We will find out the identity of the seven men who will compete in the Championship Group of the PDC Home Tour II tournament on Wednesday when the third and final phase three section is played out across the homes of the players yet to compete this week.
We know four of the seven who will compete for the title next Tuesday and the final three men will be finalised on Wednesday, two of whom will qualify automatically and a third who will progress from this group if the person who finished third has more than eight points or a better leg difference than +5 if they end on exactly eight.
Each day seven players will be in action on their home oches in a group stage format looking to progress. In every group in the tournament the seven players will each play each other once. In the first round the top three players in each group and the five best fourth-placed players go through to the second stage. Five groups are played out in the second phase with the top four in each making it through to the third stage along with the best fifth-placed player. The final stage begins with three more groups with the top two in each and the best third-placed player qualifying for the Championship Group where the champion is crowned. Each match throughout is the best of nine legs and the tournament will be streamed live on PDCTV or the consoles on the bookmaker websites.
Phase 3 Group 2 Recap
Like most people who know their darts I expected Krzysztof Ratajski to win the second of the three Phase 3 groups on Tuesday and he didn’t let us down in that regard. For the third time in a row he was actually just one win away from a clean sweep in his group but he did more than enough to claim one of the qualifying spots. The other was taken by Ross Smith who edged out Chris Dobey on leg difference after both picked up four wins from their six matches. Smith went through in second but Dobey won’t be going through as his leg difference wasn’t enough to better the third placed finisher from the opening group. As well as Dobey, Nick Kenny, Joe Murnan, Ryan Meikle and Marko Kantele saw their title hopes end.
It wasn’t a busy day by any means for us on a betting front as we only went in with one bet over the course of it but we are topping up the profit quite nicely at the minute as our punt came in relatively stress free when Nick Kenny beat Joe Murnan 5-1. The 4/5 price was pretty standard fayre for us betting wise but it is another 2.4pts added to the tally which will hopefully continue to add up in the remaining two days of the competition.
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Phase 3 Group 3 Line Up
With no disrespect intended to those who competed in the first two groups of this stage, this third and final one looks the pick of them by far and we are guaranteed to lose some big names from this section. He isn’t the favourite for the group but Jonny Clayton is a member of the top 16 and made the final group in Home Tour I and he could take some beating here. The extremely talented Luke Humphries is the favourite to win the group while Gabriel Clemens is rated as a strong chance with the bookmakers.
Four other players will be looking to force their way into the top two if not win the group. Two of those are established at the top level in Jermaine Wattimena and Kim Huybrechts, although it is fair to say that they will both have something to find on the main three. The other two in the group are less established in Bradley Brooks and Kirk Shepherd although the former has been in good form recently and the latter showed that he is at his best when he is written off when he made the world final more than a decade ago.
This should be the hardest fought group title of the lot. There are five players who can genuinely hold big claims for winning this group. My hunch is that Jonny Clayton is the one to be on but 3/1 in such a competitive section isn’t really for me. Luke Humphries can’t be ignored either but I’d be wanting a bit more than 13/5 if I was going to take him as you would think five wins will be needed to land this section so he’ll need to be at his best consistently.
That is not to suggest that Gabriel Clemens is not a runner in this group either and it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise if those three are battling out the two qualifying spots late into the day. I think Jermaine Wattimena and in particular Kim Huybrechts deserve a mention and there is a case for the latter being value at 10/1 but he would need his very best to come through here. Bradley Brooks is another who shouldn’t be dismissed but I expect one of the big three to win the group, I just don’t know who it will be.
I’ll finish this round of groups with just the one bet which comes relatively early in the day as Jonny Clayton takes on Gabriel Clemens in what will actually be one of the better matches of the day if both play to their form. I do believe Clayton is just about the better player of the two right now though and when you add into that he is the man with the throw then he is the player I think should be backed at 5/6 to win.
Clemens did well to come through to this group because in the last group he actually lost a couple of his matches 5-0 which suggests when it goes wrong for the German it goes disastrously wrong and we actually saw elements of that in the World Grand Prix last week when he lost out to Jeffrey de Zwaan in a match he never really got involved in. Clayton seems to relish his home setup and has played his surroundings very well. The rankings show the Welshman is the better player and he has the throw so that 5/6 is a bit bigger than it should be.
WON – Back J.Clayton to beat G.Clemens for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with BetVictor
Back him here: