THREE-TIME World Champion John Part was sent crashing out of the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship by Denmark’s Per Laursen on Sunday night.
Part, who had been laid low by an ear infection in the build-up to the first round contest at London’s Alexandra Palace, paid the price for missed doubles as the Dane followed up his preliminary round win against Boris Krcmar with a second victory on the evening.
Laursen will now face reigning champion Phil Taylor when the tournament resumes after its Christmas break on Monday, following a clinical straight sets win over the Canadian, who had hit seven 180s in defeat.
“I think it’s the biggest win I’ve had,” said Laursen. “He had a lot of darts at doubles and I punished him.
“Phil’s the best in the world and I will enjoy playing him. I saw his first round game and he wasn’t at his best, but the longer format is better for Phil, and I will enjoy playing him.”
The Dane had earlier overcome Croatian debutant Krcmar 4-2 in the preliminary round, while Wayne Jones, Robert Thornton and Wes Newton picked up victories to join Laursen in the last 32.
Wolverhampton’s Jones – the European Championship runner-up this summer – came from a set down to defeat 2008 finalist Shepherd 3-1 in their clash.
Thornton held off a fightback from Leamington Spa debutant Nigel ‘The Undertaker’ Heydon to pick up a 3-1 victory in their game, while in-form Newton swept aside America’s Darin Young in straight sets.
The first round continues on Monday night, when world number two James Wade enters the fray against Majorca-based debutant Antonio Alcinas – who was part of the Spanish team which knocked English pair Wade and Phil Taylor out of the Cash Converters World Cup of Darts recently.
2004 runner-up Kevin Painter takes on Northern Ireland’s Brendan Dolan, Alan Tabern faces former Lakeside Championship winner Richie Burnett and Denis Ovens meets either Germany’s Jyhan Artut or Hong Kong qualifier Scott Mackenzie, a chemistry graduate from Kent University.
Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship
Sunday December 19
Wayne Jones 3-1 Kirk Shepherd
Per Laursen 4-2 Boris Krcmar (Preliminary Round)
Robert Thornton 3-1 Nigel Heydon
Wes Newton 3-0 Darin Young
John Part 0-3 Per Laursen
Monday December 20 (7pm)
Alan Tabern v Richie Burnett
Jyhan Artut v Scott Mackenzie (Preliminary Round)
Kevin Painter v Brendan Dolan
James Wade v Antonio Alcinas
Denis Ovens v Artut/Mackenzie
WAYNE JONES 3-1 KIRK SHEPHERD
(1-3, 3-0, 3-0, 3-2)
WAYNE JONES came from a set down to end the challenge of Kirk Shepherd in the first round of the 2011 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship with a 3-1 victory.
From falling a set down the new world number 13 put together a run of six straight legs in the middle of the contest to forge ahead before closing out the game to book a last 32 place.
The first leg saw Shepherd break throw by hitting double six before Jones immediately hit back by taking out 65.
Shepherd, who reached the 2008 final as a rank outsider, hit the first 180 of the contest in the third leg and then won it with a fabulous 158 checkout.
Jones hit a maximum of his own in the next leg but missed four opportunities at doubles to win it and Shepherd stepped in to take the first set by hitting double four.
The start of the second set saw Shepherd have an opportunity to win the first leg. But his dart at double top for a 112 finish was off-target and Jones hit double six to steal it.
Jones, who has enjoyed the most successful year of his career to date in 2010, then won the next two legs in comfortable fashion, hitting double nine to win the set and square the match at one set all.
The third set started with Jones missing three attempts at double 16 to win the opening leg, but Shepherd was unable to capitalise as he missed three chances of his own and the Wolverhampton man hit the same bed for an early lead.
Jones secured a break of throw in the second with an excellent 116 finish, and an accurate attempt at double 16 in the third leg gave him the set and a 2-1 advantage.
Shepherd won the first leg of the fourth set with a 72 finish to stop the rot, but Jones soon levelled by hitting double 16.
Shepherd regained the lead by hitting double 16 before Jones hit the same double in the fourth leg to complete a 13-dart finish.
The deciding leg saw Shepherd have the advantage of throw but he missed four darts to keep the match alive and Jones made his opponent pay by hitting double eight to seal the win.
“I felt I should have won the first set but my finishing was terrible and it was my own fault,” said Jones. “It was an indifferent game but some of my scoring was lovely.
“All I wanted to do was win and get through, and I’ve done that so I can relax for a week over Christmas now. I’ve had a great year so far but it would cap it off to have a good run in this tournament now.”
PER LAURSEN 4-2 BORIS KRCMAR
PER LAURSEN set up a first round clash with John Part after overcoming Croatia’s Boris Krcmar 4-2 in the preliminary round of the 2011 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.
Krcmar started the game superbly, hitting a 180 with his first three darts, but it was Laursen who won the first leg with a 15 darter, which was completed on double ten.
Laursen hit the same double to move 2-0 up before the Croatian player got off the mark by hitting double eight.
Krcmar then won the fourth leg by hitting the bullseye for a 76 finish – which comprised single one, outer bull and bullseye as his soft-tip pedigree came to the fore – but Laursen regained the lead with a 72 checkout in the next.
The Danish player, competing in the World Championship for a fifth successive year, the got over the winning line in excellent fashion with a 106 checkout to secure a first round clash with three-time World Champion Part.
ROBERT THORNTON 3-1 NIGEL HEYDON
(3-1, 3-2, 1-3, 3-2)
ROBERT THORNTON reached the second round of the 2011 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship with a tough four-set victory over Nigel Heydon at Alexandra Palace.
