Michael van Gerwen breezed through the first round of the US Darts Masters without any difficulty. Nevertheless, it became a real spectacle in New York’s Madison Square Garden. World champions Michael Smith and Peter Wright were eliminated.
It looks like two top darts players were enjoying their mini holiday a little too much as both threw well below their normal levels. World Series tournaments do not count for world rankings. Canadians Jim Long and Jeff Smith are the heroes of New York: they won 6–2 against their PDC opponent.
Van Gerwen, on the other hand, did what he had to do. With a good average, he pipped American qualifier Jake McMillan, who himself seemed to be affected by nerves. Dutch American Jules van Dongen failed to surprise Gerwyn Price (6-2).
Nathan Aspinall and Price showed excellent performances. He won at an average of over 105. It was very different with Rob Cross, who still won well over average against Jason Brandon with more games (82 average).
US Darts Masters Results
Rob Cross 6-2 Jason Brandon
Dimitri van den Berg 6-2 JT Davis
Luke Humphreys 6-2 Alex Spellman
Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Matt Campbell
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Jules Van Dongen
Jeff Smith 6-2 Peter Wright
Jim Long 6-2 Michael Smith
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Jake McMillan
The last stop:
Michael Van Gerwen – Jim Long
Rob Cross – Dimitri van den Berg
Gervin Price-Luke Humphreys
Jeff Smith-Nathan Aspinall
Image Courtesy of Photo: Lawrence Lustig (PDC)