Tag Archives: John Henderson

The World Grand Prix: A Celebration

The PDC’s only event that is not ‘straight start’ 501, The World Grand Prix, is unique and, as a result, is beloved by many. Combined with its Dublin* home, and history of early-round shocks, the double start format ensures that there is always something to talk about and that the atmosphere is different to that of the other major events.

Despite these distinct features, there are very few names on the Trophy itself. Phil Taylor collected 11 titles, during his dominant spells, yet even he was unable to put together a run of more than three in a row. Other than The Power only MVG has managed more than two crowns. 

Yet the array of those who have reached the final is perhaps the best measure of the reason the WGP still holds a fascination.

Shayne Burgess, Roland Scholten, Harrington, Warriner, Part and Barney all featured early on, but it’s players like Brendan Dolan and Dave Chisnall, Dirk van Duijvenbode and Merv King’s comeback run that demonstrate how the event can change lives and secure careers.

Other players have broken through or grabbed attention at the WGP. John Henderson gave perhaps the best examples of his huge talent, prior to the recent World Cup, with his run in 2011 and his later defeat of MVG (in his pomp). Mark Hylton reached the Qtr finals during the same time, Richard North also grabbed the spotlight.

The event being staged away from the usual UK venues, but without the logistical stresses and strains of complex travel, and with a pair of Pro Tours attached, lent the event a different nature to the other majors. Newly qualified players had time to settle and enjoy the experience often staying with a group of their peers for some of the time.

As one may expect the hospitality and friendly nature of Dublin and Ireland also plays a role. Returning players often met the same fans, friends, staff and officials for many years in succession. Familiarity breeds relaxation and comfortable players often produce their best.

This year is particularly difficult to predict and we may see shocks aplenty or none at all. Only two players have ever retained the title, MVG is returning to form. Wright has begun to develop a method of producing his best at the biggest events and Price is looking devastating in ranking events.

So, seeds falling everywhere or business as usual? At the WGP neither would be a surprise.

Roll of Honour

1998 Phil Taylor def Rod Harrington 13-8

1999 Phil Taylor def Shayne Burgess 6-1

2000 Phil Taylor def Shayne Burgess 6-1

2001 Alan Warriner def Roland Scholten 8-2

2002 Phil Taylor def John Part 7-3

2003 Phil Taylor def John Part 7-2

2004 Colin Lloyd def Alan Warriner 7-3

2005 Phil Taylor def Colin Lloyd 7-1

2006 Phil Taylor def Terry Jenkins 7-4

2007 James Wade def Terry Jenkins 6-3

2008 Phil Taylor def Raymond van Barneveld 6-2

2009 Phil Taylor def Raymond van Barneveld 6-3

2010 James Wade def Adrian Lewis 6-2

2011 Phil Taylor def Brendan Dolan 6-3

2012 Michael van Gerwen def Mervyn King 6-4

2013 Phil Taylor def Dave Chisnall 6-0

2014 Michael van Gerwen def James Wade 5-3

2015 Robert Thornton def Michael van Gerwen 5-4

2016 Michael van Gerwen def Gary Anderson 5-2

2017 Daryl Gurney def Simon Whitlock 5-4

2018 Michael van Gerwen def Peter Wright 5-2

2019 Michael van Gerwen def Dave Chisnall 5-2

2020 Gerwyn Price def Dirk van Duijvenbode 5-2

2021 ?

—–ENDS—-

AIM Adjuster with additional material from JR Lott
Lead Image: Lawrence Lustig (PDC)

* The WGPs of 2020 and 2021 have been held at the Morningside Arena in Leister due to Covid-19 complications

Titanic Tartan Tungsten Tossing

Scotland secured glory at the World Cup of Darts for a second time as Peter Wright and John Henderson defeated Austria’s Mensur Suljovic and Rowby-John Rodriguez 3-1 in Sunday’s final.

Wright had linked up with Gary Anderson to win the World Cup two years ago, and this time helped ensure the greatest day of Henderson’s career as they scooped the £70,000 top prize.

The pair had seen off China and Poland to win through to Sunday’s final stages, and overcame two former champions to continue their title bid.

They firstly came from one point behind to win their quarter-final against the Netherlands in a dramatic sudden-death leg of their Doubles decider against Michael van Gerwen and Dirk van Duijvenbode.

The duo then ended Wales’ title defence in a brilliant semi-final which also went to a sudden-death leg in their Doubles contest.

Austria, meanwhile, survived three missed match darts from Northern Ireland’s Brendan Dolan in a sudden-death leg in their quarter-final and then defeated England 2-0 to reach their first World Cup final.

Suljovic got Austria off to a flying start in the final by defeating Henderson 4-1 – hitting a 160 finish along the way – only for Wright to overcome Rodriguez by the same scoreline to level.

A dramatic Doubles tie saw Austria open up a 3-0 lead, only to miss five match darts as Scotland pulled back level.

Suljovic then missed two darts at tops in the deciding leg as Henderson held his nerve on double ten to put Scotland 2-1 up and one tie away from victory.

That came in the next Singles clash, as Wright opened up a 2-0 lead over Suljovic and also took out 156 before holding off his rival’s fightback to finish double 16 and seal glory for the Scots.

“To go back home as World Cup champions, I’m speechless,” admitted Henderson. “To win this means everything – it’s my first PDC title and it’s been an honour to play with Peter.

“How he kept his nerve in that last game I don’t know. It’s been a team effort but I think we’ve been the best side throughout the whole tournament. 

“It’s a team game but he’s a legend. I’ve got to thank Peter for everything he’s done this week and all the advice.

