by Tom Beresford, CDC Correspondent
Denies Matt Campbell a Weekend Double
Joe Huffman claimed his maiden CDC title on Sunday evening in Illinois as the Maryland-based star produced a series of fantastic displays en route to the crown. A runner-up to Danny Lauby in Ontario last month, Huffman’s top form continued Sunday as he ran through the field without facing a deciding leg and denied Matt Campbell a ‘dream double’ on the weekend.
Both players averaged around the 92 mark in a high-quality final where the difference came on back-to-back breaks of throw. Huffman got off to a quick 2-0 lead, breaking Campbell in a 16-dart opening leg and then holding with a 63 checkout in leg two as his opponent sat on 64. The Canadian then found a groove, firing in back-to-back legs of 12 darts and breaking throw in leg four to level the match and put the pressure squarely on Huffman who, as you may recall, was unable to hold a 4-1 lead in the final of Event #4 against Lauby.
This time however, Joe was equal to the task, landing A 14-dart leg of his own in leg five to break right back and put himself in the driver’s seat once again. With Campbell unable to find the big finish he needed, the rest of the legs went with the throw and Huffman found himself holding a CDC trophy for the first time.
Over the course of the day, Huffman produced some impressive averages as he swept aside the likes of Morgan Dotson (5-2), Nick Georgeson (5-1), Gino Florian (5-3) and Chuck Puleo (6-3). Notably, he also took out his nemesis from last month, Danny Lauby, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
Following his maiden CDC victory, Huffman caught up with Peter Citera for a post-tournament interview:
“It feels great, I shot great all day, I was a little ‘iffy’ on the scoring, but my doubles were there, so that was great. I was a little nervous coming into the final, I don’t think that we both played to our potential, but we both shot good, and I came out on top… The room is just crazy, the talent is awesome, it was fun and I’ve made the finals once, so what I wanted was the trophy, it was a tough road, but I got it.”
When asked whether his previous defeat to Danny Lauby affected him in any way, Huffman responded:
“Yes, definitely. Danny Lauby’s got me. When I faced him today, it (CDC event #4) was just in the back of my head as was (the match) I played against him in the PDC (Las Vegas). And then when I beat him, I had Chuck Puleo, I’ve never played him before. So I was like – ‘I’ve beaten Lauby who I’ve never beaten before, so I can beat this guy’.
The Maryland Man also spoke about his experience on the CDC tour thus far:
“The tour has been awesome, the shooters that play here are just on another level. I was shooting 85’s (averages) before I came here, and it’s just brought my game ‘right up’. It makes you focus, and these guys are the real deal.”
As you may know, Huffman qualified for the US Darts Masters in Las Vegas last year and he’s certainly very hungry for success. The strength and depth in the CDC is improving all the time and it’s no coincidence that we’ve seen two ‘new’ winners on the tour this weekend in Campbell and Huffman. It’s now on to Las Vegas for the PDC North American Championship and U.S. Darts Masters at the Mandalay Bay where the field promises to be the strongest yet.
For all the results and statistics from event six in full, please check out Dart Connect: https://tv.dartconnect.com/matchlist/cdc19me6
by Tom Beresford, CDC Correspondent
Ontario’s Matt Campbell picked up his first CDC title yesterday evening as he claimed the Third Annual Cosmo Darts Classic in the Windy City. Loyal fans will recall that Campbell first made a name for himself on the CDC scene in 2018 when he reached the final on his debut weekend in Burlington and – just like last year – he again found himself up against Darin Young (who has had a dream start to 2019, reaching four finals out of the first five events) in the deciding match.
Unlike last year, this time it was Matt’s turn to taste victory as he enjoyed an impressive 6-2 victory over ‘Big Daddy’ to claim victory and put himself squarely in the mix for the Canadian World Darts Championship berth. It was an almost perfect day for the Ontario man who was on peak form all day, averaging 85.5 for the day and ten points better than that in the final.
Campbell was, as you’d imagine, delighted to win his first CDC title as he spoke with Anthony Eugenia after the event:
“There are no words to explain it. After losing to Darin in Burlington last year, this is what I wanted – to bring home the trophy and put it on the shelf. After being asked specifically about his debut final last year, he replied, “I wanted redemption. As soon as I had a chance, I just thought to myself ‘don’t let him have a shot’”.
