Best darts comebacks in history: Including PDC and BDO stars
Sam Barnard | 2 January 2017
10 best darts comebacks in history
Comebacks have become synonymous with darts over the years, and the sport is famed for the phrase coined by the late great commentator Sid Waddell: “the greatest comeback since Lazarus”.
Momentum really can change at any point in the rapidly rising sport, particularly in certain formats of the game, which sets up fantastic spectacles for fans.
Ahead of the 2017 PDC World Championship, which is bound to feature many magical moments as always, Coral pick out the best in history from the PDC and BDO in no particular order…
Scott Waites v James Wade: Grand Slam of Darts final (2010)
We start off with the Grand Slam, when multiple major title winners in their organisations Waites and Wade, in the BDO and PDC respectively, collided in the 2010 final.
After being thrashed by Phil Taylor 16-2 in the previous year’s final, it looked as though it would be a similar outcome as The Machine stormed to an 8-0 lead.
However, current BDO world champion Scotty 2 Hotty somehow drew level at 11-all and eventually won 16-12.
Andy Hamilton v Simon Whitlock: World Matchplay quarters (2011)
Another one of the great comebacks saw Whitlock let slip a 15-8 lead to go one leg away from reaching the World Matchplay semis after Hamilton claimed the last nine legs to triumph 17-15.
Hamilton has been overshadowed throughout much of his career, not only due to having the exact same name as a comedian, but also being from Stoke, which has produced more high profile darting names. Taylor, Adrian Lewis and Ted Hankey are three of many.
But relive the end of his remarkable feat that momentarily brought one of darts’ nearly men right into the spotlight…
Phil Taylor v John Part: UK Open last 16 (2005)
Talking of Taylor, The Power proved just why he was the greatest of them all by coming back from 7-1 and then 10-6 to defeat fellow world champion Part in the tournament that is now known as the Coral UK Open.
Taylor eventually lifted the title that year, and is 9/1 to follow up his recent Champions League of Darts success by lifting a 17th World Championship in 2017.
Chris Mason v Martin Adams: BDO World Championship quarters (1999)
From one king of the PDC to another in the BDO, Wolfie was known in his early darting career to being a victim of numerous capitulations – one of the most famous of which came at the World Championship quarter-finals.
Adams was leading Mason 4-1, and even equalled the record for the most amount of 180s thrown in a match during the duel, but lost the last four sets to lose 5-4.
Wolfie played in his second-ever Grand Slam at the age of 60 this November, but unfortunately couldn’t match his feat the year before after making a courageous run to the last 16.
Raymond van Barneveld v Michael Smith: PDC World Championship quarters (2016)
Another of darts’ legends features on this list, this time in his favour, and most recently earlier this year in the PDC version of the World Championship quarters.
Five-time world champion Barney has made a habit of showing off his best form during the festive period in recent years, and in the last worlds went on a barnstorming run to the semis by steamrolling past Stephen Bunting, Michael van Gerwen and Michael Smith.
While his win over MvG was perhaps the more shocking result, it was his comeback from 3-0 down against Bully Boy to triumph 5-4 that was most impressive.
It’s certainly not the first time Van Barneveld has achieved a comeback at a World Championship, as he famously beat Colin Lloyd 4-3 in the last 32 of the 2007 edition when 3-0 down.
Dennis Priestley v John Part: Players Championship Finals last 16 (2009)
It really is no coincidence that the vast majority of players on this list who achieved epic comebacks have been world champions, as it sums up their ‘never say die’ attitudes.
In this case, steely Yorkshireman Priestley rolled back the years against another multiple world champion Part, who only claimed the PDC’s premier trophy the year before, to come back from 5-0 down to win 6-5.
Phil Taylor v Simon Whitlock: Grand Slam of Darts quarters (2008)
Back to the Grand Slam, and another cross organisation battle when Whitlock was still in the BDO.
The Wizard looked on course to upset Taylor when he stormed to a 5-1 lead in the quarters, but eventually went down 10-7.
Of course, the rest is history as The Power claimed the title.
James Wade v Mervyn King: Masters final (2014)
Wade made have been on the receiving end of a remarkable comeback in the 2010 Grand Slam of Darts final, but four years later all was settled as he did the same to King.
The Machine trailed 5-0 and then 9-2, but eventually ran out the 11-10 winner and even hit a 135 checkout to clinch his first Masters title and most last of his eight major trophies to date.
King inexplicably missed eight match darts and sadly for him karma hasn’t caught up him yet, as he is still without a premier PDC title.
Ross Montgomery v Robbie Green: BDO Zuiderduin Masters final (2010)
Another BDO fixture features on this list, although between less high profile players Montgomery and Green – the latter is now in the PDC.
Scotsman Montgomery, known as The Boss, was trailing 4-0 to Kong in the final in the Netherlands, but somehow rattled off the next five sets to win his first and only major trophy.
Check out the duo previously battling it out in the 2009 World Masters last 16.
Adrian Lewis v James Wade: PDC World Championship semis (2012)
It does seem that the grandest stage of them all at Ally Pally produces the most comebacks, and yet again Wade features.
Then-defending champion Lewis was the man to take advantage of The Machine crashing in the 2011 semis, on his way to claiming the second of his two World Championship titles to date.
Jackpot was losing 5-1 but then claimed the following five sets, after an interruption due to both stars complaining of a breeze, to triumph 6-5 and reach the final – where he defeated Hamilton. Wade is still yet to advance beyond the last four here.
For more darting features, tips and previews ahead of the festive season, check out our extensive archive.
What is your favourite comeback moment? Let us know in the comments section below.