Beating and Bunting appear to be enjoying their darts, as well as taking advantage of new PDC tour structures. Their Austrian Open performances could be a very positive sign.
For those watching the Austrian Darts Open much of the action followed predictable lines. MVG claimed the title, James Wade and Mensur performed strongly, while Ian White reached the later stages. This combination of recent European Tour performance and overall form held few surprises.
Look a little deeper and a couple of real gems present themselves. Former World Champions Steve Beaton (1996) and Stephen Bunting (2014) are showing signs of a renaissance. Beaton has had a string 2019 and seems to be enjoying yet another ‘Indian Summer’. Steve’s performance, and 9 dart leg, in the previous Euro Tour event, reminded many of his supreme talent as well as phenomenal longevity. The short format 3/4 day events seem to suit him well. Surely, no darts fan could resent Steve another spell in the limelight.
Alongside the efforts of ‘The Adonis’, another World Champion is staging a return to his true standard. Stephen Bunting has been out of sorts for a couple of years. Slipping down the rankings and failing to trouble the later stages of events. Fiddling with his darts, and struggling to live up to his early PDC success, seemed to show that ‘The Bullet’ was in serious danger.
Yet 2019 has been a story of steady progress with significant high points. A Pro-Tour Final, multiple Euro qualifications and a general upturn in performance have been the result. Perhaps being able to play a wide variety of events and qualifiers is allowing him to rebuild his confidence?
The rapid changes in the tour and the rise of many new faces has resulted in many of darts best-known names, and former champions, struggling to keep pace. It is good to see these two turning things around and refusing to go quietly! DartWorld wishes them the best of luck.
Pics: L Lustig PDC