Matt also spoke about his journey over the past 12 months since joining the CDC tour:
“I didn’t know anything about the CDC until I spoke with Jim Long; we’re good friends from Ontario. He told me to come out and give it a shot, so I did and I reached the final (in my second event), losing to Darin. But that experience showed me just what you need to do to compete here.”
Perhaps fittingly, one of Campbell’s most impressive victories on Saturday was the one over his friend and mentor, Long, 5-3 in the last 16. En route to the final, Campbell saw off Ben Garner in the first round 5-1 with an 85.2 average. The Canadian then went on to defeat Gino Florian, the aforementioned Jim Long and an on-form Jeremiah Millar 6-3 in the quarterfinals before dispatching native Chicagoan and current Hong Kong phenom, Isen Veljic, by the same margin to book into his final tie with Darin Young.
As for ‘Big Daddy’, his fantastic run of form continues. En route to his fourth final in 2019, Young came through a strong field to defeat the likes of Tanner Picard (5-4), Gene Walts (5-3), the always-tough Shawn Brenneman (5-0), Chicagoan Joey Beecroft (6-5) & Canadian great Jeff Smith (6-2).
‘Big Daddy’ also spoke to Anthony Eugenia after the final following another ‘great’ event for the USA World Cup of Darts representative:
“Making four out of the five finals is great but losing two out of the four isn’t so great. In this field, I can’t complain about that too much. Early on in the day, my practice session wasn’t going really well, I was struggling a little bit with my finishes. “Tanner Picard was fantastic, I think he took out three 100+ finishes in a row against me to come back when I was up two-nothing and I was up against the wall a little bit. Joey Beecroft was playing awesome and I was lucky to get past that. I’m very fortunate to make the final today, playing against the quality players that I faced and maybe a got an extra dart here and there to help.”
Young also paid homage to the new Cosmo Classic champion following the Canadian’s victory in the final:
“What a difference a year makes, right? I knew Matt was a good player when I was up in Canada; I have a few friends over there and they were saying that ‘you need to look out for this guy’. He came through the qualifiers and into the finals, I took out a 127 checkout in that final, and if I didn’t take out that shot, then it would’ve been a different story. Since then, Matt has beaten me a couple of times on the tour and he’s fallen into the top 16 seedings. I actually just told (Matt) that he cost me a spot at the PDC World Championship because he kept beating me. He’s shown his ability here and proven himself to be one of the best players in North America.”
Event Performance Comparison, Main Event 5:
Matt Campbell – Darin Young
Tournament 3DA: 85.47 | 84.15
First nine: 95.3 | 94.4
180’s: 5 | 5
Leg win %: 70 | 59
Median left after 9: 213 | 217
% of legs on a finish after 9: 30.43 | 16.66
For all the results from The Cosmo Classic, please visit https://tv.dartconnect.com/matchlist/cdc19me5
by Tom Beresford, CDC Correspondent
Danny Lauby stole the show in Waterdown, Ontario as the 26-year old from Indiana picked up his second CDC title, squeaking out a deciding-leg victory over Joe Huffman in Event #4 on the 2019 Magic Darts Championship Darts Circuit.
Lauby was in fantastic form all day, averaging 89.03 over his 48-leg journey to the trophy and finding himself facing a deciding leg only once until the final (that coming in a first round 5-4 victory over Canada’s Darcy Trenholm that saw him fall behind 3-1 before finding his rhythm and averaging 101.55 over the final five legs to take the match). After the early scare, Danny saw off some experienced players with relative ease, whitewashing Kevin Jinkensen (5-0) and beating Timmy Nicoll (5-3) & Leonard Gates (6-2) to set-up a semifinal clash with David Fatum, who had just knocked out Event #3 champion, Darin Young, in the quarters and was looking to book a spot in his first final since 2017.
When push came to shove, however, the Arizona man had no answer for Lauby’s relentless pressure, managing only one dart at a double in the first four legs as Danny averaged 101 for the match – producing legs of 13, 17, 14, 15, 16 & 13 darts in coasting to his 6-1 victory and a date with Huffman.
For his part, Huffman produced several fantastic displays to reach the ultimate test. ‘BOOM’ enjoyed successes over Donny Joe (5-1), John Part (5-0), Jeremiah Millar (5-4), DJ Sayre (6-3) & Shawn Brenneman (6-4).
