Vincent van der Voort shocked the expectant crowd by disposing of the back to back world champion Gary Anderson. The big Dutchman outshone the Scot in every department and was well worth his victory, but with the inconsistency we are now use to with Vincent, any further progression could be difficult. Van der Voort played down the effect his bad back has on proceedings after the match, any consequence was virtually unnoticeable as he powered into an early lead. The World number two couldn’t live with his debutant opponent, the explosive pace causing him rhythm problems leading to frustration and ultimately cost him the match.
Adrian Lewis was dumped out the Unibet Masters in round one thanks to a dominant display by Belgian hotshot Kim Huybrechts. Jackpot had taken an early 2-0 advantage but was behind at the first interval. Clearly out there with a point to prove, Huybrechts set about his business in storming fashion. Several ton plus finishes staved off the back to back World Champion as Kim continued his hunt for a first major title.
Phil Taylor was back to best, following a convincing 10-6 victory over Jelle Klaasen. The Dutchman was Taylor’s conqueror at the Ally Pally back in December but was not able to repeat the feat. He was sluggish out of the blocks as Taylor raced into a 6-0 lead. Ultimately Klaasen could not overcome this enormous chasm, and Taylor would sail through with minimum of fuss.
Michael van Gerwen took the first step towards retaining the trophy, a routine victory over Stephen Bunting sending him through. With the Sid Waddell trophy missing from his cabinet, MVG will be out to prove his dominance once again, and the World Masters in the perfect stepping stone. Three times the fans the fans were their feet, howling for the 9-darter. Yes Three times! But never came that final double. A relentless van Gerwen buried Bunting, the St Helen’s man was almost invisible, much like he had been for the majority of last year. Following this incredible performance, it could be another year of MVG dominance.