew Gilding

Gian van Veen 6-2 Brendan Dolan


Evening Session

Luke Woodhouse 6-3 Gabor Jagicza

Ross Smith 6-2 Robert Owen

Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-5 Patrik Kovacs

James Wade 6-3 William O’Connor

Jose De Sousa 6-5 Daryl Gurney

Nathan Rafferty 6-4 Stephen Bunting

Nandor Major 6-4 Ricardo Pietreczko

Keane Barry 6-3 Gabriel Clemens


Saturday September 23

Second Round

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Martin Schindler v Sebastian Bialecki

Danny Noppert v Anton Ostlund

Ryan Searle v Rowby-John Rodriguez

Josh Rock v Mike De Decker

Rob Cross v Luke Woodhouse

Dirk van Duijvenbode v Scott Williams

Damon Heta v Nandor Major

Joe Cullen v James Wade


Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)

Nathan Aspinall v Gian van Veen

Luke Humphries v Keane Barry

Peter Wright v Scott Waites

Gerwyn Price v Nathan Rafferty

Michael Smith v Jose De Sousa

Michael van Gerwen v Ross Smith

Dave Chisnall v Scott Mitchell

Jonny Clayton v Jermaine Wattimena