A Night at ‘The Garden’: Darts Enters NY’s Hallowed Halls

The first ever PDC Event to take place in Madison Square Garden started on Friday night (US Time) with many looking for the $25,000 prize for the winner.

World Number 1 Peter Wright was amongst the winners on the opening day, closing out a 6-4 victory over Danny Baggish who is set to represent his country in the upcoming World Cup of Darts.

Snakebite will also be there and got the job done in New York, averaging just over 90 in beating the American international, eventually getting the elusive break of throw in the match in the fifth leg hitting tops with his first dart in hand. The Gambler certainly troubled the reigning World Champion throughout the match punishing him for three missed match darts in the ninth leg.

The 38-year-old hit double ten with his last dart to go within one of Wright but could not go all the way to a last leg decider missing a dart at double fourteen for a 104 checkout.

The Red Dragon darting ace stepped up to the New York oche wearing a Snakebite Taxis Shirt and finished 45 with his first dart at double sixteen to go through to the Quarter Finals.

Michael van Gerwen beat USA’s other representative for the World Cup Jules van Dongen, beating the American 6-4 with a 96.89 average. Mighty Mike raced into a 3-0 lead early in the tungsten affair finding double tops to complete a 122 checkout, putting the man who was at Lakeside back in April under serious pressure.

The Dutchman certainly asked Van Dongen the questions in the fourth leg as he looked to win his first leg setting up double sixteen with a score of 135. The three-time world champion pressured his return for the double by hitting a maximum to leave double tops, but he held his nerve hitting the segment on his first dart to reduce the deficit to 3-1.

The Dutch Dragon held throw in the sixth leg on 76, finding tops on his last dart to earn his second of the match, but still trailing 4-2 on stage. The composure seemed to fall in the eighth leg though for the 31-year-old as he missed a dart at tops to level the match, as the Winmau star stepped up and finished double eight with his last dart to lead 5-3.

He then gave the crowd their money’s worth in the tenth and final leg hitting two maximums and a thirteen darter, as he hit tops with his first dart in hand to win 6-4 and go through to the final day of action in the States.

Gerwyn Price the World Number 2 beat World Seniors Champion David Cameron 6-4 to go through to Last 8 in the US Darts Masters. The Canadian gave Former World Champion Price something to think about in the fourth leg, hitting a checkout of 124 on the bull to hold throw and level at 2-2.

The Iceman found the first break of throw in the sixth leg, after his opponent missed a dart on the inside of double fifteen on his second dart. The Red Dragon star took full advantage hitting tops with his first dart to open a 4-2 lead over Excalibur.

52-year-old Cameron missed a crucial dart in the ninth leg for a 5-4 lead at tops to finish 80, as the Markham darting star hit double eight to lead by the same score line, before closing out victory finding a ton plus checkout of 112 on tops to break and win 6-4 with an average of 90.73., whilst his opponent averaged at 94.78 with no 180s on stage.

Fallon Sherrock fell short on her MSG debut losing 6-2 to Leonard Gates, being the only American qualifier to win on the opening night. Again no 180 in the match, but the Queen of the Palace punished opening missed darts at double from The Soldier hitting double nine on her last dart to lead 1-0.

The 52-year-old who walks out to John Cena: The Time is Now took out consecutive checkouts on 70 in the fifth and seventh leg of the match hitting double eight both times, entering a 5-2 lead. He then finished 82 hitting the bullseye then double sixteen, to send the 27-year-old out early in New York.

Elsewhere Jonny Clayton beat Danny Lauby 6-2 in the Final match of the night finding a checkout of 88 on double twelve to seal the win, whilst James Wade beat Jeff Smith 6-2 earlier on in with a 100% doubles percentage on the American stage.

Darts at ‘The Garden’ had well and truly arrived.

US Darts Masters 2022: Round 1 Results:

Michael Smith 6-3 Doug Boehm
James Wade 6-2 Jeff Smith
Gary Anderson 6-3 Matt Campbell
Leonard Gates 6-2 Fallon Sherrock
Peter Wright 6-4 Danny Baggish
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Jules van Dongen
Gerwyn Price 6-4 David Cameron
Jonny Clayton 6-2 Danny Lauby


Words: Harry Masterson

Images: Dan Mulholland / PDC

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