MICHAEL SMITH, Nathan Aspinall and Chris Dobey were among the players to make it through to the second day of the Danish Darts Open as the European Tour event got underway in Copenhagen on Friday.
Day One of the eighth European Tour event of 2019 saw 32 players in action at the Brondby Hallen, all looking to secure places in Saturday’s second round where the 16 seeded players will enter the £140,000 event.
World Championship runner-up Smith began the hunt for a fifth European Tour title of his career by averaging 100.02 in an impressive 6-4 defeat of Steve Beaton.
World number six Smith, who was competing as an unseeded player for the first time in almost five years, fired in four 180s and hit 50% of his doubles to prevail over 2019 European Tour ever-present Beaton.
“Tonight I showed again that I’m a fighter. I’ve been struggling with a foot injury but I always get up there and play no matter what,” said Smith, who will meet Jermaine Wattimena in round two.
“I just want to keep playing darts, keep fighting and show people what I’m about.
“Getting Steve was a tough draw, and even my family said to me that I might be coming home early, so I’m really pleased with the result and how I played.”
UK Open Champion Nathan Aspinall moved through to face Simon Whitlock following a confident 6-3 win over Mick Todd, finishing six doubles from eight attempts, landing a 160 finish and averaging over 100.
Chris Dobey came through a nervy affair with Steve West 6-3 to edge closer to a World Matchplay debut in July, and the Geordie will now meet Ricky Evans.
Reigning Danish Darts Open Champion Mensur Suljovic will face Gabriel Clemens after the German continued his progression with a 6-3 victory over Mervyn King.
William O’Connor continued the form which took him to the World Cup of Darts final last weekend by landing six 180s in a 6-3 defeat of Luke Woodhouse.
The Irishman will now be looking ahead to a match-up with Peter Wright – having lost out 4-2 in their Singles tie during the World Cup final on Sunday.
O’Connor’s World Cup partner Lennon was unable to recapture that form, falling to a 6-0 whitewash at the hands of Sweden’s Dennis Nilsson, who will now face James Wade.
Australian number two Kyle Anderson secured a 6-2 win over Belgium’s Mike De Decker to set up a second round tie with Adrian Lewis.
Number one seed Ian White will come up against German youngster Martin Schindler, who stormed past Kim Viljanen 6-0 to secure his first European Tour win of the year.
Kevin Burness picked up just his third ranking victory of the year with a roller-coaster 6-5 triumph over Dutch Darts Masters Quarter-Finalist Glen Durrant, with the Irish Matchplay winner now set to face Joe Cullen.
Gerwyn Price will play Ryan Harrington, who fended off a spirited comeback from Danish Qualifier Niels-Jorgen Hansen to win 6-4 and advance to the second round of a European Tour for the first time in over three years.
Danish number one Per Laursen fared better on home soil, delighting the passionate Copenhagen crowd with a 6-4 success over Reece Robinson, and he will now meet Jonny Clayton.
Former World Champion Rob Cross will face Kirk Shepherd in his first assignment of the weekend, after Shepherd saw off Vincent van der Voort 6-4 to taste success on the European Tour for the first time in almost a year.
Krzysztof Ratajski will face Dave Chisnall after beating Krzysztof Kcuik 6-3 in an all-Polish affair, while Portugal’s Jose de Sousa was impressive in his 6-3 success over Scott Taylor, and he will now take on Darren Webster.
New Zealander Cody Harris enjoyed a 6-1 European Tour debut win over Teuvo Haverinen to set up a clash with Stephen Bunting, while Ryan Joyce will meet Daryl Gurney after overcoming Spain’s Jose Justicia 6-2.
Saturday’s second day of the Danish Darts Open will be broadcast on video.pdc.tv, and through a series of bookmakers’ websites listed below.
2019 Danish Darts OpenFriday June 14
William O’Connor 6-3 Luke Woodhouse
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Mick Todd
Kyle Anderson 6-2 Mike De Decker
Per Laursen 6-4 Reece Robinson
Cody Harris 6-1 Teuvo Haverinen
Jose De Sousa 6-3 Scott Taylor
Ryan Joyce 6-2 Jose Justicia
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-3 Krzysztof Kciuk
Martin Schindler 6-0 Kim Viljanen
Kevin Burness 6-5 Glen Durrant
Ryan Harrington 6-4 Niels-Jorgen Hansen
Chris Dobey 6-3 Steve West
Gabriel Clemens 6-3 Mervyn King
Kirk Shepherd 6-4 Vincent van der Voort
Michael Smith 6-4 Steve Beaton
Dennis Nilsson 6-0 Steve Lennon
Saturday June 15
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Stephen Bunting v Cody Harris
Darren Webster v Jose de Sousa
Jonny Clayton v Per Laursen
Dave Chisnall v Krzysztof Ratajski
Simon Whitlock v Nathan Aspinall
Joe Cullen v Kevin Burness
Daryl Gurney v Ryan Joyce
Ricky Evans v Chris Dobey
Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST)
Gerwyn Price v Ryan Harrington
Rob Cross v Kirk Shepherd
Peter Wright v William O’Connor
James Wade v Dennis Nilsson
Adrian Lewis v Kyle Anderson
Mensur Suljovic v Gabriel Clemens
Ian White v Martin Schindler
Jermaine Wattimena v Michael Smith
Written by Josh Phillips