The 9th edition of the Grand Slam kicks off this Saturday with reigning champion Phil Taylor looking to retain his title after a baron run of tournaments without a trophy. Plenty of new boys from the PDC and BDO will be making their debuts this weekend, here are three players that can make an explosive impact.
Martin Adams has been the name on many fans lips with ‘Wolfie’ set to make his inaugural grand entra
nce on a PDC stage late Saturday night. The three time Lakeside champion has had a fixed stance on the professional darts corporation for some years now, and this tournament signals a change of heart from the 59-year-old. As a BDO veteran you can expect to see plenty of Wolfie fans howling their beloved champion on at the Civic Hall, in what looks to be a tough group. Perhaps his most formidable opponent is the in form Ian White. Diamond has made inroads into the PDC top 10 this season and continues to push for a converted Premier League spot for 2016. His laid back attitude and ice cool nature on stage make him a resilient opponent, and one that Adams may find difficult to budge. The other names making up group B and two former Lakeside champions. Steve Beaton and Jelle Klaasen have mean roaming the big stages for many years now and that experience may come in handy in this early stage. The latter won the championship in first year in the company stating his intentions from the beginning. The Dutchman has sparked back into life in recent months and will look to use the Grand Slam as a springboard into the World Championships.
Robbie Green may have competed in the Civic Hall as a BDO player in 2014, but ‘Kong’ is set to make his Grand Slam debut for the PDC in Wolverhampton. After being drawn in the group of death last year, Green overcame Vincent Van Der Voort and current Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton to reach the last 16. He was also one of a select few to take out a sensational 170 checkout, placing among the tournaments elite, giving him a foothold for the eventual leap of faith into the PDC. Following his spectacular showing at the 2014 Lakeside World Championship, Green made a long awaited rerun to the PDC, putting the world on notice that Kong was one his way.
The final name on my list is Prestigious youngster Keegan Brown. At the tender age of 22, he has a long way to go, but I feel this could be the steeping stone to success and reaching the latter stages of a major TV tournament. Brown, who has shot up the rankings, reaching a personal pinnacle for his career by reaching the ranking of 37, could find progressing difficult having found himself in a group containing James Wade and Mark Webster. The Machine is many peoples tip for the £100,000 jackpot, but if at his mouth-watering best, Brown will have his say in Wade’s progression. The former World Youth Champion did have the experience of competing in this marvellous tournament in 2014. He eliminated Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld on route to an incredible quarter final showing where he was narrowly beaten by eventual finalist and Group C compatriot Dave Chisnall.
32 players will compete over the eight days of competition at the Wolverhsampton Civic Hall. With two players progressing from each pool into the knockout stages. Each group game will be played over the best of nine legs, with leg difference coming into the equation should players conclude the group stage on equal points.