The third evening at the Lakeside saw four very juicy first round matches. In the first match, Ryan de Vreede made his Lakeside debut after playing Ally Pally in 2015, going against the World Masters runner-up and former World Matchplay champion Larry Butler. In the second match, World Master Aileen de Graaf kicked off her tournament against Casey Gallagher. The third match had the potential to be the match of the round, pitting two former Zuiderduin Masters in Jamie Hughes and Ross Montgomery. And in the final match of the evening, former World Master Martin Phillips took on double World Champion Ted Hankey, fresh off his victory in the Preliminary Round.
Ryan de Vreede v Larry Butler
1st Set: After a slow start with the darts, Butler threw in the first 180 of the match to leave a finish. Both Butler and de Vreede missed two darts at double, but Butler held throw with a dart firmly in d2 for a 1-0 lead. [0-1] Second leg, Butler is first to a finish against the darts, but can’t leave a double from 100. But he comes back for 48 after de Vreede can’t take out 132, and hits with his last dart in d8 for a 2-0 lead. [0-2] Butler was throwing for the set in the third leg, but consecutive 140s from de Vreede stole the darts, and he took out 121 on d14 for a 12-dart leg to save the set. [1-2] de Vreede seemed comfortable in the next leg, with Butler able to find only one treble from his first 12 darts, but a well-timed 121 left Butler needing 118 if de Vreede didn’t take out 93. de Vreede missed a dart at d16 to level, but Butler’s third dart at tops went awry, letting de Vreede come back to hit d8 to force a first-set decider. [2-2] In the fifth leg, Butler couldn’t find a treble with his first seven darts, and de Vreede eventually had six darts from 161 for the set. Despite that, he could only manage a single dart at d13, which he missed. Butler then came back for 125, which he took out on tops to win the set. [2-3]
2nd Set: Butler’s second maximum left him on a finish against the darts, but it took him six darts from 140 to get to a double. However, a wayward first dart gave de Vreede only one dart at tops from 52, which he missed. The World Masters runner-up then took out tops first dart for a break of throw and a 1-0 lead in the second set. [0-1] Second leg, Butler appeared to be coasting to an easy hold, but de Vreede’s first maximum left him on 78. But Butler wasn’t rattled, as he took out 55 on tops to double his lead in the set. [0-2] In the next leg, Butler stole the darts with his first three darts, but he gave them right back to de Vreede with visits of 26 and 60. de Vreede eventually held in 18 darts, taking out 106 for his second ton-plus checkout of the match. [1-2] Throwing for the set in the fourth leg, Butler could only find a solitary treble from his first four visits, but with de Vreede waiting on 126, hit 140 from 240 to leave an even ton. de Vreede could only get down to a double with his three darts, but Butler couldn’t take out the second tops for a 100. However, de Vreede missed two at d14 and busted his third dart at d7, giving Butler three clear darts at d10 for the set. His first dart went inside, and then he chose to split d5 to go to d4, but missed d4. de Vreede then came back and hit d14 with his third dart to finally win the leg and force a decider. [2-2] de Vreede then held, taking out 61 on tops with Butler back on 101 to level the match at 1 set apiece heading into the interval. [3-2]
3rd Set: Butler quickly put the disappointment of the second set behind him, as he kicked off the set with his third maximum. Butler got down to a double after only 13 darts, but missed tops and d10. de Vreede came back for 170, but missed the bullseye for what would have been the highest checkout of the week. Butler then took out d10 with his second dart for a hold of throw. [0-1] But de Vreede leveled in the next leg, taking out 60 on d10 with Butler waiting on 72. [1-1] In the third leg, Butler could only get one dart at tops from 68, which he missed high. de Vreede then took out 48 on d16 with a dart to spare, breaking Butler’s throw and moving ahead for the first time in the match. [2-1] Throwing for the set, de Vreede earned a dart at tops for a 117, but missed it. However, Butler could not find a treble from 90, and his dart at the bull hit single 10. Yet de Vreede did exactly what Butler did at 2-1 in the second: he missed with three in hand from d10, going inside with the first two darts. Butler then took out tops to save the set. [2-2] Butler then held in 14 darts, taking out 46 on tops for a 2-1 lead in the match. [2-3]
4th Set: de Vreede had the darts to start the set, but missed d16 for a 106. Butler could not check out 148 to break, but left a double. Nonetheless, de Vreede held his nerve, hitting d16 with his second dart to hold throw. [1-0] In the next leg, de Vreede had a chance to break from 96, but just missed t20 with each of his first two darts. Butler then took out 48 with his final dart in d16 to level the set. [1-1] Butler then stole the darts, and a 135 from 201 left 66. Butler made a muck of it, leaving only a dart at bull, which he missed. de Vreede came back for 140, but his second dart at t20 Robin Hooded his first. Yet Butler couldn’t take out 25, missing two at d8. de Vreede then hit d10 to go 2-1 in front in the set. [2-1] In the fourth leg, both Butler and de Vreede struggled to find a treble, with Butler finally finishing a 21-dart leg with a 52 out on d10. [2-2] In the deciding leg, de Vreede had six darts from 156, and used them all, taking out d10 with Butler now on 80 to force a fifth and deciding set. [3-2] All four sets have gone the distance.
