Peter Wright may have won two Players Championship events in 2015, in Coventry and Barnsley, and gained more money this year in ranking events than all other darts players aside from world number one Michael van Gerwen, but he still can’t be backed with any conviction to win the World Matchplay in Blackpool.
Wright remains an enticing 16/1 to lift the trophy at the Winter Gardens and this price only looks more appealing based on his performance in the first round to defeat Kim Huybrechts.
Snakebite registered 16 scores of 140 or higher and a 161 finish to triumph 10-5, with his three-dart average of 108.13 not only the highest in the tournament so far, but also the best ever recorded by the Scotsman in a televised match.
However, it is his propensity to struggle to rekindle the heights shown in early rounds when reaching the final of the bigger events that makes him hard to support.
Wright has already lost four times in televised finals, so with the each-way market for the World Matchplay paying out 1/2 odds on the first two, this has to be the smart bet.
The 45-year-old averaged over 98 in four of his five matches en route to the final of the World Championship in 2014 and ended the tournament with the best three-dart average, but played to a lesser level in the final as Van Gerwen upped his game to triumph.
At the UK Open this year, Wright beat Raymond van Barneveld, Taylor and then Stephen Bunting 10-0 in the semi-final before dropping a level again in another final against Van Gerwen.
In Premier League darts, Wright had to beat Adrian Lewis to avoid being relegated from the competition and lost, while the same player defeated him in the deciding match at the World Cup of Darts, which meant Scotland were second best to England.
Calling Wright a big-game bottler is exaggerated, but until he shows the ability to get over the line in a premier tournament, backing him straight up in an outright market is virtually impossible to advise.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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