With a new venue – Hull Arena – an eye catching stage set, and the first ever darts on ESPN, the 2011 Winmau World Masters, in association with John Smith’s and EY Events, produced a wonderful celebration of the very best in world darts.
Martin Adams started his quest to win a record-breaking four consecutive Men’s Masters titles by losing the opening set against Steve Douglas in the Last 16, but he made no mistake by taking the next 3 to open his account with a 3-1 victory and go into the Quarter Finals with a single dart average of 31.59.
John Walton had a tough start by losing the first set of his match against Glen Durrant 2-0 and it wasn’t until the second leg of the second set that he put his first leg on the board, but still lost the set to the high-scoring Durrant who hit back to back 180’s to go 2-0 up in sets. The in-form Durrant then went on to take out the No.8 Seed who suffered severe doubles problems, with an impressive performance which included five 180’s and a 116 checkout to move on to Sunday’s Quarter Finals. Glen’s single dart average was an impressive 32.46.
Gary Robson confirmed his No.5 seeding status with an impressive 3-1 victory over Andrew Gilding .
England’s Scott Waites, seeded No.4, won the first set of his match with Scotlland’s Ewan Hyslop and then hit a 170 checkout to take the 1st leg of the second set, only to see Ewan level up the set at 1-1. But there was no stopping Scott as he made it 2-0 in sets. He then hit a 164 checkout to take the 2nd leg of the third set and complete a storming performance to win the match 3-0 with a single dart average of 32.13.
No.2 Seed Dean Winstanley overcame a slow and nervous start to win the first set of his match against Dutchman Rick Hofstra and then enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 victory to progress into the Quarter-Finals.
The magical 170 checkout was recorded for the second time in Saturday’s matches when Dutchman Christian Kist hit the highest outshot in the opening set of his match with Tony West. It was his 14th match of the weekend (World Masters and Lakeside Play-Offs). This high calibre match produced at 120 checkout (20 double bullseye) and two 112 checkouts from the fast-throwing West. The score moved to 2-2 in sets and 1-1 in legs for a thrilling tie break. The bull-up was won by Christian who was down to a double before Tony, but the relentless West checked out with a stunning 106 to make the scoreline 3-2. The relatively unknown Kist had to be content with the fact that he is qualified for Lakeside 2012. There were nine 180’s in the match and Kist had a 31.24 single-dart average and Tony a 31.91 single dart average.
Scotland’s Ross Montgomery, the No.6 Seed lived up to his nickname of the Boss by taking the first set in his match against Martin Phillips of Wales. But the Welsh left-hander quickly levelled the scoreline to 1-1 in sets. With Martin on his favoured double-top the odds were on him going 2-1, but he missed and Ross stepped in to take the set to put him in the driving seat at 2-1. A 121 checkout then gave Martin the next set to level again at 2-2 in sets. A 107 checkout gave Ross the opening leg of the next only to see Martin level once more at 1-1 and the bull-up was won by Ross who went on to win with double 10 for a 3-2 victory.
The Robbie Green and Stephen Bunting match was billed as the battle of the giants for good reason, but when Stephen got to the stage he discovered that he’d lost a dart on his walk-on! Thankfully it was found but despite the comical start, it didn’t stop him hitting a 180 in the first leg, but Robbie matched it and then took out 83 with a bull finish. Game on!
Robbie won the 1st set, but it was nip and tuck all the way as Stephen won the 1st leg of the second set with a bull finish of his own, only to see Robbie level at 1-1 in legs before Stephen won the 2nd set. Then after a bout of severe double-trouble Stephen took the next set to go 2-1 up. And then he dominated the last set to win 3-1 and remove the No.3 Seed from the Masters.
It meant that 6 Seeds moved into the Quarter-Finals with the loss of the No.3 and No.8 Seeds.
The climax of the 2011 Winmau World Masters, shown live and exclusively on ESPN, started with the Men’s Quarter Finals and Semi-Finals, followed the the two big Finals – the Women’s World Masters and the Men’s World Masters.
First game up, No.1 Seed and reigning World Masters Champion MARTIN ADAMS versus Glen Durrant ranked 134th in the BDO Invitation Table.
