2017 William Hill World Championship – Day Four Preview

It’s day four at the 2017 William Hill World Darts Championship and it’s another double session of darting action.

Headlining today’s schedule is the 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor.

phil-taylor

Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig (PDC)

Here are my previews for all of today’s matches.

Sunday December 18

 Afternoon Session (1pm)

 Kevin Simm v Gilbert Ulang – Preliminary Round

Simm

  • Kevin Simm is making his World Championship debut. He earned his place in the tournament via the PDPA qualifying tournament at the end of November.
  • Simm has appeared at the UK Open on two occasions (2011 and 2012).

Ulang

  • Gilbert Ulang is also making his World Championship debut having won through the Philippines Qualifier where he beat his World Cup of Darts team mate and former World Championship qualifier Alex Tagarao along the way.
  • Ulang has represented the Philippines twice at the World Cup of Darts and earlier this year in his singles match against van Gerwen gave a very respectable performance in a 4-2 defeat.

Head to Head

This is the first meeting between Simm and Ulang.

 

Justin Pipe (26) v Chris Dobey

Pipe

  • Justin Pipe is playing in his 7th consecutive PDC World Championship; his best performance came in 2011 when he reached the last 16, defeating the number seven seed Wes Newton along the way before losing to Terry Jenkins.
  • He has exited the tournament in the first round in each of the last two years, last year he failed to win a set against Christian Kist, the year before he was beaten by Loz Ryder.
  • Overall his last 3 World Championship defeats have been against unseeded players.
  • Pipe has won 4 matches at the World Championship and none of those players are in the field for this year’s World Championship (those players are Sean Reed, Wes Newton, Andy Jenkins and Arron Monk).

Dobey

  • Chris Dobey is making his World Championship debut; he has also made tournament debuts in the European Championship, Grand Slam of Darts and Players Championship Finals over the last couple of months.
  • At the Grand Slam of Darts he reached the quarter-finals having notably qualified from his group ahead of two-time PDC World Champion Adrian Lewis and former BDO World Champion Scott Mitchell. His run in the tournament was ended by eventual runner-up James Wade.
  • Dobey reached his first PDC ranking final in October at a Players Championship tournament; he defeated Stephen Bunting, Dave Chisnall and Adrian Lewis in reaching the final where he just came up short against an on form Simon Whitlock.

Head to Head (Pipe leads 1-0)

Justin Pipe came out on top in their only previous meeting; he defeated Dobey 6-4 at a Players Championship tournament back in May.

 

Mark Webster (25) v Joe Murnan

Webster

  • 2008 BDO Champion Mark Webster is competing at the PDC World Championship for the 8th consecutive year and it will be his 11th appearance overall including his time in the BDO.
  • Webster has an excellent record of making it through the first round at the PDC World Championship; his only defeat at this stage of the tournament came at the 2012 tournament where he lost 3-2 against fellow Welshman and fellow former BDO Champion Richie Burnett.
  • Remarkably Webster has registered a ton plus checkout in each of his last 17 World Championship matches, this run stretches right back to the start of the 2011 World Championship.

Murnan

  • Joe Murnan has qualified for the World Championship for the 2nd consecutive year having made his debut last year.
  • He won his debut match on the Ally Pally stage at the 2016 World Championship when he defeated former World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton in a first round marathon match that went all the way to a 10th leg in the deciding set, his run ended in round two with a 4-1 defeat against Alan Norris.
  • Murnan won a ranking title in 2015 but has had a leaner time in 2016 with just one quarter-final appearance to his name.

Head to Head (They are level with 3 wins each)

Webster and Murnan have met six times previously and they have both won three matches. Murnan has won each of the last three times they have met; the last two of those games went to a last leg decider. Webster’s last win against Murnan was in 2012.

 

Ian White (14) v Simm/Ulang

White

  • White is competing at the PDC World Championship for the 6th consecutive year, his best performance came in the 2014 when he reached the quarter-finals and narrowly lost 5-4 against Simon Whitlock. Last year he was beaten in the first round by the young Belgian Dimitri Van den Bergh.
  • In his 9 previous matches at the PDC World Championship Ian White has never faced a fellow Englishman.
  • All of Ian White’s 5 previous first round matches at the PDC World Championship have ended with a 3-1 scoreline (he has won 2 and lost 3 of those matches).