5th Set, Legs 1-4: With de Vreede waiting on 20, Butler could not take out 105. de Vreede then pounced for a crucial break of throw. [1-0] However, in the next leg, three visits without a treble for de Vreede handed the darts to the former World Matchplay champion. Yet Butler couldn’t do much, and de Vreede was the first to a double, just missing the bull for a 132 finish. Butler came back for 100, taking it out on d10 to pull even yet again. [1-1] Back on throw, Butler’s second visit produced his fifth maximum, but he could only follow it with a 21. Nonetheless, he still ended up with six darts from 142 to hold, and he took out 42 on tops to move within one leg of victory. [2-1] Against the darts, Butler found some of his best form of the evening, throwing in 140-140-100 to leave 121 after only 9 darts. With de Vreede waiting on 80, Butler threw a phantom dart, but it didn’t help. de Vreede stepped up for 80, but missed two at d10, allowing Butler a chance at 64. Butler ended up with one dart at tops, but he missed. de Vreede then stepped back to the oche and drilled d10 to send the match into a tiebreak. [2-2]
5th Set Tiebreak: With the darts in the fifth leg, Butler threw in easily his best leg of the match, leaving 41 after 9. He took out d16 for a 12-darter in which de Vreede was over 300 points behind. [2-3] In the sixth leg, de Vreede let Butler in with visits of 45 and 60, but Butler could only respond with 22 and 60 himself. Eventually, de Vreede had three at tops with Butler waiting on 96. But the nerves got to him, and he went well inside on tops and d10. The third dart at d5 was much better, but it grazed the outside of d5. Butler then found t20 with his second dart, and his third just picked out the bottom corner of d8 for a gripping victory for the American. [2-4] Butler’s reward will be a Last 16 matchup with the man he beat in the Grand Slam qualifiers, but lost to in the World Masters final: World Number 1 Glen Durrant.
De Vreede: 84.84
de Vreede: 1
Aileen de Graaf v Casey Gallagher
1st Set: On her own throw, de Graaf was first to a double, but missed two at d16 for a 48 checkout. However, Gallagher failed to make her pay, missing tops, d10, and d5 for a break. de Graaf then held, hitting d8 with her second dart. [1-0] In the second leg, de Graaf stole the darts, and a 138 from 206 left her on 68. She took out the 68 on d2 for a break of throw. [2-0] Throwing for the opening set, de Graaf kicked off with consecutive visits of 140. But she struggled to get down from 161, eventually missing two at d16 for the set. Gallagher then took out 56 on tops to win her first leg and save the set. [2-1] de Graaf then threw in her best leg of the match, leaving tops after 15, and completed a 17-dart set-winning leg on d10. [3-1]
2nd Set: de Graaf quickly stole the darts, but couldn’t take out 62 on d16. However, Gallagher couldn’t find a treble with her first two darts from 130, giving de Graaf a chance. But double trouble befell the World Master, as de Graaf missed inside on d8, d4, and d2 to leave d1, if she came back. She wouldn’t, as Gallagher’s first dart hit d15 for a hold of throw. [0-1] Under no pressure in the next leg, de Graaf found tops at the first attempt to move within two legs of victory. [1-1] The third leg featured quality cover shooting on t19 by both players. Eventually, Gallagher was down to 46, with de Graaf waiting on 54. She took it out last dart in hand on d18 to go back in front in the set. [1-2] Both de Graaf and Gallagher were down to a high finish after 9 darts, but de Graaf’s setup left her needing only 16 after 12. She took it out on d8 for a 13-dart leg, sending the set into a deciding leg. [2-2] Three visits without a treble by Gallagher allowed de Graaf to steal the darts by producing one treble with each of her first three visits. Gallagher then couldn’t find a treble again with her fourth visit, and de Graaf threw in a 140 to leave 78. She could not take out the 78, but she didn’t have to, and came back for 8. However, she went inside on d4 and d2, and busted by hitting d18 instead of d1. Yet 151 was too much for Gallagher to take, and de Graaf rectified herself, taking out d4 with her first dart for a straight-set victory. [3-2]
De Graaf: 81.63
de Graaf: 0
Jamie Hughes v Ross Montgomery
1st Set: Hughes had the darts in the first set of this battle of Zuiderduin Masters, but Montgomery hit two 140s to get down to an out first. He left d18, but came back after Hughes missed a bull for an 83. However, Montgomery missed three at d18. Hughes finally held, taking out 25 on d8 last dart in hand. [1-0] Both struggled to reach a double, and Hughes eventually had first crack with three at tops. But like Montgomery one leg earlier, Hughes missed thrice, chasing doubles around the board before leaving 5. Montgomery then took out d16 second dart to level the set. [1-1] Third leg, Hughes finally hit a double at the first time of asking, taking out tops with Montgomery far behind. [2-1] Hughes had a chance for the set in the fourth leg, but couldn’t find a treble from 118. Montgomery then took out 70 on tops to level the set. [2-2] Hughes was down to d16 after 12 darts, and because Montgomery was on 224, he had six darts to take it out. However, six was not enough, as he missed them all, one at d16, four at d8, and the last at d4. Nonetheless, Hughes came back for three more after Montgomery couldn’t take out 170. But Hughes missed three more, eventually leaving d2. Montgomery took a go at 30, hitting inside with the first, then hitting fat 7, before missing d4 with his last dart. Hughes made it 10 missed darts for the set, but used that tenth dart as a marker to finally take the set on d2. [3-2] All five legs went with throw.
