REPORT – Wright victorious in Leverkusen – European Open Darts 2017

Credit – PDC Europe

Peter Wright was victorious in Leverkusen as he overcame former doubles partner Mervyn King in a sensational final. In a weekend that featured a shock exit for Michael van Gerwen and another excellent run from Michael Smith, Peter Wright came out on top. Read on to find out who else made their name in Germany.

Quarter-Final’s

Peter Wright confirmed his semi-final spot with a win over fellow Premier League participant Dave Chisnall. The pair exchanged blows early on with the first two legs going with the throw. It was after a second missed 161 attempt that Snakebite would kick into gear.

A succession of excellent finishes putting him in the clear as Chizzy faded into the distance. Both players will be travelling the China for next weeks Shanghai Darts Masters, but it was Chisnall who was sent packing in Germany.

World number three Wright would face Mensur Suljovic at the semi-final stage. The Austrian had earlier dumped out the weekends surprise package John Henderson. The Scot had rampaged through both Kim Huybrechts and Alan Norris, but despite an outrageous 156 check-out, it was not enough for ‘Hendo’ to reach a first European Tour semi-final of the year.

Following last week’s sensational final in Vienna, Michael Smith was looking to go one step further and win his second European Tour event of the season. His spotless record against Gerwyn Price speaks for itself, but the St Helen’s dartist needed a big performance on stage to beat the Welshman.

Some exceptional scoring saw him take the early advantage before Price found the form that has led him into the Premier League fold. A Shanghai on the 20’s levelled proceedings at three a piece, before Smith engaged the after-burners. Some ruthless finishing coupled with an upturn in scoring saw him take three of the next four legs and confirm a semi-final encounter with Mervyn King.

The King would hit his second tonne plus average of the day in beating a darting giant-killer in the name of Rob Cross. Cross had produced some outstanding displays considering it is just his first year on the PDC circuit. His 6-2 of Michael van Gerwen earlier in the afternoon had sent shockwaves across the darting world, but there was nothing he could do as the veteran King pulled out his A-game to reach the semi-finals.

Semi-Final’s

Peter Wright continued his track towards his ninth tournament win of 2017. Overturning a 3-1 deficit against Mensur Suljovic to seal a special 6-3 victory. The big Austrian was out of the blocks quickly, capitalizing on Wright’s missed doubles to sail into an early lead.

But the World number three gritted his teeth and took out 116 to level the match. It was easy going from then on, with Suljovic producing little resistance. He would eventually seal the deal with a clean two dart finish on 81, rounding off a extraordinary comeback with 12-darter!

Mervyn King, who was yet to make it past the third round in Europe this year, joined former doubles partner Wright in the Leverkusen final. Although he could not reach the sensational tonne plus averages of the previous three rounds, 96.58 was enough to see him through.

King always seemed to be one step ahead of the St Helen’s youngster, with Smith not seeing himself gaining an advantage throughout the contest.

The world number 20 will form a formidable opponent for any player at the World Matchplay in a couple of weeks time, especially with the ruthless doubling he has performed this weekend.

The Final

The former darting compatriots traded 177’s and breaks to open the barn-storming final. A third break of throw would come in the form of a 13-darter from the UK Open champion, and a two leg cushion would be opened up for the first time in the contest curtesy of another solid leg from Wright.

Snakebite would snatch the proceeding two legs to give himself daylight and make it almost impossible for King to mount a comeback. The royal one rattled in two more maximums to chalk a second leg. But after a long weekend, it would prove to be one step too far for King, as Wright applied to finishing touches on 101 to become 2017 HappyBet European Darts Open champion.

Results

Quarter-Final’s

Mensur Suljovic 6-2 John Henderson.

Peter Wright 6-1 Dave Chisnall

Michael Smith 6-4 Gerwyn Price

Mervyn King 6-2 Rob Cross

Semi-Final’s

Peter Wright 6-3 Mensur Suljovic

Mervyn King 6-4 Michael Smith

The Final

Peter Wright 6-2 Mervyn King