In the final, Danny showcased a gritty comeback performance to deny Joe a maiden CDC title. Early on, everything was going the Maryland’s man’s way as he established dominance on the match, racing to leads of 3-0 and 4-1 before Lauby finished a 15-dart leg on double-9 to claim a break of throw in what started a three-leg run to level the match – ending with a brilliant checkout of 81 for a 12-darter.
Huffman stopped the rot at that point, pulling out a roof-raising 129 checkout to retake the lead at 5-4, only to then miss five match darts to claim victory in a sloppy 10th leg with Lauby eventually pinning D16 to force a decider.
More drama ensued in the final leg, with match-clinching doubles again eluding a frustrated Joe as he missed two darts to clean up 60 for the match in what would be his final trip to the line of the day as Danny was on hand to take advantage, burying D20 on his third dart to secure victory after having missed the same number for a 160 checkout the visit before.
After securing his second CDC title, Danny Lauby caught up with Anthony Eugenia:
“At 4-1 down, you have to relinquish yourself and just think, It’s alright, you’re down. He only needs two more legs and I’m probably not going to win this match and it just relaxes you. I got a few breaks, he missed a few chances and I just hit the right shots at the right times… Joe’s just so consistent, such a power scorer. Early on, I just couldn’t find the triples. I was down really quick in the first nine darts of a lot of my games today, and I was fortunate enough to take my chances in the final, but I really thought it was over there.”
Lauby concluded, “The PDC World Championship is my dream, and I’ll be playing in all the CDC events and I’m definitely hoping to be there in Vegas. I’m hoping to make it to the (Vegas) stage again and taking it to the bigger players.”
There’s been signs to suggest that Lauby has what it takes to not only win more CDC titles but also take it to the next level: He narrowly missed taking out James Wade at the US Darts Masters in Las Vegas last July then reached the final of CDC Event 9 in Philadelphia, losing out to three-time World Champion, John Part. This past January, Lauby made the long-haul to PDC Qualifying-School in Wigan, England to try his luck at gaining a PDC tour-card. Amazingly, Lauby came within just one victory of securing that PDC card as he reached the Semi-Finals in one of the Q-school events, losing to Scott Baker.
For all the results from event 4, please visit tv.dartconnect.com/matchlist/cdc19me4b
Denies Jeff Smith’s Bid for Glory in His First CDC Event
by Tom Beresford, CDC Correspondent
Darin Young claimed his sixth Championship Darts Corporation title on Saturday evening by securing event number 3 of the Magic Darts Championship Darts Circuit in Waterdown, Ontario.
For Young, it’s been an almost perfect start to 2019 on the CDC Tour. The Pennsylvania-based ace has reached three finals out of three events, winning two of them. Interestingly, Young has faced Canadian-based players in all three of those finals: Dave Richardson in Event #1 (a 6-3 victory), then Ontario’s Jim Long snatched Event #2, coming from 5-0 behind to defeat Young and denying him an opening weekend double.
In the final of event three, Young enjoyed a fantastic 6-0 whitewash over the 2018 PDC North American Darts Championship winner, Jeff Smith, as ‘Big Daddy’ saved his best performance of the day for last.
Darin produced a fabulous display to overcome New Brunswick’s Smith, a former BDO World Championship Finalist, kicking things off with a terrific 124 finish in the opening leg that was closely followed by another three-figure checkout as he pulled out a 113 finish to move 2-0 ahead. Jeff had no answer for the American as Darin then reeled off legs of 18, 15, 18 & 14 to crush Smith’s dream of claiming victory in his first-ever CDC appearance.
Young was consistently strong all day, producing victories over Scott Estle (5-1), Kevin Jinkensen (5-0), Matt Campbell (5-2), Danny Pace (6-5) and DJ Sayre (6-4) en route to the title and averaging 88.78 on the day. As for Smith, he also came through an equally tough field to book a spot in the final. ‘The Silencer’ was in impressive form as he recorded victories over the likes of Joe Huffman (5-2), John Part (5-4), Gary Mawson (5-2), David Fatum (6-3) & Jeremiah Millar (6-3).
