The first day of the Dutch Open featured both the men’s and ladies’ pairs tournaments. Over 2000 men and 300 women competed through 12 rounds on the men’s side and eight on the ladies’ side to crown two champion teams. Aileen de Graaf and Sharon Prins won the ladies’ title after a 4-1 win in the final.
In the ladies’ competition, most of the top teams made it through their first few matches to leave an elite field in the latter rounds.
Lisa Ashton and Sue Cussick did not drop a leg in their first five matches, eventually reaching the semi-final. There, they met de Graaf and Prins, who had just survived a tough quarter-final against Lakeside finalist Deta Hedman and Rachel Brooks, 3 legs to 2.
However, Cusick and Ashton’s perfect run would come to an end, as de Graaf and Prins defeated them in a last leg decider, 3 legs to 2.
On the other half of the draw, Paula Jacklin and Sue Gulliver upset Anastasia Dobromyslova and Lorraine Winstanley 3-1 in the Last 16 on their way to a semi-final against Rachna David and Tamara Schuur. There, the class of the English pair were too much, as Jacklin and Gulliver won without conceding a leg to reach the final.
In the final, de Graaf—the reigning Winmau World Master—and Brooks were too good. They lifted the crown with a comprehensive 4-1 victory.
Womens Pairs – Last 16:
G.Crane/L.Hepburn 3-2 M.Bakker/C.Kelzer
S.Cusick/L.Ashton 3-0 J.Desmedt/J.Wunderlich
A.De Graaf/S.Prins 3-2 F.Sherrock/M.Sutton
D.Hedman/R.Brooks 3-0 E.Little/A.Walker
L.De Haas/C.Zwaan 3-2 S.Van Zoeren/N.Sebaa
P.Jacklin/S.Gulliver 3-1 A.Dobromyslova/L.Winstanley
C.Godschalk/D.Appeldoom 3-0 P.Fleuren/D.Dooman
R.David/T.Schuur 3-1 A.Zijlstra/K.Krappen
S.Cusick/L.Ashton 3-0 G.Crane/L.Hepburn
A.De Graaf/S.Prins 3-2 D.Hedman/R.Brooks
P.Jacklin/S.Gulliver 3-0 L.De Haas/C.Zwaan
R.David/T.Schuur 3-0 C.Godschalk/D.Appeldoom
A.De Graaf/S.Prins 3-2 L.Ashton/S.Cusick
P.Jacklin/S.Gulliver 3-0 R.David/T.Schuur
A.De Graaf/S.Prins 4-1 P.Jackin/S.Gulliver
The men’s draw, meanwhile, was a slightly different format, as each match involved legs of 701, not 501.
Hendriks and McGeeney had anything but an easy draw, defeating a team that included Pip Blackwell no earlier than the Last 64 before meeting Lakeside semi-finalist Richard Veenstra and Jim Williams in the Last 32.
Veenstra and Williams had not dropped a leg in their first five matches, but in a tough Last 32 tie, Hendriks and McGeeney prevailed 3-2.
Hendriks and McGeeney kept up the fine form, winning 3-0 in their Last 16 match and 3-1 in their quarter-final—beating BDO debutant Kevin McDine in the process—to reach the semi-final. There, they disposed of Tony West and Roger Janssen, 4-1.
On the other half of the draw, Shaun Carroll and Gareth Watts had a fantastic run, winning 3-0 or 3-1 in each of their first seven matches to reach the quarter-finals.
They faced a sterner test at that stage, but prevailed in 3 legs to 2 against the Dutch pair of Mario Robbe and Willy van de Wiel.
In the semi-final, they again were pushed to a deciding leg by Danny Merlijn and Koen den Hartog. But they prevailed 4-3 to reach a surprising final.
World Champion Scott Waites, who was partnered with Martin Atkins, nearly went out in his very first match, surviving in a last leg decider against the unheralded Dutch pair of Eddy Merlijn and A Ruijter. However, the pair recovered from there to eventually reach the quarter-final, where they lost to Danny Merlijn and den Hartog.
In the final, Hendriks and McGeeney split the first six legs with Carroll and Watts. However, a 102 out from Hendriks put the more fancied pair 4-3 up and within a leg of victory.
In the eighth leg, both hit maximums to pull well ahead. And from there, they wrapped up the leg for a 5-3 victory and the title.
Mens Pairs – Last 16:
T.West/R.Janssen 3-0 S.Verbeek/R.Visser
K.De Boer/F.Belfroid 3-1 M.Razma/D.Labaunaskas
J.Hendriks/M.McGeeney 3-0 L.Tardio/D.Cordes
K.Thoburn/K.McDine 3-1 D.Fitton/T.O’Shea
K.Den Hartog/Merlijn 3-0 P.Colijn/M.Kuijper
S.Waites/M.Atkins 3-1 J.De Zwaan/M.Zuidwijk
M.Robbe/W.De Wiel 3-2 J.Hughes/W.Mandigers
S.Carroll/G.Watts 3-1 M.Janssen/T.Hermers
T.West/R.Janssen 3-1 K.De Boer/F.Belfroid
J.Hendriks/M.McGeeney 3-1 K.Thoburn/K.McDine
K.Den Hartog/D.Merlijn 3-2 S.Waites/M.Atkins
S.Carroll/G.Watts 3-2 M.Robbe/W.De Wiel
J.Hendriks/M.McGeeney 4-1 T.West/R.Janssen
S.Carroll/G.Watts 4-3 K.Den Hartog/D.Merlijn
J.Hendriks/M.McGeeney 5-3 S.Carroll/G.Watts