2nd Set: Hughes’s double trouble continued, as he missed tops for a 68. But consecutive visits of 20 from Montgomery (two bounceouts, two missed darts at tops going for tops-tops) brought Hughes back to the board for d10, which he hit for the first break of the match. [1-0] Hughes tried to consolidate the break, but missed three more darts at tops. Montgomery came back for 65, but missed his first at outer bull and could only end with one dart at tops. He missed. Finally, Hughes took out d10 with his second dart to double his advantage. [2-0] Throwing to save the set, Montgomery missed d16 for a 102 and what would have been a 12-dart leg. But he came back after Montgomery could only leave 32 from 124. I will let you guess what happened next. Montgomery chased doubles around the board, missing d16, d8, and d4. Hughes then hit d16 for a 13-dart set-winning leg. [3-0]
3rd Set: Out of the interval, Montgomery kicked off with five perfect darts (the first visit was a 177, so he still had not hit a maximum). He then took a go at 124 with Hughes not even on a finish, missing the bull. Yet a 180 from Hughes, his second, left him on 20, putting pressure on Montgomery to clean up 25. He did, hitting d4 for a crucial break to start the set. [0-1] However, Montgomery couldn’t consolidate the break. He failed to leave a double from 110, and Hughes took out 64 t16-d8 to get the set back on throw. [1-1] In the third leg, and with Montgomery waiting on 52, Hughes missed three at double yet again. But he came back after Montgomery missed two at tops. Hughes’s first dart at d8 was a perfect guide, and the second put the world #4 within a leg of victory. [2-1] Again in a leg on Montgomery’s darts, Hughes was first to a finish, but could only get down to 56 from 129. But Montgomery missed his only dart at tops for a 70, allowing Hughes to come back. As has been the case all match, Hughes missed two more at double, one each at tops and d10, before Montgomery took out d5 to save the match. [2-2] After Hughes opened with a 57, Montgomery just missed his first maximum, stealing the darts from the go in a leg he had to win. But a 22 from Montgomery with his second visit put Hughes back in control, and Hughes responded with a 140. Eventually, Hughes had three in hand for tops, and the second dart booked his spot in the last 16. [3-2]
Martin Phillips v Ted Hankey
1st Set: With Phillips waiting on 60 to hold, Hankey missed tops for an 82 out. But Phillips could not hold, missing two at tops. Hankey and Phillips then exchanged a series of missed darts at double, and Hankey ended up having a dart at d1 after missing big 3. Finally, Phillips took out tops for a 26-dart leg and a hold of throw. [1-0] Hankey said before the match that he would try to slow down the tempo of the match, and he wasted no time, leading the crowd to boo him. Hankey exchanged some words with the crowd before throwing in a 140 to take control of the leg. But five missed darts at double gave Phillips a shot at 58, which resulted in two more missed darts at tops. Eventually, Hankey found himself on d1 again, taking it out last dart in hand to level in what has been a strangely entertaining start to the match. [1-1] Third leg, Phillips missed one at tops for an 80 checkout, but came back for d10 after Hankey scored 37 from 120. He took it out second dart in hand to move back in front. [2-1] Phillips was first to a finish on Hankey’s darts, but predictably missed two at d16 for a 42. Hankey then nearly took out 105, going 25-tops with his first two darts before wiring tops on the last dart. Phillips chased doubles, but hit d4 with his last dart to win the set. [3-1]
2nd Set: Hankey missed tops outside for an 80 finish, but Phillips missed bull for an 84. Hankey then again missed with three in hand, one at tops and two at d10. But Phillips again missed two more, one each at d8 and d4. Hankey missed two more at d10, the second hitting fat 15, leaving him on d1 after his last dart. Phillips finally hit d4 in what has become a missed doublathon. [1-0] Phillips held in the first regulation leg of the match, hitting tops for a 78 and 15-dart leg. [2-0] In the third leg, Phillips hit 140 from 160 to force Hankey to take out 75 to save the set. Hankey hit the t17, but missed d12 and d6. Phillips then completed the whitewash set by placing the second dart into d10. [3-0] Through two sets, Hankey has only hit 1/21 on doubles, contributing to a 68.91 three-dart average.
3rd Set: Hankey was first to an out from 131, but he couldn’t go out in 9 darts from there, including two more missed darts at doubles. Eventually, Phillips took out 25 on d4 to hold throw. [1-0] Phillips threw in the first 180 of the match to leave 80, but he missed a dart at tops. However, after Hankey failed to take out 120, Phillips’s third dart found tops for a break that moved him within one leg of victory. [2-0] Hankey had a chance from 72, but missed a dart at tops. Phillips then took out 54 on tops to win the match. [3-0]