Matt Campbell picked up his second Magic Darts Championship Darts Circuit title of the year – both in the Chicago area – as the Ontario-based star was victorious at CDC Main Event Eight in Wheeling on Sunday.
For Campbell, his second year on the Tour has certainly been a breakthrough year. As you may recall, the Canadian burst onto the scene in Burlington, Ontario in 2018, coming through the qualifiers all the way way to the final, hitting 22 maximums en route but losing out to an on-song Darin Young.
Since then, Campbell has reached another four CDC finals (winning two of them) and just missed out on qualifying for the US Darts Masters back in July in a last-leg decider against fellow countryman Jeff Smith. With a win and a second-place finish this weekend, Campbell has put a lot of distance between himself and the competition in the “race to Alexandra Palace” for the Canadian spot at the 2020 PDC World Darts Championship.
Following Sunday’s victory, Matt sits on 73 points, 25 clear of Jim Long in the second position. However, as we saw last year, no lead is safe heading into the final weekend of action.
En route to victory in the Shot Bandit Masters CDC Event #8, Campbell got off to a hot start with a pair of 5-1 victories, seeing off Joel Chmielak in the first round and easing his way into the top 16 by claiming victory over New York’s Gino Florian in the last 32. In his last 16 match, the Canadian faced off against Ohioan Timmy Nicoll, whose battle against pancreatic cancer has not affected either his trademark good humor or the good darts that have always made him a fan favorite, in a quality battle that was certainly not reflected in the 5-1 scoreline. Indeed, it took a 154 checkout from Campbell with Nicoll sitting on 38 to take off a bit of the pressure and help him book a quarterfinal tie with last year’s CDC points champion, Chuck Puleo.
That quarterfinal match saw both players struggle a bit – Chuck with scoring early and Matt with doubles late – but Campbell did manage to keep his average above 90, checking out tops in the last two legs of the match to claim a 6-3 victory.
In his second Semi-Final of the weekend, the Canadian came up against Jason Brandon, who enjoyed his best run in a CDC event for quite some time. In a topsy-turvy battle, Campbell raced to a 3-0 lead out of the gate, but drama unfolded as Brandon reeled off three consecutive legs in 15, 15 and 18 darts to put himself right back in the match. Once more, Campbell showed determination and composure to close out a 6-3 win with legs of 14, 15 and 15 darts in a top-class three-leg sprint.
In the final, it was another all-Canadian affair as the ever-impressive Kiley Edmunds came through the other side of the bracket. Edmunds, who has been in explosive form since joining the CDC tour earlier in the year, put the Ontario ace to the test. The pressure was high for the first two legs and scoring was a bit of a challenge; Campbell was the first to find form, holding throw and then breaking Edmunds on back-to-back 14-dart legs before Edmunds responded with a 15-dart break of his own to reduce the arrears to 3-2. Matt didn’t ease off the gas as he produced a sensational 12-darter with a roof-raising 143 checkout to break the Edmunds throw straight back as he moved into a 4-2 lead. He then extended his lead, topping off a 14-darter with an 80 checkout and a 5-2 advantage. Edmunds managed to reduce the deficit to 5-3, before Campbell ended the proceedings as he pinned D20 to confirm a 6-3 victory.
After registering his second CDC victory, Campbell spoke to Anthony Eugenia:
“It was tough beating Chuck (Puleo) earlier on in the day, but he had a lot of bounce-outs. That hurt him, but also discourages me because I didn’t beat him at his best. You always want to see players at their best.”
Campbell went on to say: “I wish that we could have every event in Chicago, I love it here.”
CDC Main Event Eight
Nick Linberg 6-5 Joe Beecroft
Kiley Edmunds 6-3 Larry Butler
Matt Campbell 6-3 Chuck Puleo
Jason Brandon 6-2 Jeff Smith
Kiley Edmunds 6-0 Nick Linberg
Matt Campbell 6-3 Jason Brandon
Matt Campbell 6-3 Kiley Edmunds
by Tom Beresford, CDC Correspondent – August 14, 2019
Jeremiah Millar completed an impressive maiden Magic Darts Championship Darts Circuit victory on Saturday evening in Chicago. The Michigan-based player, originally from the same area of Ontario as Jim Long, showed moments of consistency and high-quality performances.
In an impressive field, Jeremiah produced a number of high-quality displays en route to victory. Kicking off the event, Millar made light work of Jayson Barlow in a 5-0 victory with an average of 88.4 to move on to the last 32 where he produced his finest display of the day in another whitewash – this time of Chicago-based Nick Georgeson – averaging 100.2 over the five legs.
In his final three matches en route to the title, Millar was faced with the task of taking on three multiple-time CDC tour champions. In the Quarter-finals, USA World Cup star and current 2019 Tour Points leader, Darin Young, fell 6-1 to the eventual champion. Young failed to convert a dart at tops to claim leg one and never seemed to find his groove and Millar’s 92.9 average proved too tough to overcome for the Pennsylvania ace.
Both the Semi-Finals and the final had serious implications for the Canadian spot in the World Darts Championship. Millar – who holds dual citizenship and has elected to play as an American on the CDC Tour – came up against 2019 World Championship participant Jim Long, who entered the day trailing fellow countryman Matt Campbell by seven points for the 2020 Canadian berth at the Ally Pally. Both players had been in top form up until this match and the stress may have taken a toll as scoring and finishing proved challenging for both competitors. In the end, Millar managed to close out a 6-3 victory with a 102 checkout in the last leg to regain some momentum heading into the final against the aforementioned Matt Campbell.
Campbell, who was competing in his fourth CDC final and his third in 2019, quickly found himself down 2-1 to the Michigan man before taking advantage of some missed doubles to claim the fourth leg and level the match. At that point, the scoring and finishing improved for both players until the most crucial point in the match – the deciding leg – where it was Campbell’s turn to struggle on the doubles. Indeed, Jeremiah survived four match darts before burying the double 12 to claim the 6-5 victory and his first CDC crown.
After the victory, Millar spoke to the CDC’s Peter Citera:
“I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of years now, I’m committed, I’ve made every stop and I’ve been waiting for this… I got in an accident – got rear-ended – on the highway on the way to Chicago and I was going to go back home but one of my friends convinced me to be here, and am I happy I am!”
As mentioned above, battled his way past three former CDC winners en route to the trophy, which delighted the Canadian:
“The darts felt really good today”, said Millar, “Early on, I was producing high averages and at that point, the darts felt great. I kind of petered out in the Semi-Finals and the Final, but sometimes you’ve got to grind out those wins… I’ve proved to myself that I do belong here and I’m looking forward to the next one.”
CDC Main Event Seven
Jeremiah Millar 6-1 Darin Young
Jim Long 6-3 Gary Mawson
Matt Campbell 6-3 Jeff Smith
Joseph Huffman 6-3 Leonard Gates
Jeremiah Millar 6-3 Jim Long
Matt Campbell 6-2 Joseph Huffman
Jeremiah Millar 6-5 Matt Campbell
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