Danny Baggish, Paula Murphy and Chris Lim star in Steve Brown’s Feb/March Review of the North American scene. But there is a late guest appearance from a legendary high flyer!
The Winmau-Fleetwood Memorial, Las Vegas Open, (please note the new sponsor!) is over for another year, and what a fabulous weekend it was! Entries were up on 2019, and as I predicted, we had a much greater international representation. From a field of 280, the final was a hard-fought affair between Chris Lim and Danny Baggish.
While it could have gone either way, it was Lim who always held a slight advantage. The first two legs went with the darts, before the Californian broke Baggish’s serve. The next three went with the darts, before Lim again broke Baggish. The 2019 North American Champ broke back immediately, but with the remaining legs going with the throw, it was Chris Lim who took the title back to San Bernadino. Alex Reyes and England’s Steve Grubb were the beaten semi-finalists.
While Baggish was unable to win the men’s singles for Florida, the Sunshine State positively dominated the women’s providing three of the four semi-finalists! They also provided both finalists, with Paula Murphy lifting the trophy for the fifth time in six years. One one of her all-too-rare appearances outside her home state, Kelly Meares again showed her undoubted class, but Paula was just too strong. Robin Curry and Kris Grimal rounded out the Top 4.
Last year’s Men’s 501 Champion Robbie Phillips took the cricket from Joe Chaney, while Robin Curry prevented Paula Murphy from completing the double. Losing at the semi-final stage were Elliot Milk, Aaron Christian, Stacey Pace, and Cassy Scantlen.
Before the Open kicked off, we had our two (cricket and 501) National Championships.
In Thursday’s cricket, there were some very familiar names in the finals of both events. Not for the first time, Paula Murphy and Sandy Hudson went head-to-head for the women’s championship, and it was Paula who emerged triumphant. Making the semis were Robin Curry and Stacey Pace.
In the men’s event, Joe Huffman and Danny Baggish gave us a fabulous display of high-quality darts, with Baggish prevailing. It was hard on Huffman, who had opened up a 3-1 lead, only for his opponent to bounce back and win the next four legs, and the title. Semi-finalists were Chris Lim, and one to watch for the future, Maine’s Dave Green. On to the 501 National Championship on Friday, and Elliot Milk captured his first National Championship with a fine 4-2 victory over 2019 ADO Number 1, Joe Chaney. Larry Butler and Danny Baggish finished one round back, Elliot wasn’t the only first-time champ, as Julie Weger took the women’s 501 home to Illinois, having edged out 2018 winner, Sandy Hudson. Lisa Yee and defending champion Debbie Ivey were the semifinalists.
Before the action started on Saturday, the 2019 National Points Champions were announced, along with the ADO National Team Members. Paula Murphy was points champion for the women yet again, and will be joined by Stacey Pace and Marlise Kiel on the National Team, while (as mentioned above), Joe Chaney topped the men’s table. “Chanesaw” s National Team-Mates will be Tom Sawyer, Robbie Phillips, Larry Butler, Bruce Robbins, and Danny Baggish.