After securing his second CDC title of 2019, Young spoke to CDC’s Anthony Eugenia:
” I would never have predicted that I’d make the final of the first three events, the class of the field here, the talent’s very deep. It’s unbelievable… It’s tough, I mean Jeff’s (Smith) had my number probably six-to-eight times before this, I’m so used to shaking his hand and wishing him the best of luck, and the way that he’s played today just shows the class that he has. I have a lot of respect for Jeff, he’s one of, if not the best player in North America right now, and for me to get a win like that against a player of his caliber is big for me.”
Anthony also caught up with ‘The Silencer’ following his debut event on the CDC Tour:
“The CDC, the format, and everything’s been spectacular. I’ve had a really great time today, I’ve played some spectacular darts at times, I wish I would’ve brought a bit more into the final, but Darin played spectacular, and I didn’t have an answer for what he was throwing at me, but I’m thrilled to be here, and I can’t wait to play again tomorrow… You’re going to have to play six-to-eight matches under pressure constantly the whole way through, and the draw that I’ve had today definitely accentuates that. Darts in North America are on the way up, and if you’re planning on being a part of that, then you need to play the CDC.”
Full results & statistics are available via DartConnect: https://tv.dartconnect.com/matchlist/cdc19me3b
by Tom Beresford, CDC Correspondent
Jim Long produced heroics of the highest order to claim the Event #2 title on the Magic Darts Championship Darts Circuit on Sunday evening.
The Canadian representative at the 2019 William Hill World Darts Championship produced a truly astounding comeback to deny Darin Young a sweep in Philadelphia and claimed his first CDC title after two years on North America’s professional tour.
Entering the final on a high note after seeing off the talented Joe Huffman in a convincing 6 – 0 whitewash in the semis, fortune quickly changed for Long as Saturday’s Event #1 champion, Darin Young, mopped up the opening five legs of the final in top form – including a 13-dart leg alongside a pair of 15s – and seemed certain to claim a weekend double to open up the 2019 CDC Tour.
Then things got interesting.
With his back against the wall, Long produced a 13-dart leg with the darts and then took advantage of some sloppy play by Darin to break throw and plant the seeds of doubt that the match was all but over. Young failed to gain scoring momentum after leading off with 100 in the 8th leg and Jim found the double-18 for a 16-darter, following that with legs of 14 and 13 to level the match at five and putting all the pressure on his opponent to claim the last leg with the throw. Darin did get three clear at finishing 56 in the decider, but missed the first dart low and was forced to use the second to set-up a one-dart opportunity at 32 that landed just outside the D-16 wire. That would be his last trip to the line of the day as Long easily cleaned up 48 in two darts to seal the massive comeback victory.
Sunday’s final was the first loss in 11 consecutive matches for Darin, who was on fantastic form again for most of the day, taking out Dan Lauby in the last 16 followed by Ross Snook in the quarterfinals and then Alex Reyes to book his date with Long, dropping a total of only four legs in that span. Jim’s road to the final was a bit rougher as he survived two matches that went to the decider: 5-4 against Jason Brandon in the last 32 and then a thrilling and pressure-packed 6-5 triumph over countryman Gary Mawson in the quarterfinals.
Following the victory, Long spoke with CDC CEO Peter Citera: “It’s (the victory) not quite sunk in yet. I was really out of it down 5-0. I missed a few opportunities, but Darin was just deadly, and it got to 5-0 and I was just hoping to win a few legs.”
Long also added his thoughts on going 5-0 behind in the final: “At that point, it’s easy to assume that you’re probably going to lose and just relax, play and do your best. Earlier on, I missed a key shot, and there was so much pressure on that shot. I thought about Dave (Richardson) being 3-0 ahead in Saturday’s final, and when I was 3-0 down I just thought – c’mon Let’s win the next six legs on Darin, but I had to wait until it was 5-0 Darin. [Laughs]… it was a tale of two matches, the first five to him, and the next six to me.”
When asked about his ‘dream’ debut at Alexandra Palace in December at the PDC World Darts Championship, Jim went on to say: “It was pretty crazy, honestly. People ask me if I had nightmares about the D20 that I missed, and I didn’t at all. I know that I would’ve had an opportunity to go into the third round if I’d have took out that 72… I didn’t realize (all the support) until I came home to Canada, and I talked to everybody who watched it, and gathered to watch it. There were parties with like 40 people at an apartment building in Ontario, and the streets were full. It didn’t occur to me when I was there playing. It would’ve been great to register another win and spend Christmas time together waiting for me to play my next match. It’s incredible, and the best time you’ll ever have.”
