The European Tour is back this weekend as the Dutch Darts Masters gets played out in Maastricht. With places at the European Championship up for grabs this will be an important weekend for a number of players.
Most of the tour have decided to give this event a miss which is understandable after the great and the good have been gallivanting around Australia and New Zealand recently but we do have Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright heading the field.
2016 – Michael van Gerwen
2015 – Michael van Gerwen
2014 – Michael van Gerwen
2013 – Kim Huybrechts
2012 – Simon Whitlock
The format of these events are well known now. The qualifiers have been played out and on Saturday the 16 seeds enter the tournament. They play a qualifier each in a pre-determined draw with the competition concluding from the last 16 stage on Sunday. Each match is the best of 11 legs throughout the event.
Michael van Gerwen is back in action this week and he is in this half of the draw as the number one seed. This half looks very strong with the other seeds in it being of decent quality. They are Mervyn King, Benito van de Pas, Daryl Gurney, Michael Smith, Joe Cullen, Simon Whitlock and Cristo Reyes.
Some of the qualifiers set a decent standard too. They are headed by Kyle Anderson and Rowby-John Rodriguez. The other qualifiers in this half are Jeffrey de Zwaan, Nathan Aspinall, Steve West, Jimmy Hendriks, Kirk Shepherd and Robert Owen.
This half is headlined by Peter Wright with Mensur Suljovic another high ranked player in this part of the draw. Rob Cross is one of the seeded players here with Kim Huybrechts, Jelle Klaasen, Ian White, Alan Norris and Gerwyn Price being the other ones.
You would have to say the qualifiers in this section are not the strongest in quality in terms of ranking. They are Jim Walker, Jamie Lewis, Christian Kist, Krzysztof Ratajski, John Henderson, Mike de Decker, Steve Beaton and Martin Schindler.
This could well be a weak where we get a different winner to normal. This is Michael van Gerwen’s first tournament since the birth of his first child while Wright won’t have been back from Perth for very long.
Despite that I’m keen to avoid MVG for as long as possible so my outright bet is coming from the bottom half of the draw and it comes in the form of Alan Norris. ‘Chuck’ knows how to go all the way in these sorts of events and he looked good in the World Matchplay recently. If he can nail his doubles from early on the draw could certainly have been a lot harder for him. With his scoring power I would expect him to make the quarter final and it will be anyone’s from there.
Back A.Norris to win Dutch Darts Masters (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 51.00 with William Hill (1/3 1-2)