Sky Sports take a look back at the moments that made us smile from the Grand Slam of Darts in 2016.
The best check-out
Michael van Gerwen (obviously) and the BDO’s Jeff Smith nailed 170 check-outs to scoop the prize for the Grand Slam’s most impressive finish. Van Gerwen saw off Robert Thornton in the knock-out stages with the help of his 170, while Smith got past Simon Whitlock in the group phase.
Michael van Gerwen hits a 170 checkout…
Have a look at Van Gerwen’s 170 finish in the video above.
The biggest shock
It must be remembered that Phil Taylor had already safely navigated his route through to the knock-out stages but, nevertheless, it remained a shock to see him whitewashed 5-0.
Darren Webster stunned Phil Taylor…
The thrashing in the final group game was dished out by Darren Webster, the world No 41, who achieved a career-best result but still couldn’t follow Taylor into the next phase of the Grand Slam. It’s a funny old game.
The best leg
Chris Dobey and Jamie Hughes served up a classic leg – their knock-out game went to the wire, requiring a shoot-out to decide the winner with the scores locked at 9-9.
Was this the most exciting leg in Grand Slam history?
Hughes missed five match darts, and Dobey needed seven efforts before finally confirming the win in a breathless final leg. Both players found themselves down at 24, but when Hughes missed three shots at double 12, Dobey finally made him pay.
There was much to fawn over when Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld threw their finest arrows in the tournament’s early stages, but ultimately a promising challenge from both players was humbly ended at the quarter-final stage.
Phil Taylor beat Darryl Fitton 5-1 in his opening match
Van Barneveld, particularly, was arguably the most in-form player after three group games. Having won all three at a canter, the veteran Dutchman appeared to be an outside bet to go all the way. Then he ran into the uncompromising Gary Anderson, losing at the same stage as Taylor against Peter Wright.
For the PDC legends, it’s a timely reminder that their brilliance at the dart-board isn’t enough to stave off the sport’s newer, younger leaders.
A 164 check-out from Barney The BDO…
The BDO had half of their representatives qualify for the knock-out stages, the same ratio as their PDC counterparts. But none of the BDO gang were able to progress into the quarter-finals, although there remains plenty for them to be proud of.
Glen Durrant, the organisation’s No 1, and Danny Noppert were the outstanding representatives. Durrant lost a hard-fought match against Van Barneveld and Noppert, a promising Dutch thrower, almost pulled off a major shock but fell to Anderson in a last-leg shoot-out. We’ll see more of these guys, without a doubt.
The Grand Slam of Darts gets underway live on Sky Sports as the best of the PDC compete against the best of the BDO – the action from the Wolverhampton Civic Hall begins on Saturday, November 11 with a double session.
Keep up to date with the news as the tungsten enters its busiest time of year with the PDC World Championships just around the corner get all the latest at www.skysports.com/darts and join in the conversation @SkySportsDarts.