The Lakeside World Professional Darts Championships returns to the Lakeside Country club for its 34th staging at Frimley Green, and 42nd overall promotion of the event on Saturday. This year’s edition of the historic tournament see’s 40 entries from around the globe compete for the biggest prize in the BDO, the World Darts Championship.
BDO World champion and number one ranked Glen Durrant will be looking to become the first man to win three consecutive world titles since Eric Bristow completed the feat between 1984-1986.
The BDO World ranking’s top 16 players will all be seeded as they enter the fray in round one. They are joined by the players placed 17-24 in the opening round of the tournament. Those ranked 25th and below will enter at the preliminary round stage and will face the eight international qualifiers.
Krsysztof Kciuk, Nigel Heydon, Ryan Hogarth and Andy Hamilton all came through a last chance qualifier in Bridlington earlier in the year to book their places at this year’s premier event.
BDO Winmau World Masters champion Adam Smith-Neale has endured a dramatic recovery from a broken leg to take his place among the world’s elite in the preliminary round at Frimley Green. ‘Big Dog’ faces New Zealand’s Mark McGrath in what promises to be one of the stand-out ties of the preliminary round.
Number one seed Mark McGeeney begins his search for a first BDO World title crown against Dutchman Derk Telnekes. ‘The Gladiator’ has enjoyed a successful 2018 following his final loss at last year’s World Championship to long time rival Glen Durrant. McGeeney won the coveted Dutch Open earlier in the season, along with three other BDO ranking events, could this be ‘The Gladiator’s year?’
The aforementioned Durrant starts his quest to retain the BDO World Championship title when he faces the winner of Adam Smith-Neale and Mark McGrath. The former defeated Durrant in the 2018 Winmau World Masters final, so could once again prove to be a stumbling block for the Teesside star.
Fellow former champion’s Scott Waites and Scott Mitchell also face tough opening round ties as the pair prepare to regain the trophy, they last claimed in 2016 and 2015 respectively. Waites, who is a two-time champion at the Lakeside country club, faces Belgian thrower Jeffrey van Egdom, who will be making his debut in this year’s event. The 41-year-old from Yorkshire enters the tournament as the number nine seed, and after winning just one title in 2018, he may have pull out some of his best form to defeat his Belgian counterpart.
‘Scotty Dog’ Scott Mitchell opens his campaign against the winner of Oliver Ferenc and Ryan Hogarth. With four titles to his name in 2018, Mitchell has enjoyed a resurgence in form at the perfect time to launch yet another assault on the BDO’s biggest prize. An opening round win could set him on his way to a second world title.
Michael Unterbuchner provided the shock performance at last year’s iteration of the event, as he reached the final four on debut at the world-renowned Lakeside.
The German must now live up too much higher expectations as he enters this year’s tournament as the number five seed. ‘T-Rex’ shocked the darts world as he reached the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam of Darts back in November, and after reaching the World Trophy final in May he could be considered one of the favourites to take the title.
The 30-year-old from Munich faces the winner of one of the preliminary rounds most intriguing clashes. In a battle of two Australian aces, either Mal Cuming or Justin Thompson will be sent packing after just one match and a 10,000-mile-long journey from their homeland. After losing out to Daryl Fitton in last year’s tournament, Thompson holds the edge in terms of experience, but Cuming can’t be counted out.
The Welsh will be well represented at this years World Championships with five players traveling across the border. Jim Williams, winner of five BDO ranking titles in 2018, will be looking forward to a successful championship.
In another stand-out tie of the first round, Wayne Warren and Mark Layton face off in what will be billed as the battle of Wales. Warren has enjoyed a late renaissance in his career at 56-years of age. Three major quarter-final appearances in 2018 represent a sensational year for the ‘The Yank’.
‘Dynamite’ Dean Reynolds has been handed tough draws in recent years at the Calendars biggest event, and this year faces England international Daniel Day. Finally, BDO veteran Martin Phillips gets his campaign underway against young star Conan Whitehead. The rapid throwing Phillips was a semi-finalist in 2010 and 2011 but is yet to reach a world final throughout his illustrious career.
BY JOSH GREEN (@JoshGreenMedia)
You can catch all the BDO World Darts Championship action on Quest TV, Eurosport and BDO TV
2019 BDO Lakeside World Professional Darts Championships Schedule
Saturday 5th January
13:00 – Mark McGeeney (ENG) v Derk Telnekes (NED)
14.15 – Jim Widmayer (USA) v Nigel Heydon (ENG)
16.00 – Martin Phillips (WAL) v Conan Whitehead (ENG)
19:00 – Paul Hogan (ENG) v Wesley Newton (ENG)
20.45 – Mal Cuming (AUS) v Justin Thompson (AUS)
22.00 – Wesley Harms (NED) v Tony O’Shea (ENG)
Sunday 6th January
13:00 – Scott Waites (ENG) v Jeffrey Van Egdom (BEL)
14.15 – Brian Lokken (DEN) v Krzysztof Kciuk (POL)
16.00 – Richard Veenstra (NED) v Jim Widmayer (USA)/Nigel Heydon (ENG)
19:00 – Roger Janssen (BEL) v Wouter Vaes (NED)
20.45 – Mark McGrath (NZL) v Adam Smith-Neale (ENG)
22.00 – Wayne Warren (WAL) v Mark Layton (WAL)
Monday 7th January
13:00 – David Cameron (CAN) v Andy Hamilton (ENG)
14.15 – Oliver Ferenc (SBR) v Ryan Hogarth (SCO)
15.30 – Willem Mandigers (NED) v Paul Hogan (ENG)/Wesley Newton (ENG)
19:00 – Michael Unterbuchner (GER) v Mal Cuming (AUS)/Justin Thompson (AUS)
20.45 – Jim Williams (WAL) v Roger Janssen – (BEL)/Wouter Vaes (NED)
22.00 – Daniel Day (ENG) v Dean Reynolds (WAL)
Tuesday 8th January
13:00 – Dave Parletti (ENG) v Brian Lokken (DEN)/Krzysztof Kciuk (POL)
14.15 – Scott Mitchell (ENG) v Oliver Ferenc (SRB)/Ryan Hogarth (SCO)
16.00 – Ross Montgomery (SCO) v Scott Baker (ENG)
19:00 – Glen Durrant (ENG) v Mark McGrath (NZL)/Adam Smith-Neale (ENG)
20.45 – Chris Landman (NED) v Kyle McKinstry (NIR)
22.00 – Gary Robson (ENG) v David Cameron (CAN)/Andy Hamilton (ENG)