Five biggest ever UK Open darts shocks after Lynn upsets Anderson
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | February 27, 2016
The Coral UK Open is known as the FA Cup of darts, and for good reason, as the top stars in the world enter at the third round stage, the tournament has a huge field of players (128) and there are no seedings.
But one particular likeness to its footballing counterpart is that names way down the ladder, and not usually mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Michael van Gerwen (1/2 title favourite) and Phil Taylor (11/2), get to battle their wits against their heroes.
We’ve already witnessed a number of shocks this 2016 edition, but none more so than qualifier Barry Lynn’s 9-3 win over world champion Gary Anderson in the fourth round.
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) March 5, 2016
So, just like Bradford City against Chelsea and others in the 2014/15 FA Cup fourth round, Coral pick out five shocks in UK Open darts history…
Gary Mawson 10-8 Raymond van Barneveld – 2008 semi-finals
Barney is one of the biggest names in the sport, having won five world titles and many other majors, and was highly fancied to defeat Canadian-born American Mawson in the semis being the two-time defending champion.
However, The Mauler had other ideas, despite having a relatively easy run to this stage in comparison as Van Barneveld had to knock out Phil Taylor, and he edged out the Dutchman to reach his first and only major final, where he lost to James Wade.
Michael Barnard 9-8 Mervyn King – 2009 third round
Having only crossed to the PDC two years before, after winning three major BDO titles, King was starting to show his worth among the elite too by reaching at least the semis in most majors he entered in 2008 and 2009, including the World Championship.
But Barking-born Barnard caused an almighty upset to dethrone The King in an epic 9-8 encounter, before being eliminated by Andy ‘The Pie Man’ Smith.
Tony Ayres 10-9 James Wade – 2010 quarter-finals
With a career highlight being reaching the last 32 at the World Championship, no one would’ve backed Ayres to reach the UK Open semis, let alone defeat 2008 champion Wade, who was at the peak of his powers, on the way.
Another close encounter saw him through to face Gary Anderson, who easily dispatched him 10-3.
Andrew Gilding 9-6 Andy Hamilton – 2011 third round
Gilding, aged 45, is now in the top 30 players in the world, but only started playing professionally six years ago, and was an almost no-hoper for his third round duel with the highly-experienced Hamilton.
Not only did Goldfinger knock out The Hammer, but he did so convincingly, though the latter should have more prepared after Gilding whitewashed Brendan Dolan at the first stage 4-0.
Aden Kirk 9–7 Phil Taylor – 2014 third round
Last, but certainly the biggest of the tournament and perhaps even ever in the sport, the most recent on this list came in the third round where all-time great Taylor first entered that year.
Heavily odds-on to defeat young Englishman Aden ‘Captain’ Kirk, who still has no other notable achievements, he somehow ended on the losing side. Kirk even went on to beat Peter Wright, but his run was eventually ended by Dolan.