Despite sweeping aside Darryl Fitton 5-1 to qualify for the second round of the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts, Raymond van Barneveld still has a long way to go before he rediscovers his top form.
With his comfortable victory against Fitton having more to do with his opponent’s poor play than any ‘Barney’ brilliance, Van Barneveld has drifted to fourth favourite to win the tournament at 16/1 in the darts betting.
The Dutchman had a disappointing three dart average of 91.26 compared to Fitton’s 78.85 in a low scoring game. To put it into perspective, Phil Taylor’s three dart average in his win against Wes Newton was 108.25.
However, qualification is all that matters at this stage and Van Barneveld admits he’s just relived to still be in the tournament.
Speaking to the PDO, he said: “Neither of us played as well as we can but I’m happy with the win. The first few days are all about qualifying and I’ve done that.”
The 2007 world darts champion now faces a tough second round game against last year’s losing finalist, Scott Waites.
Waites overcame Adrian Lewis 5-3 to maintain his 100 per cent start to the competition and is currently at 33/1 to go one better and win the tournament this year.
Elsewhere, Co Stompe qualified thanks to a tight 5-4 victory over Martin Phillips, while Ted Hankey and Colin Lloyd both qualified with their 100 per cent records intact to set up games with Steve Beaton and Stompe respectively.
Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts second round draw – Groups E-H
Colin Lloyd v Co Stompe
Ted Hankey v Steve Beaton
Scott Waites v Raymond van Barneveld
Ronnie Baxter v Phil Taylor
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