This Week has been looking back through the darting vaults to for our latest selection of historical highlights. February 23rd-29th has featured some great events over the years:
20 years ago:
This week was the first holding of the (PDC) Irish Masters. The event could be classed as a forerunner of the Pro Tour circuit, even though it was classed as catagory 2 at the time, Chris Mason claimed the title defeating Shayne Burgess in the final. The event featured a very strong filed including Priestley, Warriner-Little, Deller and Colin Lloyd. The Irish Masters continued in the same format for the next six years and was claimed by a wide range of players including Dennis Ovens, Peter Manley and James Wade. Chris Mason had a superb career, in both the BDO and PDC, and claimed titles against the best players of his time. His TV career and social media presence often hides the fact that, in his pomp, he could really play!
11 Years Ago:
Phil Taylor gave a demonstration of his total dominance, over PDC darts, at the German Open. These early season events were a type of forerunner to the modern European Tour, they allowed local players to join the PDC members and even had selected stage matches. Joining at the 128 stage ‘The Power’ Defeated Dave Fatum (6-2) before whitewashing Patrick Loos, Steve Beaton and Mensur back to back. MVG was dispatched 6-3 and then Vincent Van de Voort 6-1. Phil then trounced Adrian Lewis 6-0 to claim the title. Fifty-Four legs played over seven matches for with a forty-eight to six split. Three World Champions and two major finalists were simply crushed. Just for good measure Phil repeated the feat the following day to claim back-to-back Pro Tour wins.
5 Years Ago:
Gert De Vos began his quest for the BDO’s World Trophy. It would be fair to say the Belgian player (then 33) was not exactly one of the favourites, and yet, one-by-one the illustrious names either fell by the wayside or were removed by De Vos himself. He worked his way to the later stages by defeated Rick Hostra and Jim Widmayer with relative ease. Dutchman Wes Harms was dispatched in the Qtr before a pair of epic encounters with Mark McGeeney (Semi) and Jeffrey De Graff (Final). Both were won in the deciding leg after titanic struggles. De Vos had finally claimed a major title after many near misses. He has claimed many smaller titles but rarely can one have been so hard earned as the 2015 World Trophy!
Sees the start of the European Tour for 2020. It will be interesting to see if the broader division of titles, that began in 2019, will be maintained or will MVG, Whitey and a few others dominate this tour again?