Bullseyes & Bounceouts: Who’s Hot (and Who’s Not)

DW’s regular lighthearted look at who’s hot, and who’s not, in world darts for our Digital publication Darts World Extra.

Small incidents can have big consequences. Players and even companies and codes come from nowhere, suddenly move up a level, or even dramatically collapse.

The signs were there if you’d known where to look. What did June reveal…..

Bullseyes

Simon Whitlock: Winning the World Cup may be a team achievement but an extra nod of recognition must surely go to the Wizard from Aus. A dozen years of trying, two different types of heartache, and finally tremendous vindication. We tip our Jackaroo hats to you!

North American Darts: After several false dawns, and decades of being a niche/bar-room sport, the combination of the Championship Darts Circuit and the PDC may finally kick start major elite steel tip in the USA and Canada. The quality and depth of home players are rapidly improving and the appetite for PDC-style ‘nights at the darts’ could be building.

The Inaugural Eight: 8 Women will make up the inaugural field for July’s Women’s World Matchplay (PDC). Whether already famed, or just building a career, to be the first of something and to have qualified rather than been invited is a superb effort.

Dutch Darts: The opening night of the Dutch Darts Masters was a superb advert for the Netherlands’ best players. 6 home-nation players reaching the quarter-finals was unheard of and although none managed to lift the trophy they were represented in the final by Dirk Van Duivenbode.

The ADC: The nascent amateur darts organisation, which grew out of MAD, has had a strong few weeks. A positive reaction to their first Championship Tour weekend was backed up by a superb ranking battle between Matt Jackson and Adam Atkinson. Their UNDISPUTED belts series also returned and is due a second outing, as is the Championship Tour, near Bristol in July.

Bounceouts:

Trina Gulliver: The ten-time world champion will not take her place in the inaugural Women’s World Matchplay this July. Despite winning a recent Womens Series event and being in a qualifying position The Golden Girl did not attend the last qualifying batch of events and was overtaken. Whether the illness cited, or the persuasion rumoured, is behind this it is a sad error.

CityWest: The popular, with players and media at least, Dublin venue for the World Grand Prix has again had to withdraw from hosting the event. Whilst we are sure that the PDC, and many others, would like to retain the Irish presence (and the Double-In in Dublin tagline) perhaps another long-term home will soon be sought?

Peter Wright: June has not proven a victorious spell for the reigning World Champion. Despite seeming to have a superb time, and more than doing his part in terms of selling our game across the globe, Snakebite’s form has taken a dip. In 2021 Peter showed a late developing ability to produce his very best at huge moments, can he do it again this Summer and Autumn?

Danny Baggish: The Gambler has hit that spell that seems to hit many non-European players attempting to build a professional career. Having to play as many ranking events as possible, in more than one code/organisation and continent is a huge ask. Despite his talent and popularity, Danny seems to be struggling with being a bit of a ‘Jack of All Codes’.

Kim Huybrects: Perhaps the Belgian Hurricane would be better to focus on his oche performance. A return to the top echelon is certainly within his grasp. Yet, he seems determined to become embroiled in social media and other controversies. Perhaps he should reflect on knocking darts’ biggest growth market and its audience?

—–ENDS—–

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