WITH Michael van Gerwen announcing he will miss the World Cup next month, UK Open champion Danny Noppert will be the highest-ranked Dutch player at the tournament.
The Freeze reached the Final of the weekend’s Dutch Darts Championship losing to Michael Smith 8-7.
The St Helens Ace is still yet to win a TV major in the PDC having lost in numerous finals including the World Championship Final twice, but victory in Holland will certainly give him the confidence going into events such as the World Cup and the Matchplay in July.
The latest World Cup competition is set to be held in Frankfurt later next month, and with MVG pulling out for surgery on problems within his throwing hand, it’s likely Noppert will partner up with Dirk van Duijvenbode ahead of the tournament kicking off.
The UK Open Champion will be disappointed with the way events unfolded in Zwolle but showed across the whole weekend that he is a contender when going into all levels of PDC events, finding his A game a fair few times on the Dutch oche.
Callan Rydz was also in top form over the weekend including victories over Michael van Gerwen and Simon Whitlock earlier on during the final day.
The two met in the first Semi-Final of the night, as The Freeze found five maximums and an impressive average of 103.15 over the match, with the 31-year-old winning 7-2 to reach his second Euro Tour Final of the year.
The Dutchman showed his brilliant ability on the outer ring as he missed just four darts at double across the entire match against The Riot, with the youngster himself at two for two in the tungsten affair including a 158 finish on double nineteen in the fifth leg to hold.
The Joure-born darting star also beat World Number One and reigning World Champion Peter Wright in the Last 16 gaining revenge for his defeat to the Scotsman last week, with Snakebite averaging over 111 in Stuttgart.
Noppert won a last-leg decider in what was the second game in Zwolle on Sunday, with the Dutchman averaging 103.16 and hitting six maximums. The highest checkout was hit by the 31-year-old in the tenth leg, as he broke throw to level the match at 5-5 before hitting double six in the next leg to close out the victory.
Mervyn King had a strong run over the entirety of the weekend including victories over Gerwyn Price in the and Chris Dobey, as The King dropped just one leg. The 56-year-old hit 50% on his doubles indicating where his match with Hollywood was won, averaging less than his opponent.
Simon Whitlock also enjoyed his weekend in Zwolle and treated the crowd to 18 maximums from four matches. The Wizard from Aus’s most memorable moment came against Daniel Larsson in the afternoon session on Sunday, as he closed out the seventh leg on 150 with three bullseye.
The Australian’s run came to an end in the Quarter Finals against Callan Rydz losing 6-3 after missing seven darts at double in the match. His pairing with Damon Heta for the upcoming WCoD could provide a very potent combination indeed.
Andrew Gilding was certainly the surprise package over the tournament, making it all the way to the semi-finals. Goldfinger averaged 104.28 in a very impressive display against Dirk van Duijvenbode where he won 6-3, despite the home nation favourite not missing a single dart at double in the tie.
The player ranked 74 in the PDC Order of Merit found the highest checkout of the match in the second leg, hitting 123 on the bullseye to take a 2-0 lead and a break of throw. The 51-year-old also sent tournament fourth seed Ryan Searle packing on Sunday afternoon, as he condemned Heavy Metal to a 6-4 defeat on stage.
Boris Krcmar also showed the threat he possesses within the PDC, reaching the Quarter Finals in Zwolle including victories over the likes of Red Dragon star Ryan Meikle in the Last 16 and Dimitri van den Bergh in the Second Round. UK Open champion Noppert ended the Croatian’s dreams of a first Euro Tour title, as he was frozen out in a last-leg decider where he threw first.
The darting action heads to the States for the US Darts Masters next week at Madison Square Garden New York for the US Darts Masters.
Dutch Darts Championship: Quarter Final Results
Danny Noppert 6-5 Boris Krcmar
Callan Rydz 6-3 Simon Whitlock
Andrew Gilding 6-3 Dirk van Duijvenbode (12)
Michael Smith (9) 6-4 Mervyn King
Danny Noppert 7-2 Callan Rydz
Michael Smith (9) 7-4 Andrew Gilding
Michael Smith (9) 8-7 Danny Noppert
Words: Harry Masterson
Images: Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe
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