The PDC showpiece may have come and gone at the Alexandra Palace, and many darts fans may be suffering from withdrawal symptoms. They won’t have to wait long however, thanks to the BDO Worlds taking place at the Lakeside Country Club this Saturday. Easily the premier event in the BDO calendar, fans will be flocking to Frimley Green to see the best the BDO has to offer. Here is all you need to know ahead of the prestigious event.
Much like last year, Glen Durrant will start as the hot favourite for the Lakeside crown this time around having dominated the BDO season. Ranked number one, he has eleven titles to his name in 2016 including the majors of the World and Zuiderduin Masters. As is traditional for this time of year, rumours are afoot of the Middlesbrough darter making the switch to the PDC as soon as this tournament concludes. Fans who wish to see such a move got a tantalising glimpse into how he might fare at this year’s Grand Slam, where he defeated Alan Norris and Nathan Derry, before pushing Raymond van Barneveld all the way in the last 16.
Durrant opens up against Lakeside debutant Nick Kenny in the tournaments opening match-up.
In the women’s tournament, it is much harder to call with 2016’s major tournament wins being shared amongst the familiar big-hitters. Anastacia Dobromyslova (pictured) has come into form just at the right time triumphing at the Zuiderduin Masters for the third time. Defending champion Trina Gulliver took the World Masters crown for the sixth occasion and Lisa Ashton defended her World Trophy title back in May. You’d be hard pushed to write off Deta Hedman who eclipsed over a hundred tournament wins in 2016, and has no less than 17 titles to her name for the last year.
The Chasing Pack
Durrant won’t have it all his own way in the men’s draw with a veritable queue of players aiming to topple him. Jamie Hughes, Daryl Fitton, Jeff Smith and Danny Noppert all shone on the PDC stage at the Grand Slam in November where they all made the last 16. Don’t rule out 2015 champ Scott Mitchell who has six ranking semi-finals to his name in 2016 as well as the Isle of Man Classic title. He also took the scalp the Adrian Lewis at the Grand Slam averaging over 107. Reigning champion Scott Waites (pictured) has been out of sorts of late, but did triumph at the European Darts Classic in July. The Yorkshireman is unlikely to give up his title without a fight however.
In the women’s draw, Aileen de Graaf is arguably one to watch with the 26 year-old having won five titles in the past year.
The Young Guns
The highly touted Dean Reynolds is surely one to keep an eye on having won the PDC Development Tour Order of Merit in 2016 after five tournament victories. The 24 year-old has in fact secured a PDC Tour Card for 2017 but there is no word yet on whether the Welshman will be making the switch once Lakeside is over. Like Reynolds, 22 year-old Jimmy Hendriks has also been on the PDC Development Tour over the last year and competed in the PDC World Youth Championship. The Dutchman will have fond memories of his Lakeside debut in 2013 as a teenager when he beat Marin Adams.
20 year-old Casey Gallagher returns to Lakeside for the third time but still chases her first victory at the event.
Martin Adams returns for his 23rd straight Lakeside appearance. The three-time champion has had a difficult year overcoming prostate cancer. The 60 year-old crowd favourite has been understandably struggling for form of late but did reach the last eight of the Zuiderduin Masters last month.
Ten-time champion Trina Gulliver has competed in all of the Women’s World Championships since its inception in 2001. 2017 marks her 17th straight appearance.
The Unfortunate Records
Crowd favourite Silverback Tony O’Shea has surprisingly lost his last four matches at the BDO Worlds, with three first round defeats to his name since he was runner-up in 2013.
Daryl Fitton has gone out in the first round on eight separate occasions, but if he does make it past the debuting Wouter Vaes, it bodes well as he has at least made the last eight six times when he has won his first match.
Phil Blackwell, Willem Mandigers and Dave Cameron both await their first win at the BDO Worlds, with seven first round defeats between them.
Geert de Vos (pictured) has lost in the last 16 for the past five years, losing to the eventual champion on four of those occasions.
There will be 15 debuts across the two draws at this Championship.
Arguably the most exciting in the men’s will be Danny Noppert, winner of five ranking titles in 2016. He impressed at the Grand Slam too, averaging over 100 beating Mensur Suljovic and picked up another win over Nathan Aspinall. He missed out in a last leg decider against Gary Anderson, where he again averaged over 100. He has been quick to dispel rumours of a switch to the PDC however, stating that he wants to “go further in the BDO” in 2017.
In the women’s draw, Canada’s Patricia Farrell will take to the Lakeside stage for the first time after coming through qualifying. Farrell has been playing darts for over two decades but has never reached the Worlds before now.
Spare a thought for those not present at Lakeside. Crowd favourites and former winners Andy “The Viking” Fordham and Ted “The Count” Hankey both missed out in Qualifying. Gary Robson also won’t be returning to Lakeside for a 14th straight appearance.
Latvian Madars Razma couldn’t make it four straight Lakeside visits and has in fact entered PDC Q-School later this month to win a place on the PDC Main Tour.
This will also be the first time the tournament is screened on Channel 4. But there will be no place for former Bullseye commentator Tony Green who wasn’t picked up by the broadcaster. He has since retired from broadcasting.
There will be an international flavour to the preliminary rounds as always, and two debut at Lakeside having previously competed at Ally Pally.
Dennis Nilsson was at the 2012 PDC Worlds and represented Sweden at the 2012 World Cup. New Zealand’s Mark McGrath competed at the 2015 Worlds but failed to win a leg against Scott Kirchner.
Photos courtesy of DG Media
All the afternoon coverage of the BDO World Championship will be on Channel 4, while all the evening sessions will be on BT Sport. You can view the whole tournament live in Rileys Sports Bars.