From The Archive: North American Round Up – December 2019

Steve Brown regularly sends us his round-up of the North American scene, those who have read it closely will notice that it often flags up players who go on to bigger things:

After the disappointing results at the WDF World Cup, I had really hoped for something a little better at the One80 L-Style World Masters. With one of the largest ever US contingents – if not THE largest – making the trip to Essex, there was reason for quiet optimism.

The Us had not had a good WDF World Cup. Would The Masters & World prove a better bet? (Pic: WDF/Richard Ashdown)

We are all aware of the problems onsite (and I am sure they will be well documented elsewhere in this issue), but that can’t have helped the players, particularly some of the less-experienced ones.

The full line-up of Americans was, Men – Larry Butler, Joe Chaney, Eric Gregory, Michael Walters, Danny Baggish, Robbie Phillips, Patrick Kithi, Timmy Nicoll, and Conner Zaragoza (who actually qualified as a youth, but turned 18 before the Masters); Women – Amanda ‘Stitches’ Preciado, Bonnie Wei, Debbie Ivey, and Renee Ripol; Boys – P.J. Stewart, Jacob Demers, Brendan Mills, and Gavin Nicoll; Girls – Aaja Jalbert.

The Men’s event saw six of our nine falling at the first hurdle. Robbie Phillips and newcomer Eric Gregory both won their openers, but lost second time out, while Danny Baggish (another first-timer) eased through his first two before going down to Gary Stone the round before the stage. It could have been so different, as missed doubles proved costly in a tight match that went all the way. It was even worse for the women as all four Americans failed to to win a match. It must be said, though, that the draws could have been way better. Only Debbie Ivey has previous international experience, and even she had the misfortune to face off with Lisa Ashton in her first match!

Our Youth players fared a little better, wth P.J. Stewart and Gavin Nicoll both winning marches.
National Champ P.J. won his first, before coming up against eventual runner-up Charlie Manby. Gavin was showing some great form, reaching the quarter-final of the Boys’, where he was stopped by inform Pole Sebastian Bialecki.

The World Pro Playoffs weren’t any better, with the best performance coming from Robbie Phillips. The man from Cary, NC, reached the last 32, where he was beaten by our Canadian friend, Jeff Smith.

Danny Baggish had a superb 2019. (Pic: PDC)

This last weekend brought the ADO National Playoffs for the 2020 WDF Americas Cup. With 45 men and 30 women in action, this was our best turnout for several years. While there were some real battles for qualification for the men’s final group, the final itself was far from close, Danny Baggish (above) dropped just two legs from his seven matches to finish with a total of 19, and Joe Huffman grabbed the other spot with 16 legs. Larry Butler is the alternate, but finished way back on 11. Dani Warmack has only been playing two years, but she has already competed in several National Finals. None have been anywhere as successful as Friday’s, as she end up a clear winner of the women’s final group with 10 points! Dani will be joined in Jamaica by Robin Curry. Carolyn Mars is the alternate.

The day after the senior representatives were decided, it was time to sort out the Youth Team. It wasn’t a huge shock to see the places go to our two National Champions, Aaja Jalbert and P/.J. Stewart. Youth alternates are Rylee Moran and Kaden Anderson.

The Silencer seems to enjoy the Seacoast Open. Jeff Smith claimed multiple events in 2019 & 2020

The Nationals were held in conjunction with the Seacoast Open, which once again, was BDO ranked. Last year, Jeff Smith did the double, winning both the 501 and Cricket Singles, and he repeated the feat this year! Danny Baggish was runner-up in the 501, with Martin Tremblay and Shad Newton the beaten semi-finalists. Jim Widmayer was second in the cricket, with Larry Butler and Leonard Gates finishing at Top 4. Cali West bested Joanne Luke for the Women’s 501, with Robin Curry and Danna Foster one round back, while Debbie Ivey lifted the Cricket title, with Danna Foster second, and Carolyn Mars and Trish Grzesik filling the minor placings.

Larry Butler (left) (Photo: PDC) is still featuring strongly in North American darts!

The finals of the WDF Youth events were carbon copies of the Americas Cup finals, with Aaja Jalbert and P.J. Steward getting the better of Rylee Moran and Kaden Anderson respectively.

A week ago, we had the BDO/WDF Colorado Open. Leonard Gates edged out Elliot Milk for the 501 Singles, with Shad Newton and Danny Pace taking Top 4. Paula Murphy and Stacey Pace clashed yet again in the final of a major 501 Singles, and again, it was Paula who pocketed the win. Valorie Olson and Julie Weger made the semis. Bruce Robbins and Debbie Ivey won the Cricket, from Larry Butler and Tanja Bencic, Semi-finalists were Elliot Milk, Kevin Luke, Jill Horton, and Paula Murphy.


Catch Steve’s round up in our monthly Darts World magazine.

Featured Pic – PDC