Wicked Whitlock Wows Wollongong Again

Wicked Whitlock Wows Wollongong Again

14 August, 2023

Simon Whitlock claimed back-to-back First Round victories at the New South Wales Darts Masters, after clinching a last leg decider to defeat recent World Matchplay champion Nathan Aspinall and delight his supporting home fans.

The Wizard defeated fellow Winmau player and former three-time World Champion Michael van Gerwen at the same stage in Wollongong 12 months ago and repeated the trick, with 6 180s and a 99.63 average against the World Number 5.

The PDC made its annual return down under for the World Series, with Welsh duo Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton as well as Michael van Gerwen claiming the three competitions held last year. 2023 saw only 2 competitions take place with the removal of the Queensland Darts Masters this time around, but it was another high quality showing of darts for audiences in Australia and New Zealand.

Rob Cross claimed both titles in Wollongong and Hamilton, defeating Nathan Aspinall 8-7 at the Globox Arena to win the 2023 New Zealand Darts Masters. Voltage returned a week later and defeated home favourite Damon Heta 8-1 in the Final of the New South Wales Darts Masters.

The seeds for the upcoming World Series of Darts Finals are now confirmed, with the competition set to take place on September 15-17th as Gerwyn Price returns to defend his title. The Iceman will be ranked as the 2nd seed for the competition, with Cross’ double down under taking him to the top of the 2023 World Series Order of Merit.

Darren Herewini who has excelled on the NZDC Circuit appeared at the New Zealand Darts Masters, having impressed in 2023 with victories in the NZDC Singles Championships and the Mixed Pairs Event in Motueka.

Apocalypse fell to a 6-1 defeat in the First Round against PDC Star Damon Heta but will have benefitted from the opportunity to play in front of his home fans at the Globox Arena, gaining big stage experience in Hamilton.

Peter Wright came close to a second World Series title of the year after reaching the Semi Finals in Wollongong, having claimed the Nordic Darts Masters at the start of the year, where he beat Michael van Gerwen, Michael Smith and Gerwyn Price to clinch victory in Copenhagen.

Snakebite will appear at the World Series of Darts Finals in September after finishing 6th on the Order of Merit ahead of Matchplay Champion Nathan Aspinall and 5-time Euro Tour winner Luke Humphries.

Wright included a 46.15% checkout rate in defeating hometown favourite Darren Penhall 6-2 in the First Round, before clinching a 6-3 victory in the Quarter Finals against reigning World Champion Michael Smith.

The Pro Tour returns at the end of the month in Hildesheim for Players Championships 17 and 18 from Halle 39, followed by a Pro Tour triple header at the start of September from the Barnsley Metrodome all live on PDCTV.

By Harry Masterson

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