In the opening leg Glen won the game with a 128 bull finish to announce his arrival. But the experienced Adams levelled at 1-1 before a determined Glen took the first set with a double-top finish and then hit his first 180 in the first leg of the 2nd set. But it was Martin who won that leg and then the set.
Martin broke Glen’s throw to open the third set, as the high-scoring from both players continued at a pace as Martin moved into gear to go 2-1 up. Martin then missed double 16 to take the match and Glen levelled at 1-1 in the crucial 4th set. After a valiant battle it was Adams who stayed on course for his record-breaking fourth Masters title with double 10 to be the first player to claim a Semi-Final spot.
There was nothing to choose between Gary Robson and Scott Waites in the second of the Quarter Finals with both scoring high and finishing well to go 1-1 in legs in the opening leg, but it was Big Robbo who put the first set on the board. Scott then took the second set and narrowly missed a 120 checkout to win the opening leg of the thirds set only to see Gary win the leg on double16. Gary then won the 3rd set with a brilliant 121 checkout to go 2-1 up in the match. Scott won the 1st leg of the 4th set with the aid of another 180 and then checked out 72 to make it 2-2 in sets. He then started the 5th set with his fourth 180 to go 1-0 up in legs, but Gary hit back again to force the tie-breaker. Gary won the bull-up but missed d-20 for the match and could do nothing as Scott took out a pressure 94 to win the match and move into the Semi-Final against Martin Adams with another impressive 32.44 single dart average.
Dean Winstanley was back to his devastating best as he won the first leg of his match against 2003 World Master Tony West with two 180’s and a d-18 finish. and then made short work of winning the opening set. But it was Tony who opened the 2nd set with a 180 and a 70 checkout. Dean levelled at 1-1 in legs and then missed double tops as Tony took the set with d-16 to make the match all square at 1-1 in sets. Dean took the next set in this nip and tuck high scoring battle and then an 83 finish from Tony made it 2-2 in sets. A 180 and 140 helped Tony level the next for the second tie-break of the Quarter-Finals. Dean won the bull-up and after missing d-16 went on to go through with d-8 in a match that didn’t deserve a loser,
No.6 Seed Ross Montgomery, the only Scot in the Quarter-Finals, won the first set against the unseeded Stephen Bunting who was struggling with his form. Ross won the second set, but the first leg of the 3rd set went to Bunting, who then missed his doubles to let Ross level at 1-1. He opened the deciding leg of the set with a 180 but a dip in form and missed doubles cost him the match 3-0 and Ross moved into the Semi-Finals.
Martin Adams and Scott Waites opened their Semi in high-scoring style and Scott was favourite to win the first set, but made a mess of his checkout to allow Martin to step in and take it with a 68 checkout.
Martin then went 2-0 up in sets, but in the deciding leg of the third set Scott was up for a 9-darter after back to back 180’s. It wasn’t to be but he still took the set to make it 2-1 and in the next before the first break of the match he took out a 121 bull finish to level at 2-2.
Scott came out of the break to win the first leg of the 5th set, but a 130 checkout from Adams levelled the score at 1-1. However, a resurgent Scott took the next to put him in the lead for the first time in the match 3-2. With a drop in his usual consistency Martin lost the first leg of the 6th set and Scott opened the next with a 180, but a 93 checkout from Adams put him back on track. A 180/140 combination in the next and a d-18 finish levelled the match yet again at 3 sets apiece.
Another 180 in the first leg of the 7th set for Adams continued what can only be described as a ding-dong battle of the very best in world darts. A 122 finish from Scott put him back in front 4-3 and he was just one set away from taking away Wolfie’s dream of four Masters titlesin a row. Scott then checked out the perfect shangai 120 to take the first leg and a 180 in the next made it the end of the road for a brave Adams, who managed a smile as he exited the 2011 Masters still holding that proud record of three titles in a row with Bob Anderson.
Scott hit eight 180’a and had a single dart average of 34.23 (the best of this year’s Masters) and outshots of 121, 122 and 120. Martin Adams had a 33.45 average, hit four 180’s and a 130 outshot.
An always gracious Adams was the first to acknowledge Scott’s outstanding victory.
Dean Winstanley and Ross Montgomery raced into a 1-1 scoreline in the opening set of their Semi, but a 180 in the next and a missed 150 check from Ross right on the wire of d-15, gave Dean the opening set.
