Colin Osborne provided the shock of day four in ousting number 13 seed Kevin Painter in a scintillating performance. Painter, finalist in 2004, battled hard but couldn’t get his nose in front and Osborne deservedly booked his place in round two. He hit seven 180’s and looked cool on stage as Painter snarled and growled but failed to find his top form. Next up for Osborne is Wes Newton and he has every chance of progressing further on this form.
All the other games of the day went with the seeds. Dave Askew overcame a virus to take out Martin Burchell and set up a second round clash with Alan Caves. Andy Smith whitewashed Shi Yongsheng of China and Wes Newton did the same to Japan’s Tetsuya Wada. Both players cruised through with breaking sweat and can expect a sterner test in the next round. Smith faces Andy Jenkins while Newton comes up against an impressive looking Colin Osborne.
Jenkins overcame American Bill Davis 3-1 and dedicated his victory to his recently deceased father. The other US qualifier John Kuczynski faired no better in going down 3-1 to Mark Dudbridge. Dudbridge, using new darts, found some of the form that got him to a world final, hitting six 180’s and playing some sublime stuff. He’ll be hoping to end an unconvincing 2006 on a high and faces Andy Hamilton next.
Roland Scholten and Alex Roy were the other two seeds to go through and both strolled to victory dropping just one leg each in winning 3-0. Scholten looked very impressive and will be a force this year on this form. He will play Alex Roy next after Roy coasted through at the expense of Richie Burnett. Burnett had qualified through the PDPA qualifiers and was coming into this week in good form. Roy added some quality to his bravado though and never gave the Welshman a look in.
Day Four Results – First Round – Thursday 21 December
Dave Askew 3-2 Martin Burchell
Andy Smith 3-0 Shi Yongsheng
Wes Newton 3-0 Tetsuya Wada
Andy Jenkins 3-1 Bill Davis
Mark Dudbridge 3-1 John Kuczynski
Roland Scholten 3-0 Ron Miller
Kevin Painter 1-3 Colin Osborne
Alex Roy 3-0 Richie Burnett