Head to Head

Ian White hasn’t faced either Simm or Ulang previously.

 

Evening Session (7pm)

John Bowles v David Platt – Preliminary Round

Bowles

  • John Bowles has made it through to the World Championship for the second time, having earned his spot through the PDPA Qualifying tournament.
  • On his last appearance four years ago he won through to the second round where he was narrowly defeated 4-3 by Gary Anderson in a match where Anderson scored an incredible 19 180s.

Platt

  • David Platt is making his 3rd appearance at the PDC World Championship, on his last appearance back in the 2006 tournament at the Circus Tavern he was defeated by Phil Taylor.
  • Originally from England but now based in Australia he qualified by winning the DPA Oceanic Masters.

 

Daryl Gurney (24) v Jermaine Wattimena

Gurney

  • Daryl Gurney is making his 4th PDC World Championship tournament appearance and 6th overall as he also featured twice at the Lakeside during his time in the BDO.
  • He has only ever suffered one first round World Championship exit, that was two years ago against Ronnie Baxter. Last year he defeated Jamie Lewis in round one before running into the formidable Gary Anderson in round two.
  • All of Gurney’s World Championship defeats have been inflicted by players who have either won a World Championship or reached a World Championship final: Those players are Martin Adams (twice), Dave Chisnall, Ronnie Baxter and Gary Anderson).
  • Gurney was actually the last player to inflict a defeat on Michael van Gerwen, he defeated the world number one in October at the German Darts Championship and van Gerwen has won all four tournaments he has played since then.

Wattimena

  • Jermaine Wattimena is competing at the PDC World Championship for the third time and is looking for his first match win.
  • He was beaten by Robert Marijanovic in a prelim on his debut two years ago. Last year he lost 3-1 to Mensur Suljovic despite having won the opening set.

Head to Head (Gurney leads 3-0)

Daryl Gurney has a 100% record over Jermaine Wattimena in their three previous meetings. All three matches have been within the last two years, the most recent was in February when Gurney won 6-2 in a UK Open Qualifier.

 

Alan Norris (21) v John Michael

Norris

  • 2014 BDO runner-up Alan Norris is taking in part in his 9th World Championship overall and his 2nd since joining the PDC.
  • He had an impressive run to the quarter-finals at the Alexandra Palace a year ago when he defeated number seven seed Robert Thornton, Joe Murnan and Mark Webster before losing 5-4 to Jelle Klaasen in the last eight.
  • Norris has won each of his last six World Championship first round matches.
  • Norris has scored a total of 100 180s across his last three World Championship campaigns (a total of 11 matches).
  • In best of 5 set World Championship matches his record is: Won 7 Lost 1.

Michael

  • John Michael is making his 4th World Championship tournament appearance and his 3rd consecutive in the PDC.
  • He exited the tournament in the first round in each of the last two years, losing to Ian White and James Wade after winning a prelim match on both occasions.

Head to Head

This is their first competitive meeting.

 

Phil Taylor (4) v Bowles/Platt

Taylor

  • The sixteen-time World Champion Phil Taylor enters his 28th consecutive World Championship tournament, equalling the record of John Lowe.
  • Taylor has never lost in the opening round at a World Championship.
  • His record in best of 5 set matches in World Championship tournaments (PDC & BDO combined) is: Won 34 Lost 1 (that one defeat in 1993 against Kevin Spiolek).
  • Taylor has won 3-0 in 19 of his last 23 best of 5 set World Championship matches.
  • In the first round at the PDC World Championship over the last 11 years he has won 3-0 on 9 occasions.
  • He has only lost to one unseeded player at the PDC World Championship, that player was Dave Chisnall during the 2012 tournament.

Head to Head

Taylor has faced David Platt twice previously and has won both times, they first met way back at the 2006 World Championship where Taylor won 3-0, more recently they met in 2014 at the Perth Masters when Taylor won 6-4. Taylor and Bowles would be facing each other for the first time.

 

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