Heydon, an undertaker from Leamington Spa, put up a good display on his World Championship debut and had chances to take the game to a deciding set.
But two missed darts at doubles in the fourth set proved costly and Thornton went on to set up a last 32 clash against Andy Hamilton.
Thornton, who has shown a return to form in recent months, started the match confidently by breaking Heydon’s throw to win the opening leg.
The Scotsman then doubled his lead before Heydon managed to win the third to get off the mark.
Thornton then won the first set by hitting double ten, before opening up an early advantage in the second with an excellent 85 finish, completed on the bullseye.
Heydon won the second leg, which included the first maximum of the game, before Thornton won the third, hitting a 180 of his own.
The fourth leg saw Thornton have a chance to win the set, but his attempt at bullseye for a 167 bounced out of the bed, which allowed Heydon to step in and hit double top to steal.
The deciding leg proved to be a competitive affair, but Thornton won it by hitting double top at the first attempt for a two-set lead, with Heydon waiting on double eight.
Heydon, who has enjoyed a solid first year on the PDC circuit, won the first leg of the third set despite Thornton having opportunities for an early break of throw.
Thornton won the second by hitting double eight but Heydon led again with a 15-dart finish.
The fourth leg saw Thornton waste three chances at double eight and Heydon stepped in to hit double ten at the first time of asking to win the set and give Thornton something to think about.
Heydon, buoyed by winning the third set, took the opening leg of the fourth against the darts by hitting double top, and moved 2-0 up by landing double five before Thornton won the next with the aid of a maximum.
Thornton breathed a sigh of relief in the fourth leg as Heydon missed two chances to win the set, allowing the Scot to post double ten and level, before finishing 80 to seal victory in the decider.
“When I went 2-0 up I seemed to take my foot off the pedal and I can’t afford to keep doing that,” said Thornton. “I’m glad I finished it off when I did because if it went to two-all Nigel had the advantage of throw in the decider.
“On the floor Nigel is one of the hardest players to play against and the first two sets wasn’t his true game. I’m just relieved to be through because the first game is always the hardest.”
WES NEWTON 3-0 DARIN YOUNG
(3-0, 3-2, 3-1)
WES NEWTON eased to a straight sets victory over America’s Darin Young in the first round of the 2011 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.
Left-hander Young had opportunities to level the game at one set each, but those chances went begging and Newton went on to seal a last 32 clash against either Kevin Painter or Brendan Dolan.
Newton started the game by breaking Young’s throw with an 84 finish, after the American missed one dart at double top in the opening leg.
The Fleetwood thrower, who has broken into the top 16 for the first time in his career thanks to three Players Championship wins this year, then won the next two legs to win the set, sealing it with a fantastic 122 checkout.
Young missed two darts at doubles to get off the mark at the start of the second, allowing to Newton to win the leg by hitting double ten.
Newton piled on more misery for Young when he won the second leg and could have won the set in the next, but his attempt at double 15 for a 150 checkout narrowly landed on the wrong side of the wire.
That allowed Young to step up and hit double four to register his first leg of the game, and he then won the next by hitting double eight, after Newton missed one further opportunity for a 2-0 lead.
Newton had the advantage of throw in the deciding leg, but Young was first to the double after some consistent scoring – only for the left-hander to see four attempts at doubles go begging as his opponent stepped in one double eight.
Newton began the third set well by breaking Young’s throw then won the second leg with a 61 finish to go one away from victory.
Young hit double 16 to win just his third leg of the contest and keep the match alive, but Newton ended matters in the next to record a comfortable win.
“It wasn’t a great game by any means but my job was to win and that’s what I did,” said Newton, who has recently adopted the “Warrior” nickname. “I can relax and have a good Christmas now and come back ready for the second round.
“I’ve always dreamed of being World Champion, and sometimes you want it too much and I think I’ve tried to hard in this tournament in the past.”
PER LAURSEN 3-0 JOHN PART
(3-2, 3-1, 3-2)
PER LAURSEN condemned three-time World Champion John Part to his second first round defeat in three years at the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship with a stunning 3-0 victory.
Part, who was suffering with an ear infection leading up to the match, hit seven maximums in the contest, but couldn’t match that performance on the doubles as he paid a heavy price.
Canadian ace Part won the two of the first three legs courtesy of two breaks of Laursen’s throw, before the Dane won the fourth with an impressive two-dart 80 finish.
The deciding leg saw both players hit maximums, but it was Laursen who took out 76 in two darts to edge the set and a 1-0 lead.
Part won the opening leg of the second set with a 100 checkout, but missed two chances to double his lead and Laursen stepped in to level by hitting double top.
Six missed darts from Part allowed Laursen to win the third, and the Danish number one hit double ten to take the fourth and go one set away from victory.
Laursen continued his excellent finishing with a 92 checkout at the beginning of the third set before Part won the second leg with the aid of a 180.
Laursen hit double 16 to go one leg away from the match in the next, but Part kept his hopes alive by winning the fourth leg, hitting his sixth maximum of the match in the process.
The Canadian hit another 180 in the deciding leg, but missed two darts at double top and Laursen stepped up to the oche to hit double eight and record a famous victory.
“I noticed John wasn’t well in the practice room, but I had to concentrate on my job and that’s what I did,” said Laursen, who now meets reigning champion Phil Taylor in round two on December 27.
“Phil’s the best in the world and I will enjoy playing him,” added Laursen. “I saw his first round game and he wasn’t at his best, but the longer format is better for Phil, and I will enjoy playing him.”