European Tour 8 got underway on Friday in Zwolle with many looking to achieve what Luke Humphries and Michael van Gerwen have done this year, being the only two players to win on the Euro stage this year.
Simon Whitlock returned to action on Friday after a time out of European action, with the former World finalist coming through a 6-3 winner over Jamie Hughes.
The Wizard treated the crowd to five maximums in Holland, showing glimpses of the heavy scoring he so well showed a few years ago when he was in the Premier League and going deep into the World Championship.
The Winmau star included checkouts of 90 and 86 in taking the first and fifth leg of the match. He will go on into the second round and face Joe Cullen fresh of his Premier League Play Off achievement on Saturday in Zwolle.
Danny Noppert wasted no time in reaching the second round in Zwolle after whitewashing Arjan Konterman 6-0 in Holland, averaging 96.97 and hitting 46.15% on his doubles. The Freeze has reached a Final so far this year on the Euro Tour and made a good start in event 8, finishing 73 to win the sixth and final leg.
31-year-old Konterman missed a dart at tops for a 120 checkout in the fifth leg to break the UK Open champions throw, before losing the leg after his opponent hit the same segment with his second dart in hand. The Dutch breakthrough star is through to face Martin Schindler in the second round.
Mervyn King made it through on Friday after beating Stefan Bellmont in the evening session, finding three maximums and an 81 checkout in winning 6-4 against the Swiss Darts player. It was the man ranked 146 in the world who found the highest checkout on the oche, hitting 99 on double sixteen to take the ninth leg and go within one of his opponent.
The King has lots of experience on the big stage and it came through in the end in Zwolle, hitting double eight with his first dart to finish 25 as he sails through to face World Number 2 Gerwyn Price in the Second Round.
Red Dragon star Ryan Meikle comfortably beat Andy Boulton 6-1 in the afternoon, including a magnificent 164 finish in the second leg to break throw on the bullseye. The Barber has impressed this year reaching a Quarter Final on the Pro Tour and showing regular consistency in his Euro Tour attempts.
The 25-year-old from Ipswich won the seventh leg with his first dart at double five after missing darts at the same double in his previous visit. Meikle was let of the hook after his first miss with The X Factor missing a dart at double sixteen for a 64 checkout, with the Englishman through to face Rob Cross who has lost back-to-back Finals in Prague and Stuttgart on the Euro Tour.
Former Lakeside champion Scott Waites beat Surrey youngster Connor Scutt 6-4 in the afternoon session with the Bradford star throwing the only maximum on stage. Scotty 2 Hotty found the madhouse as he closed out victory and goes through to face a difficult second round tie in Damon Heta.
Action gets underway on Saturday from midday with World Champion Peter Wright up against Jermaine Wattimena, whilst Michael van Gerwen faces Jelle Klaasen after he beat Sebastian Bialecki 6-1 in the final match of the afternoon session.
Dutch Darts Open:
Round 1 Results
Boris Krcmar 6-5 Steve Lennon
Richie Edhouse v Jim Williams (Edhouse receives BYE)
Ryan Meikle 6-1 Andy Boulton
Scott Waites 6-4 Connor Scutt
Ross Smith 6-1 Kevin Burness
Andrew Gilding 6-4 Wesley Plaisier
Daniel Larsson 6-1 Mario Vandenbogaerde
Jelle Klaasen 6-1 Sebastian Bialecki
Micky Mansell 6-5 Niels Zonneveld
Jermaine Wattimena 6-3 Rene Eidams
Mervyn King 6-4 Stefan Bellmont
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Jamie Hughes
Callan Rydz 6-3 Martijn Kleermaker
Danny Noppert 6-0 Arjan Konterman
Danny Jansen 6-5 Vincent van der Voort
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Madars Razma
Round 2 Order of Play
Krzysztof Ratajski (13) v Andrew Gilding
Ryan Searle (4) v Ross Smith
Damon Heta (8) v Scott Waites
Dimitri van den Bergh (11) v Boris Krcmar
Nathan Aspinall (10) v Daniel Larsson
Brendan Dolan (15) v Callan Rydz
Martin Schindler (14) v Danny Noppert
Jose de Sousa (5) v Dave Chisnall
Rob Cross (6) v Ryan Meikle
Joe Cullen (7) v Simon Whitlock
Dirk van Duijvenbode (12) v Micky Mansell
Peter Wright (3) v Jermaine Wattimena
Michael van Gerwen (2) v Jelle Klaasen
Gerwyn Price (1) v Mervyn King
Michael Smith (9) v Danny Jansen
Chris Dobey (16) v Richie Edhouse
Words: Harry Masterson
Images: Kais Bodensieck / PDC Europe