2017 William Hill World Championship – Day Three Preview
Saturday at the 2017 William Hill World Championship sees the first double session of the tournament, with eight matches spread across the afternoon and evening.
Headlining the day is the world number one Michael van Gerwen, he will be aiming to make a statement of intent as he starts his quest for a second world title.
Here are my previews for all of today’s matches.
Saturday December 17
Afternoon Session (1pm)
Tengku Shah v Masumi Chino – Preliminary Round
- Tengku Shah is making his World Championship debut having won through the South Asian qualifying tournament, going one step further than last year when he lost to Thanawat Gaweenuntavong in the final qualifying match.
- Masumi Chino will also be making his World Championship debut; He very nearly qualified for the 2015 PDC World Championship but lost out in a last leg decider against former World Championship participant Haruki Muramatsu in the final qualifying match.
- Chino has featured in the two World Series of Darts tournaments held in Japan over the past couple of years, he lost to 6-3 to Michael van Gerwen earlier this year and 6-2 to Phil Taylor in 2015.
Head to Head
This is their first competitive encounter.
Terry Jenkins (18) v Josh Payne
- Jenkins is competing at the PDC World Championships for the 13th consecutive year. His best performance at a World Championship was a semi-final appearance in 2011.
- He has been defeated in the first round only once in his last 7 World Championship appearances, ironically that first round defeat came in a match where he also hit a 9 dart finish (vs Per Laursen at the 2014 World Championship).
- Overall Jenkins has played a total of 11 best of 5 set World Championship matches and won 8 of them.
- This is a World Championship debut for Josh Payne; the closest he came to qualifying previously was when he lost to Matt Clark in the quarter-finals of the PDPA qualifying tournament for the 2014 World Championship.
- Payne won his first PDC ranking tournament earlier this year when he defeated James Wade in the final of a Players Championship tournament in April.
- He made it through to the last 16 of the Players Championship Finals recently where he ran into Michael van Gerwen, the 10-2 scoreline didn’t do Payne justice as he averaged over 99 in a very spirited performance.
Head to Head (Terry Jenkins leads 2-1)
Terry Jenkins has won 2 of their 3 previous encounters but their last meeting went the way of Josh Payne when he won 6-5 in a Players Championship tournament in October. This will be the first time they have met on the TV stage.
John Henderson (31) v Andrew Gilding
- This will be John Henderson’s 5th PDC World Championship tournament appearance and his 7th overall having featured twice at the Lakeside during his time in the BDO.
- He has exited the tournament in the first round in 3 of his 4 appearances at the Alexandra Palace, losing to John Part, Vincent van der Voort and last year to Darren Webster.
- His only match win at the PDC World Championship came 3 years ago when he shocked the number 7 seed Dave Chisnall in the opening round, Henderson then lost to Mark Webster in round two in a game that went to extra legs in the 7th and final set, Henderson had missed darts at a double to win the match 4-2.
- Gilding is returning to the PDC World Championship for the 3rd consecutive year having made his debut in the 2015 tournament.
- Both of his previous first round matches at the World Championship have only lasted 3 sets. He lost 3-0 to Robert Thornton on his debut and last year he defeated Gerwyn Price 3-0. After beating Price he then lost 4-0 to Adrian Lewis in round two in a match where Lewis averaged over 103.
- Gilding’s best performance in a ranking tournament during 2016 has been a semi-final appearance at a Players Championship tournament in July.
Head to Head (Henderson leads 2-1)
Although Henderson has won 2 out of their 3 previous meetings it was Gilding who triumphed the last time they met, which was at a Players Championship tournament in Barnsley earlier this year. Henderson’s two wins came in European Tour events during 2015 and include a 6-0 win in the German Darts Masters; Henderson went on to reach the final of that tournament.
Benito van de Pas (15) v Shah/Chino
Van de Pas
- 23 year old Benito van de Pas has already played in 5 World Championship tournaments (2 in the PDC and 3 in the BDO).
- He has reached the last 16 in each of the two years he has competed at the PDC World Championship.
- His most notable win on the Alexandra Palace stage was when he defeated the number 8 seed Dave Chisnall in the 2nd round at the 2015 World Championship.
- Van de Pas has had a successful year on the PDC tour having won 3 Players Championship tournaments and as a result has broken into the top 16 in the PDC Order of Merit.
Head to Head
Benito van de Pas hasn’t previously met either Shah or Chino in a competitive match.
Evening Session (7pm)
Ross Snook v Kim Viljanen – Preliminary Round
- Canadian Ross Snook is making his World Championship debut at this year’s tournament. He qualified courtesy of winning the North American qualifier back in August.
- On his way to qualification he defeated three-time World Champion John Part, former UK Open finalist Gary Mawson and regular World Championship qualifier Darin Young.