Philadelphia also produced a great “coming-out” weekend for many of the qualifiers. Canadian Kiley Edmunds was highly impressive over the first two events as he reached back-to-back Quarter-Finals and American plastic-tip phenom Alex Reyes turned heads also as he reached the Semi-Finals. Both days of action saw seeded players drop early and often to some new faces on the Circuit.
Overall, it was a highly successful opening weekend on the 2019 Magic Darts Championship Darts Circuit, with some excellent darts provided. It’s now on to the next weekend in Ontario in May, which should be an excellent weekend of action that includes the first Junior and Evolution Tour events. Ontario is a hotbed of top darting talent, and fans should be looking forward to another entertaining series of clashes on the live stream and DartConnect.
For complete results/statistics on event #2, please visit https://tv.dartconnect.com/matchlist/cdc19me2.
by Tom Beresford, CDC Correspondent
It was a banner day for Darin Young at the Columbia Social Club in Philadelphia as the 2019 Magic Darts Championship Darts Circuit kicked off in exciting fashion.
‘Big Daddy’ was consistent in his play over the course of the day in Philadelphia as he averaged 88.3 over six matches to claim his fifth CDC title in what was likely the most competitive field for the North American Tour to date.
Young dropped just one leg in his opening three victories, easily taking out some top competition in Jim Newman (5-1), Jeremiah Millar (5-0) and Joseph Huffman (5-0) to advance to the Quarter-Finals.
The eventual champion’s quarter-Final clash with Joe Chaney was arguably his toughest test on the day.
Chaney moved into a fantastic position as he opened up a 4-1 lead to put Darin on the brink of a disappointing exit but, with a mixture of fortune and consistency, Young managed to claw his way back by reeling off five consecutive legs to claim the 6-4 victory. Chaney missed many key opportunities to see the match out, and Young converted those chances expertly to move into the last four.
In the Semi-Finals, Young came up against another strong competitor in ‘Soldier’ Leonard Gates. It was a closely contested affair – as you’d expect from two of the strongest players in the field with eight CDC titles between them. There was no separating the pair in the opening stages as they traded legs through the first 8. With the match level at four legs apiece Young found another gear, banging in legs of 14 and 16 darts respectively to run out a 6-4 winner and book his place in the final.
The final featured longtime CDC veteran Young against one of the strongest players in the qualifying field in Dave Richardson, competing in his first event on the Circuit. Richardson, the Scottish-born star who now resides in Ontario, Canada, produced some fantastic finishes of his own over the course of the event to get to the ultimate test – including kicking off the day with a 5-0 whitewash over the 2019 PDC World Championship’s U.S. representative, Chuck Puleo, with a 92.8 average. From that point on, however, Dave was under pressure, advancing to the final by defeating Chicago’s Joe Beecroft, fellow Canadian Kiley Edmunds (who averaged 105 in the qualifiers to book his spot the main event) and 2018 Continental Cup Champion, Gary Mawson, in last-leg deciders.
In the final, it was Richardson that flew out of the traps as he moved into a 3-0 lead with a trio of impressive legs on the trot (17, 15 & 13 darts respectively). But, ‘Big Daddy’ remained calm and focused on the task at hand, once again finding another gear at the most opportune moment and reeling off six legs on the trot to deny Richardson a dream ‘debut’ win. Young’s finishing was exemplary in the six-leg onslaught to glory as ‘Big Daddy’ enjoyed checkouts of 100, 97 and 80 to claim event one on the 2019 Magic Darts Championship Darts Circuit and putting more distance between himself and the rest of the field on the CDC two-year Order of Merit.
Overall, It was a fantastic start to 2019 on the Tour, and the bar is certainly being raised with the CDC/PDC partnership in full effect. Just looking at the number of great players that made round one exits from the competition – Chuck Puleo, Larry Butler, John Part, Danny Lauby and Timmy Nicoll are just some notables – it’s obvious that the best in North America are coming to play in 2019 and the fields are very likely to be the best competition that the continent has seen in decades.
For all the results from Event #1, please visit https://tv.dartconnect.com/matchlist/cdc19me1