“He has mentored me and I can’t thank him enough. He’s captained me so well and looked after me this weekend, and I believe his captaincy won this for us.”

The victory was the biggest of Henderson’s career and also secures him a spot in November’s Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts.

“It’s fantastic for Scotland and I’m going to enjoy this,” he said. “Hopefully I can kick-start my own career and this is the start of many things to come.”

Wright had won the World Matchplay in July and Sunday’s success in Jena ensured back-to-back TV titles and his second World Cup success.

“It means so much to me,” said an emotional world number two. “Every time I play I’m putting everything on the line.

“We had the hardest draw but John helped to carry me through. He stood up proud and hit the doubles to get us into the final.

“It was a privilege to play with him – John’s going to take over the world now like Jonny Clayton did after winning it last year.”

The Austrian duo have also put themselves in provisional qualifying places for the Grand Slam of Darts after they enjoyed their country’s best-ever World Cup campaign.

For Suljovic, the weekend in Jena was a successful return to the big stage after missing the World Matchplay through illness.

“It’s a brilliant feeling,” said Suljovic. “I’m so happy I’m back.

“After three months out I said I would give my best but asked Rowby to help me. I’m so happy to be in the final with my best friend.”

Rodriguez, meanwhile, was appearing in his first televised final since the 2014 World Youth Championship decider, and is hoping to use the success as a springboard for his career.

“Of course if you lose the final you’re disappointed, but for me there’s happiness to get to the final,” said Rodriguez.

“We didn’t expect anything – we were not seeded and we went to the final. If you’re in the final you want to be the champion, but unfortunately we didn’t.

“I played really good in the semi-final but I didn’t play my game in the final. We shouldn’t have lost the Doubles game when we were 3-0 up.”

England’s James Wade and Dave Chisnall ended host nation Germany’s hopes in the quarter-finals with a 2-0 success as they dropped just one leg against Gabriel Clemens and Max Hopp.

Wales had continued their title defence with a 2-0 quarter-final defeat of Australia, although they required a 144 checkout from Clayton to snatch victory in the second Singles tie against Damon Heta.

2021 Cazoo World Cup of Darts
Sunday September 12
Afternoon Session 
Quarter-Finals
Austria 2-1 Northern Ireland
Singles One: Mensur Suljovic 3-4 Brendan Dolan 
Singles Two: Rowby-John Rodriguez 4-2 Daryl Gurney 
Doubles: Austria 4-3 Northern Ireland 

England 2-0 Germany
Singles One: James Wade 4-1 Gabriel Clemens
Singles Two: Dave Chisnall 4-0 Max Hopp
Doubles (not required): 

Wales 2-0 Australia
Singles One: Gerwyn Price 4-1 Simon Whitlock
Singles Two: Jonny Clayton 4-3 Damon Heta 
Doubles (not required): 

Netherlands 1-2 Scotland
Singles One: Michael van Gerwen 4-1 John Henderson
Singles Two: Dirk van Duijvenbode 1-4 Peter Wright
Doubles: Netherlands 3-4 Scotland

Evening Session 
Semi-Finals
England 0-2 Austria
Singles One: James Wade 1-4 Mensur Suljovic
Singles Two: Dave Chisnall 1-4 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Doubles (not required): 

Wales 1-2 Scotland
Singles One: Gerwyn Price 2-4 John Henderson
Singles Two: Jonny Clayton 4-2 Peter Wright
Doubles: Wales 3-4 Scotland

Final
Austria 1-3 Scotland
Singles One: Mensur Suljovic 4-1 John Henderson
Singles Two: Rowby-John Rodriguez 1-4 Peter Wright
Doubles: Austria 3-4 Scotland
Singles Three: Mensur Suljovic 2-4 Peter Wright
Singles Four (not required): Rowby-John Rodriguez v John Henderson

——-ENDS—–
​​​​​​​Lead Image: (Kais Bodensieck, PDC Europe)PDC

Durrant Leads ‘Contenders’to Replace Anderson in Premier League

Anderson is suffering from injury. Pic: PDC

Sadly, Gary Anderson has had to withdraw from this year’s Premier League due to a troublesome back injury that has had bothered him for some time. After frenzied speculation, the PDC has opted not to replace him directly, which must upset Simon Whitlock immensely, and instead invite six up and coming players to gain experience of the event.

A combination of recent performances, geography and commercial factors seem to have been taken into account. Three-time & reigning BDO World Champion Glenn Durrant will lead of ‘The Contenders Team’ in Glasgow next week.  There was much gossip that Durrant would be invited straight into the League as a straight replacement. However, the potential backlash against a player who only won his PDC tour card a couple of weeks ago seems to have weighed against that option.

Most of the other players are those who have had good success, at various levels, in recent times and are linked to the locations where they have been invited to play. Steve Lennon will play in Dublin, John Henderson in Aberdeen, Dimitri Van Den Bergh appears in Rotterdam along with Jeffrey De Zwann, Max Hopp is rewarded for his wins last year with a home appearance in Berlin. Three 2019 World Championship stars are rewarded with places. Nathan Aspinall will appear in Nottingham, Luke Humphries in Exeter and Chris Dobey in Newcastle.

Nathan Aspinall
Young Nathan Aspinall will play the
Premier League in Nottingham 2019

These contenders may have a big influence on the 2019 event. They are financially and otherwise incentivised to win their games and those they play will keep the points should they defeat the newcomers. It is highly likely that these matches will have effects on who goes home on elimination night and the finishing positions overall.

Personally, I would not be happy to draw Duzza or The ASP, whilst Chris Dobey & John Henderson in their native lands could be very hard to handle.