In the final day of first round action the Alexandra Palace there were no surprises as the seeds progressed to the post Christmas action.
Adrian Lewis took his customary place in the second round with a effortless victory over Dutch qualifier Jan Dekker. Jackpot hit a resounding amount of 180’s once the two time champ found his rhythm. A sensational 164 finish rounded off an excellent hours showing for the man from Stoke. Could this be Jackpots year?
Crowd favourite Andrew Gilding booked his spot in the second round following his demolition job on former Rugby player Gerwyn Price. The Welshman had been favourite with the bookies pre kick-off but Goldfinger quickly disposed their prediction. A terrific 132 check-out got the big man up and running before he raced into a two set advantage. Price’s consistency has been a feature of his rise up in the rankings but his doubles eluded him throughout the contest. Despite a shaky third Gilding would go to complete the whitewash setting up a second round meeting with Adrian Lewis.
Benito van de Pas won the battle of youth with a straightforward victory over World Youth champion Max Hopp. At 19, Hopp has his best years to come, and many believe he is the future of German darts. As for Van de Pas he will look to surpass last years round three exit. But with plenty of fresh talent also progressing into round two, it could be more difficult than expected.
Many believe Jelle Klaasen has the natural ability to lift the World Championship trophy. His recent return to form has once again ignited those chances, reaching three major quarter finals in the last three months. A resounding victory of Joe Cullen did no harm to Klaasen’s World Championship dreams as the Cobra struck for the first time this week. In a fast throwing, high tempo encounter, the former Lakeside champion took the opening set in five minutes. Despite playing some sensational darts Joe Cullen was left for dead with the Dutchman’s superior scoring. The final dart of the match secured his place amongst the first round elite, making him the first player to average in triples figures this tournament.