Shared legs and a drop in form, together with a messed up checkout cost Dean dearly when Ross checked out on 114 for the second set. Dean then won the next 2 legs and the third set with a cracking 133 checkout to go 2-1 up.
A 60 checkout gave Ross the 1st leg of the next, followed by a 61 to make it 2-2 as they went for the first break. In a messy set after the break both ended up on single 5 in the second leg, but it was Ross who checked out to make it 3-2 to the Scot. Then Dean hit back with relentless scoring to make it 3-3, but then struggled in the next as Ross made it 4-3.
The inconsistency continued in the next, but Dean lifted the mood with a 180 and a 2-0 legs victory to go 4-4. But Dean was still unhappy with his form and both struggled in the opening leg of the 9th set before ending on d-1 which Ross ultimately took out. Inevitably the deciding set ending with a tie-break on 4-4 in sets and 1-1 in legs. Dean won the bull-up and finished on a 62 checkout for victory and a place in the final.
And so, Yorkshire’s two finest darts players, Scott Waites (No.4 Seed) and Dean Winstanley (No.2 Seed) were the perfect opponents for a Winmau World Masters final held at the Hull Arena in their native county and shown live and exclusively on ESPN.
The in-form Waites produced a 180 in the opening leg to make his intentions clear as he won the first set by 2-0 in legs, and then followed up with the second set. Dean took the next to make it 2-1 as both players produced excellent scoring. Scott then took the next to take him into the break at a commanding 3-1 in sets. After the break Scott took the opening set with the aid of yet another 180. And then a 61 checkout for the next and a commanding 4-1 lead. Dean hit a 180 in the deciding leg of the 6th set, and Scott did the same, but Dean was back in business with a 140 checkout to make it 4-2. However, the relentlessly high-scoting Waitescame back to make it 5-2 and was now just two sets away from victory, and then moved even closer still when he went 6-2 up at the second break.
Scott opened with back to back 180’s in the first leg after the break to be on another possible 9-darter. It didn’t happen but he won the leg and then opened the next with yet another 180 and finished the final in some style with a magnificent 161 checkout to become 2011 Winmau World Masters Champion and the very first on ESPN.
And fittingly so because he was the in-form player of the whole tournament and truly deserved to put his name on perhaps the most famous trophy in darts as he was crowned 2011 Winmau World Masters Champion.
It was a case of ‘Beam Me Up Scotty’ as he took the title with a breathtaking level of high scoring and big checkouts. He scored six 180’s and his checkouts were 102, 138 and 161 to win the title. His single dart average in the final was 33.54 and Dean’s was a very respectable 31.95.
In the Women’s Masters England teamates TRINA GULLIVER and LISA ASHTON contested the final.
Lisa came through a tough match with Merryl Dennis which went to 3-3 and was decided on a tie-break leg in which Lisa won the bull up, and then finished with a bullseye to take the match 4-3 to become the first lady into the 2011 Final.
Trina was totally focused in her match against defending 2010 Champion Julie Gore of Wales and went into a commanding 3-0 lead before Julie made it 3-1. But the Golden Girl eventually won the match 4-1 with a double 18 finish to march into the 2011 Final.
Trina holds the record as a 5 times Women^s World Master: 2000 and then 4 in a row 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 and as a Winmau sponsored player, she was keen to make it 6 of the best in the 2011 final.
She opened her account in typically determined style as she took the opening leg against Lisa but she faltered on an unfancied d-7 in the next and Lisa hit back by taking the next two legs when Trina again stumbled on d-5. A strangely out of sorts Trina just couldn’t find the form that has made her so dominant in the women’s game, and it was Lisa Ashton who was crowned 2011 Winmau World Women’s Master with an impressive 4-1 victory. Completing a successful weekend in which she also qualified for the 2012 Lakeside World Professional.
The young stars of the future competed in the Boys and Girls Winmau World Masters and the 2011 Champions are: BOYS WORLD MASTER: JIMMY HENDRIKS (Neth) who beat Jake Jones of England 4-2 in the final. GIRLS WORLD MASTER: EMILY DAVIDSON (SCOT) who beat Alannah Waters (Wales) 4-0 in the final.