Ladbroes World Championship 09DEFENDING CHAMPION John Part crashed out to Bill Davis in an opening night filled with shocks at the 2009 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.

Part was defeated in straight sets by the American to suffer a first-game loss in the defence of his title for the second time in the PDC – having gone out to Mark Dudbridge five years ago after claiming victory in the 2003 tournament.

He never recovered from a slow start as Davis took a crucial first set, with Part landing five maximums in three legs in the second before being punished for failing to wrap up the set, and the American edged the third to progress to the last 32.

“I had a chance of a good run in this tournament but I never got going,” said Part. “I didn’t get out of the gate and you can’t afford to turn up and not be at your best.”

Davis – who only had a total of £85 bet on him to win the game in advance with sponsors Ladbrokes.com – admitted: “Anything can happen on your day and it did for me tonight. It’s the greatest moment of my career.”

Three other seeds were also knocked out of the tournament on night one, including former semi-finalists Andy Jenkins and Wayne Jones.

Jenkins went down 3-1 to Dutchman Co Stompe, who included a 164 finish in a strong debut at Alexandra Palace, while Jones saw Scotsman Robert Thornton come from a set down to take victory.

Holland’s Roland Scholten, who has been plagued by a shoulder problem in recent months, was another big-name casualty, going down in a deciding set to Spanish debutant Carlos Rodriguez.

New Zealander Warren French won the night’s other game, defeating Japan’s Akihiro Nagakawa 5-3 in the preliminary round to earn himself a clash with two-time World Champion Dennis Priestley on Saturday.

World number one Phil Taylor, the 13-time World Champion, begins his challenge on Saturday evening when he faces qualifier Steve Grubb, while Terry Jenkins, Kevin Painter and Michael van Gerwen are also in action on day two of the tournament.

Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship
First Round (Preliminary Round games denoted by (P))
Friday December 19
Carlos Rodriguez 3-2 Roland Scholten
Warren French 5-3 Akihiro Nagakawa (P)
Robert Thornton 3-1 Wayne Jones
Bill Davis 3-0 John Part
Co Stompe 3-1 Andy Jenkins

Saturday December 20
12.40pm – Terry Jenkins v Dennis Smith
1.45pm – Hannes Schnier v Shi Yongsheng (P)
2.30pm – Kevin Painter v Matt Clark
3.30pm – Dennis Priestley v Warren French
4.30pm – Barrie Bates v Felix McBrearty

7.10pm – Alan Tabern v Steve Beaton
8.15pm – David Fatum v Shane O’Connor (P)
9.00pm – Michael van Gerwen v Darin Young
10.00pm – Phil Taylor v Steve Grubb
11.00pm – Alex Roy v Kevin McDine

CARLOS RODRIGUEZ 3-2 ROLAND SCHOLTEN
(3-2, 1-3, 3-2, 0-3, 3-1)
CARLOS RODRIGUEZ defeated sixteenth seed Roland Scholten 3-2 in the opening match of the 2009 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.

The newcomer, who has had an impressive debut year on the PDC Pro Tour was making his debut in the tournament having come through the European Order of Merit to become the first Spaniard to play in the World Championship.

Scholten took the opening leg of the contest, before his opponent took the next two, including a 121 finish in the third leg.

He had one dart to take the set in the fourth leg, but missed the bullseye which allowed Scholten in. Rodriguez made no mistake in the next leg however, hitting a fifteen dart-leg to take a 1-0 lead.

Scholten hit-back in the second set, breaking throw in the third leg after Rodriguez missed three darts at a double and then won the next in fourteen darts to level the match.

Rodriguez started the third set well with a 99 finish before Scholten took the next two legs, including an 85 finish on the bullseye, to lead.

But Rodriguez stormed through the next two legs in 11 and 14 darts respectively, to regain the advantage.

However, that lead was short-lived as the Dutchman produced his best form of the match to take the fourth set in convincing fashion.

He hit an 11 dart finish to take the opening leg and followed that up by landing double four and double top to take the match into a decider.

But the Dutchman’s run of winning legs proved to be short-lived as Rodriguez took a 1-0 lead in the decider, which included a maximum. He won the second leg on double one and then completed victory with a 14 darter.

“I wasn’t nervous but it was very difficult playing for the first time in such a big arena,” said Rodriguez, who has previously qualified for the UK Open and European Championship.

“It was very tough at first but to beat Roland is the greatest moment of my career. Roland was not at his best but it was still very hard to get through the first game.”

He added: “I hope my success can encourage more Spanish players to join the PDC next year. There are so many soft-tip players in Spain, probably 500,000, and they could have this chance too.”

WARREN FRENCH 5-3 AKIHIRO NAGAKAWA
WARREN FRENCH overcame the Japanese challenge of Akihiro Nagakawa 5-3 in the preliminary round of the 2009 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.

The New Zealander managed to win four consecutive legs from 3-1 down to book a place in the last 64, where he will play Dennis Priestley on Saturday afternoon.

Both players were making their second appearance at the World Championship, but struggled to find any kind of form during the match.

Nagakawa, the Japanese national champion, had the better of the opening exchanging taking advantage of missed doubles by French to take a 2-0 lead.

