Ted Hankey made a winning return to the Lakeside chase with the 3-0 demolition of Canadian qualifier David Cameron. The two time former Lakeside champion was up to his old tricks from the get go, fixing the wonky board before a dart was thrown. When two time BDO World Championship competitor did get the match under way, it was immediately apparent Hankey was back for good. Despite got living up to his personal expectoration, there is no doubt ‘The Count’ is back.
Defending champion Scott Mitchell swerved through a scare at the hands of Craig Caldwell. The New Zealander had glided past Alan Soutar in his preliminary bout, but found Mitchell a much tougher nut to crack. Scotty Dog has a target on his back since his triumph twelve months ago. Caldwell got firing straight away, twice hitting six perfect darts, putting the Dorset player under pressure. Eventually Mitchell’s superior experience would rise to the brim, as he won the deciding set to edge into round two.
Elsewhere, 2015 semi-finalist Jeff Smith cruised into his preliminary match, but will face three time Champion Martin Adams in round one. The Canadian qualifier beat Gary Robson, Wesley Harms, and Robbie Green, before running into eventual champion Scott Mitchell in the final four.
Scott Waites put his fellow competitors on notice with a spectacular performance to see off Willem Madingers. The former Grand Slam champion hit maximums and averaged a shade over 96 to set out his markers for the remaining week of the tournament. The yorkshireman has gone three years without lifting a major BDO trophy, but could this once again be the year for ‘Scotty to Hotty?’