- Kim Viljanen is appearing at the PDC World Championship for the 3rd consecutive year having made his debut in the 2015 tournament.
- This will be the 3rd time he has played in a preliminary round match. On his debut he lost to Sascha Stein and last year he defeated Sven Groen before losing 3-0 to Kevin Painter in the first round.
- Viljanen earned his spot in the tournament by finishing top of the SDC (Scandinavian) Order of Merit ahead of Magnus Caris.
Head to Head
This will be the first competitive meeting between Snook and Viljanen.
Cristo Reyes (32) v Dimitri Van den Bergh
- Reyes is returning to the PDC World Championship for the 3rd time, he announced himself to the darting world here two years ago when he knocked out seeded players Wes Newton and Kevin Painter before losing 4-1 to eventual champion Gary Anderson in the last 16.
- Reyes had won the opening set of his match against Anderson without conceding a leg and averaged 116 in doing so, only for Anderson to turn on the style and win the next 4 sets.
- Last year he suffered a disappointing first round defeat to Wes Newton who exacted revenge for the previous year’s defeat; Newton averaged only 77.8 in beating Reyes last year.
Van den Bergh
- Dimitri Van den Bergh made his World Championship debut last year and he made an instant impact by defeating the number nine seed Ian White 3-1 in the opening round. His tournament ended in the next round though with a 4-2 loss to Benito van de Pas.
- In September Van den Bergh reached his first PDC ranking semi-final at a Players Championship tournament in Barnsley, on his way to reaching that semi-final he defeated Cristo Reyes 6-3 in the quarter-final.
Head to Head (They have won 2 matches each)
This will be their fifth meeting overall and their fourth during 2016. Van den Bergh has won 2 of their 3 encounters this year and won their most recent meeting which was their quarter-final match at the Players Championship tournament as mentioned above.
Stephen Bunting (16) v Darren Webster
- 2014 Lakeside World Champion Stephen Bunting is making his 10th World Championship tournament appearance and his 3rd since his switch to the PDC.
- He has won both of his two previous first round matches at the PDC World Championship, winning 3-1 and 3-0 against Robert Marijanovic and Jyhan Artut respectively.
- Bunting’s World Championship hopes have been ended by Raymond van Barneveld in each of the last two years, both matches went all the way to a last set decider.
- Bunting hasn’t reached a major semi-final since the UK Open in 2015 but he did claim a ranking tournament triumph in 2016, he won a Players Championship tournament back in March beating Adrian Lewis, Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen along the way.
- Darren Webster made his PDC World Championship debut back in the 2006 tournament at the Circus Tavern and this will be his 7th overall appearance.
- His best performance in a World Championship came in 2007 when he reached the quarter-finals before losing to Phil Taylor. Earlier in that tournament Webster had beaten former World Champion Bob Anderson.
- Webster has beaten a seeded player in round one in each of the last two years at the World Championship, he upset number seven seed Simon Whitlock in the 2015 tournament and last year accounted for John Henderson who was seeded number thirty two.
- Overall he has won three World Championship first round matches and all were won by a 3-1 scoreline.
- Webster has reached 3 ranking semi-finals during 2016; the most recent was at the recent Players Championship Finals where he led van Gerwen 6-0 before finally losing 11-8. The semi-final against van Gerwen came only a matter of weeks after Webster defeated Phil Taylor 5-0 in their Grand Slam of Darts group match.
Head to Head (Bunting leads 2-1)
Bunting and Webster have met 3 times previously; all were matches in Players Championship tournaments so this is their first meeting in a major TV tournament. The last time they faced each other was in August when Bunting took the honours with a 6-3 win.
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Snook/Viljanen
- 2014 World Champion Michael van Gerwen will be competing at his 11th World Championship tournament; this is his 10th consecutive appearance at the PDC World Championship.
- This will be the 4th time in 5 years that van Gerwen has faced the winner of a preliminary round match in the first round at the World Championship and it will be the 5th year in a row that he has faced a preliminary round winner in the tournament as he also played prelim round winner Sascha Stein in the second round in the 2015 World Championship.
- The only unseeded player van Gerwen has lost to at the PDC World Championship is Mensur Suljovic, van Gerwen was beaten 3-1 by the Suljovic in the first round 6 years ago and that was also the last time MvG exited the tournament in the first round.
- Van Gerwen has won all 6 PDC major ranking tournaments played since losing to van Barneveld in the last 16 here last year. That’s a run of 34 consecutive matches won in PDC major ranking tournaments.
- He enters the World Championship having won 25 tournaments during 2016 and since losing to Daryl Gurney in the German Darts Championship in October he has won 22 consecutive matches in picking up the European Championship, World Series of Darts, Grand Slam of Darts and Players Championship Finals titles.
Head to Head
Michael van Gerwen hasn’t met either Ross Snook or Kim Viljanen previously in a competitive match.