2016 PDC World Darts Championship: 2nd round/last 16 assessment
Holly Thackeray | December 31, 2015
Second and third rounds in a nutshell
- Stephen Bunting, Mervyn King, Terry Jenkins among biggest 2nd round casualties
- Huge shocks followed in 3rd round, as title favourites Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen exited
- Previous winners Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld still remain
- Former BDO World Championship finalists Jelle Klaasen and Alan Norris to meet
- Peter Wright to face foe Lewis in quarter-finals after dispatching Dave Chisnall
- Van Barneveld will duel with young-gun Michael Smith
- Take a peek at the upcoming schedule
- Missed any action? Read our match reactions so far
PDC World Darts Championship to enter final three days
As the 2016 PDC World Darts Championship pauses for short a New Year’s Eve break, Coral oche experts take the time to look back over the action so far, with the coveted competition set to resume for its final stretch on January 1st 2016.
It has been a tremendous 2015 of tungsten treats, and there’s no warmer way to welcome in the New Year than with a toast to the current tournament, which has only served to illustrate the growing quality of the sport across the board, and the globe.
So, settle in with a drink and, through our round-up, catch up on anything you may have missed, while also contemplating who will be crowned king in just a few days time. Also, don’t forget to check out our previous musings on the first round fireworks…
Who is the ace left in our final eight?
And then there were eight. From 72, including those who only featured in the preliminary round, only an incredible octet remain in contention for darts’ biggest and most prestigious prize.
In the 22 previous editions of this PDC version there have been just seven different victors, and only three of our current crop of quarter-finalists (title holder Gary Anderson, Raymond van Barneveld, Adrian Lewis x2) have taken this top trophy home before.
So, could there be another first-time world champion at the Ally Pally in 2016? With five stars still in contention, but yet to lift this crown before, lucky Coral customers can cash-in on favourable odds of 5/4 for a fresh face to take the glory.
With that price including 2014 runner-up Peter Wright, former BDO world champ Jelle Klaasen, ex-BDO finalist Alan Norris, future superstar Michael Smith and three-time semi-finalist James Wade, that is a lot of firepower in punters’ armoury.
A nod to fledgling throwers who fell
Before taking a peek at some tremendous individual odds for our remaining heroes, Coral writers wish to give a New Year’s nod to the relative novices who helped light the Ally Pally up.
There was plenty of promising young blood on show in the first round, who we duly gave their darting due (recall The Cube giving Michael van Gerwen the fright of his life?), but several did make it through to the second and third rounds too.
Dartsman Dimitri van den Bergh with his eye-catching dance moves may only be 21, but his confidence and composure mean the Belgian will be tipped for future greatness from now on. To reach the last 32 so young is nothing to be sniffed at and, though The Dreammaker’s hopes were dashed by more experienced Dutchman Benito van de Pas, the prodigy showed much panache.
Big Ben, only 22 himself, may have been making a splash on the scene for longer, though he didn’t show his true colours when being whitewashed by superior peer Smith, who Coral tipped as a dark horse before the tournament.
Ricky Evans and David Pallett, both 25, were more surprise packages, though their stars also waned after fantastic first rounds which had seen them see off Simon Whitlock and Kim Huybrechts respectively. Still, they are names to look out for.
Undoubtedly the future is bright for darts, and veterans used to having it all their own way will soon have to pick up the slack as an exciting new generation are in place.
A competition of continuous shocks
There were eyebrow-raising exits aplenty in the openers, and that trend has continued throughout. Headline grabbing highlights in the third round included Klaasen’s knocking out of 16-time world champion Phil Taylor, as the all-time great looked as though he would escape elimination after avoiding a deadly blow in a leg decider. Though, the in-form Cobra finally caught up with The Power again, and this time made sure he suffered an outage.
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) December 30, 2015
Another shocker was the sinking of world number one Michael van Gerwen, who had looked absolutely unstoppable in his demolishing of Darren Webster. Barney (acknowledged by Real Madrid star Toni Kroos on Twitter, see below) was having none of it, though, and emphatically confirmed his revival by booting his World Cup of Darts teammate out of the tournament.
— Toni Kroos (@ToniKroos) December 29, 2015
The top-class pair got viewers’ blood pumping, and Van Barneveld channeled all his talent and chops to claw back from a lethal looking one set deficit and then kept just a breath ahead of his compatriot, who clocked up the highest-ever average for a defeated dartsman in this event, with an amazing 105.78.
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) December 29, 2015
Peter Wright also took part in his own tungsten theatre against Dave Chisnall, which you can read all about in our review. While taking out Chizzy out was not the biggest surprise, the pair deserve more than a mention for their divine darting dance, which also caused an outpouring of celebrity fan praise on social media.
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) December 30, 2015
Finally, fellow top names Stephen Bunting (another thrilling Barney scalp), Steve Beaton, Mervyn King, Daryl Gurney (who put up a valiant fight versus Anderson) and Terry Jenkins were among those who left earlier than they would have liked.
Top-class tungsten entertainment awaits
Up first, Klaasen (3/1 to reach the final) encounters Norris, before Anderson (now 15/8 favourite to retain the title) challenges Wade, Barney (7/1 to win it all) battles Smith and Wright (6/1 for his first PDC major) takes on Lewis. Who could ask for a better beginning to 2016?
Read more on the oche antics ahead in our excellent darts archive.