White, A Premier Diamond in the Making?

Ian White’s war of attrition to gain a Premier League place seems to have been stepped up a gear or two. What will it take for him to succeed?

PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG IAN WHITE

Ian White is one of the best dart players in the world. He has performed superbly away from the TV camera’s and has been getting better, and better for almost a decade. Yet he remains underestimated and under-appreciated. Could this year see everything change?

Here is how the official PDC Account described Ian’s victory over Peter Wright, which cemented his second European Tour title:

It was third times a charm for White as he made a third successive European Tour final in as many weeks, before finally picking up the top prize.

Losing out to Michael van Gerwen in both the German Darts Open and Austrian Darts Open, White must have been relieved to face a different opposition in this final but was pushed all the way by the world number six.

After trading the opening three legs, White was the first to break throw as he produced a show-stopping 170 check out
– the third of the tournament – to lead 3-1.

Wright quickly bit back to level things at 3-3, as he chased his first European Tour title since 2017. One hold of throw after another came next, with little to separate the two in a nervy encounter as it got to six legs apiece.

It was there that Wright stuck what seemed a decisive blow. White missed tops for a 120 checkout, and ’Snakebite’ landed a huge 104 checkout on D16 to move one leg away from the title.

But White wasn’t ready to let another European Tour title slip through his fingers and fired his second 180 of the match in response as he broke back to force a deciding leg at 7-7.

And with the throw in last, the Stoke-star held firm and sealed his second career European Tour title on D16.

“It took six years to win one, and now I’ve made three finals [in a row] and I am so glad to get over the line,” said White. “The final was a bit of a struggle, we didn’t play our best but I knew that if I missed a double he would take advantage.

“The 170 checkout was special, but then I still allowed Peter to get back into the game.

“But to win another one, I am over the moon. There are not many of us who have won more than one [European Tour title], so I am just happy to win it.”

Notice that Ian refers to being one of the “not many” who have won multiple Euro Tours. He is again threatening the top ten rankings and is proving to be very good, over a shorter format, on stage. Add in the big fish finish and the dramatic nature of both the final and the semi-final against Steve Beaton, and surely you have the complete package?

It has long been speculated, that the reason Ian has not been selected or given a decent crack at, the Premier League, is his persona. It is true that Ian can come across as a little quiet, serious or even flat on stage. This is not his true personality though. Those who know him, or have seen him in exhibition play, will attest to a lively, entertaining player with a superb sense of humour. Surely this will come across if he gets to play every week for three months!

If the ‘Diamond’ can maintain his superb form over the rest of 2019, and perhaps run to a Semi-Final or better, on TV, his war of attrition for a place in darts prestige event will end in success.