If you thought Dave Pallett’s cracking performance against Kim Huybrechts, or Rene Eidams pushing Michael van Gerwen to the final dart was a shock, Belgian youngster Dimitri van den Bergh had news for you. His opponent Ian White was arguably one of the most improved players this year, and has thus been touted for an impressive showing over the next three weeks. His World Championship and maybe even Premier League dream was ended by a ruthless and confident Van den Bergh. Despite facing the disappointment of loosing the opening set he knuckled down to level things up. Diamond will be disappointed with his performance in the latter stages, but with Van den Bergh taking out plenty of ton plus checkouts, you have to hand it to the Van den Bergh.
20 years on from his one and only World Championship success, Steve Beaton was at it again. Koha Kokiri was dismissed with relative each although the scoreboard didn’t reflect how well the New Zealander played. The Bronzed Adonis was taken to a final leg in the two of the three it took him to dispatch Kokiri. The 1996 Champion’s economic double hitting was the difference between the two. In fact had Kokiri taken more than his 5 from 22 darts at double, he could have seen himself filling a second round spot.
It’s exactly a year since Kevin Painter appeared in a TV major, last years World Championship to be precise. You could barely tell he’d been gone following an authoritive performance against Finish qualifier Kim Viljanan. Since his Players Championship triumph in 2011, ‘The Artist’ has been on a downward slide. You could certainly see glimpses of his old self during the 3-0 victory over Viljanan, who had earlier come through a tough preliminary round against Sven Groen. Painter is now likely to face Phil Taylor In round two, should the 16 time World Champion survive his first round match.