French opened his account in the third leg but Nakagawa won the fourth to establish a 3-1 lead.

Despite Nakagawa recording the only maximum of the contest in the fifth leg the New Zealander won it by landing double top.

French was the more decisive player on the doubles from then on and hit double eighteen in the eighth leg to win the match.

ROBERT THORNTON 3-1 WAYNE JONES
(2-3, 3-1, 3-2, 3-2)
ROBERT THORNTON recorded a debut victory at the 2009 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship with a 3-1 defeat of Wayne Jones.

The Scotsman, who has rocketed up to 35th in the Order of Merit since he joined the PDC in June, made a flying start taking a 2-0 lead in the opening set with finishes of 68 and 81.

However, he didn’t make that count as he preceded to miss nine darts to take the set and opened the door for the 2006 semi-finalist, who pinched it landing double top in the deciding leg to take a 1-0 lead.

Thornton took the opening leg of the second set with a 12-dart finish and was on course to take the second before amazingly bursting his score by hitting a maximum when he had 180 remaining.

Jones pounced on his opponent’s error to take the leg, but Thornton came back to take the third leg in 13 darts and then levelled the game with the help of another maximum.

Thornton had three opportunities to take a 2-1 lead in the fourth set but was off-target on double nine on three occasions and Jones punished the Scotsman’s mistakes with a 62 finish.

Thornton quickly levelled the set with a 13 dart finish to go one leg away from taking the match and he duly wrapped up the win on double two to move into the second round.

“It was a very scrappy game,” said Thornton. “My scoring was there in spurts but I missed a few doubles and so did Wayne.

“I lost the first set when I thought I should have won it. I’d lose a leg and then find an 11-darter or a 13-darter from nowhere.

“I’ll be doing plenty of practice over Christmas. I’ve got eight days off and I’ll work hard – I’m not going back to Scotland and I’ll stay down here and practice.

“My aim is to get as far as I can, improve my darts and hopefully do a bit better than I did tonight.

“I found it hot on stage and it takes a lot out of you. I enjoyed it up there though and I thought I had a lot of fans – which makes a change!”

BILL DAVIS 3-0 JOHN PART
(3-1, 3-2, 3-2)
BILL DAVIS dumped defending champion John Part out of the 2009 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship at the first hurdle with an incredible 3-0 victory.

Part was victorious at Alexandra Palace 12 months ago but was unable to repeat the magic this time around with a straight sets loss.

The Canadian never recovered from a slow start to suffer a first-game loss as PDC World Champion for the second time – after going down to Mark Dudbridge in 2004 when opening the defence of his title.

“I had a chance of a good run in this tournament but I never got going,” said Part.

“I didn’t get out of the gate and you can’t afford to turn up and not be at your best. I was prepared but it’s too hard to narrow it down to anything specific.”

Davis, who hails from Philadelphia, took the opening two legs of the match in quick fashion, including an 81 finish in the second leg.

Part won the third leg on double six, but Davis took out the set with a 116 finish, checking out on double 18.

Davis also won the opening two legs of the second set, hitting a clinical 120 ‘Shanghai’ finish for a 2-0 lead before Part finally got going.

The Canadian suddenly came alive and won the next two legs, hitting four maximums in the process, and then landed another 180 in the set’s decider.

However, five missed darts at double 18 cost Part dear as Davis took out double top to increase his lead to 2-0.

Davis won the opening leg of the third set but Part quickly replied, landing a maximum to level.

The American regained the lead with a 13 darter to go one leg away from the match and had the opportunity to seal the win in the fourth leg – but failed to set up a double as Part scrambled home double eight to stay alive.

However, a missed double top for a 125 finish in the next from Part gave Davis another chance, and he landed double ten to send the champion crashing.

“Anything can happen on your day and it did for me tonight,” said Davis. “It’s the greatest moment of my career.”

Davis has previously competed in the 2007 World Championship as well as in the PDC’s US-based majors, but Part said: “Bill’s matured a lot and played some good darts.

“Some players may have crumbled under the pressure but he did well and made the shots when he needed to.”

CO STOMPE 3-1 ANDY JENKINS
(3-2, 2-3, 3-2, 3-1)
CO STOMPE made an impressive Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship debut to defeat Andy Jenkins 3-1 in the first round at Alexandra Palace.

The Dutchman’s victory completed a nightmare opening night for the four seeded players, who all crashed out of the event.

Stompe had claimed his maiden PDC title at the German Darts Championship three weeks ago, and made an ideal start at Ally Pally by winning the opening two legs.

Jenkins took the next two to level, but the Dutchman landed double twelve in the deciding leg to take an early lead.

The Englishman took a 2-1 lead in the second set, aided by finishes of 120 and 68, but Stompe took the fourth to square the set before double two saw Jenkins level the match.

A sensational 164 checkout gave Stompe the advantage in set three, and he also landed two 180s in another leg in edging the set for a 2-1 cushion.

Jenkins started the fourth set well to take the first leg on double top, but Stompe quickly levelled and won the next two legs for a 2-1 lead.

He then secured victory on double twelve to move into the last 32 and set up a potential clash with either Alan Tabern or Steve Beaton.

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