BetVictor Masters Day One Review
Michael Van Gerwen began the defence of his Masters crown on Friday Night defeating Debutant Jonny Clayton 10-5 with the night seeing Mensur Suljovic demolish Simon Whitlock 10-1 in Milton Keynes.
The Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes has been the home of The Masters for the Last Five Years since 2015 where the Top 16 in the World battle it out and in the Last Four Years, The World Number One Michael Van Gerwen has claimed the crown each year. Van Gerwen started his defence on Friday winning the first four legs with two 15 Darters, a 13 and a 16 Darters and looked like a long night for Clayton before he went into the first break picking up his first leg after Van Gerwen had missed three darts for 5-0. Clayton came right back into the game going into the second break only 6-4 down put from then on Van Gerwen won four of the remaining five legs to claim the victory and send the Welshman packing.
Mensur Suljovic, a Masters’ Semi Finalist last year, had a tough first match against Simon Whitlock but by the end of the match it wasn’t close at all. Suljovic won the opening leg with a 12 Darter then Whitlock won his only leg of the match and it was a strange one when his second dart aiming for Double 8 went into the back of his first dart that went for Double 16 but with his last dart when right into the corner of the Double 8 to make it 1 apiece. From then on Mensur was in complete control winning the first session 4-1 with 3 legs of back to back 13 Darters and 15. The remaining six legs were won in 88 Darts and with nearly 60% on his doubles and a 106 average, he will be a big threat when he takes on Van Gerwen in the Quarter Finals on Sunday.
The other two matches of the night were very close. Firstly, Stephen Bunting who came in as a late replacement for the Injured Gary Anderson on Wednesday took on Darren Webster which on paper was a close one to call but Bunting started off the match superbly going into the first break 4-1 up before in the next break, the pair were tied at 5 apiece after a horrible leg in the tenth where both players missed multiple darts at double before Webster claimed it with Double 10. After that it was nip and tuck as Webster didn’t go into the lead until the seventeenth leg to make it 9-8 before Bunting held throw with a 14 Darter to send it all the way. In the deciding leg, it was tight as Webster missed one match dart on Double 11 where Stephen come in on 86 and finished on the Bull which was a superb finish to end a brilliant match but both players will want to forget what happened on doubles as both had 23% and will want to improve for the rest of the season!
The Opening match was between Daryl Gurney and Dave Chisnall and on paper was another tight one, but Gurney stormed into a 5-1 and 6-2 lead before Chizzy brought two legs back going into the second break 6-4 down. Chisnall then won the next three legs in 43 darts before Gurney went back in front with two legs of 15 and 16 Darts. Before Chisnall won the last three legs of the match with an 11, 16 and 15 dart legs to claim the victory to start off the tournament.
The Masters continues on Saturday with a further four matches to get to Sunday’s Quarters finals. Starting off with Major Winners in 2018, Gerwyn Price and James Wade then we see former World Champion Rob Cross aiming to win the Masters crown for the first time in his short PDC career, he takes on Debutant Joe Cullen. Two Best Mates then collide, World Championship and Premier League Finalist from last year Bully Boy Michael Smith against the Diamond Ian White then the Last match of the night is a tasty like between two titans of the game take to the stage in Peter Wright and Adrian Lewis!