Leonard Gates, fresh off his World Seniors Matchplay title, has won the Winmau Blade 6 Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana, cruising through the day with a 31-4 record and besting David Cameron 7-2 in the final. The win is Gates’ second of the season and the final was a rematch of the second-round (and instant classic) match between the two Titans of Tungsten at the Seniors.
Gates was in complete control all day, starting with a 5-0 thrashing of Anthony Romero, followed up with a 6-2 victory over Ryan Vander Weit. He completed his run to the fina with back-to-back whitewashes, 6-0 over Jason Brandon in the quarterfinals and 7-0 over the #1 seed, Alex Spellman, in the semifinals. Cameron, playing in his second final in as many days, also started his day in dominant fashion, defeating Rick Allred 5-1 with a 102.52 average, before blanking Joey Lynaugh 6-0. In the quarterfinals he won a back-and-forth affair against Danny Lauby 6-4, then overcame a 5-2 deficit to Jacob Taylor in the semifinals, winning the last 5 legs on the trot to secure a 7-5 victory.
As the 2023 Championship Darts Circuit came to a close, three players have booked spots at the 2024 PDC PaddyPower World Darts Championship:
- Alex Spellman finished as the top American player, and will make his World Championship debut. He is also the winner of the 2023 Jay Tomlinson Trophy – awarded each year to the top-ranked player in the CDC Tour standings.
- Thanks to a strong final weekend, David Cameron leapt into top spot for the Canadians and will make his second straight appearance in London, looking to improve upon his second-round exit to Danny Noppert last December.
- The final player to qualify is Stowe Buntz. He was the highest-ranked CDC Tour player not otherwise qualified and will also take the Ally Pally stage for the first time.
Alex Spellman led the way with a 93.36 average, narrowly edging out finalists Leonard Gates and David Cameron. Gates would lead the tournament with 12x 180s and also topped the field with 47% success rate on checkouts.
David Fatum connected on the big fish, checking out a 170 finish against Keith Way in their second round match.
Leonard Gates (5) 7-2 David Cameron (2)
Leonard Gates (5) 7-0 Alex Spellman (1)
David Cameron (2) 7-5 Jacob Taylor (3)
Alex Spellman (1) 6-1 Larry Butler (8)
Leonard Gates (5) 6-0 Jason Brandon (13)
David Cameron (2) 6-4 Danny Lauby (7)
Jacob Taylor (3) 6-4 David Fatum
The top-16 players on the 2023 Championship Darts Circuit will take the stage at the Continental Cup Tour Finals Championship, October 20-21 in New York City, with a berth in the Grand Slam of Darts and the 2024 US Darts Masters on the line. Tickets will be available soon at champdarts.com!
Article by Brian Fraser
The CDC’s stars came out to shine on Saturday, with 7 of the top 8 reaching the quarterfinals of the DartConnect Derby. With everything on the line, Canada’s David Cameron emerged victorious with a 7-3 victory over fifth seed Stowe Buntz in the final.
The entire bracket was fraught with World Championship implications as the fight to represent the USA and Canada at the 2024 PDC PaddyPower World Darts Championship continued. In the semifinals, American point leader, Alex Spellman, was defeated by fellow countryman and rival Stowe Buntz while David Cameron – who was in a three-way battle for the Canadian top spot with Jacob Taylor and Jim Long – survived a last leg decider against The Gentleman to advance.
The win for Cameron, his first of the 2023 season, moves him into a big lead amongst the Canadians. He now sits 12 points ahead of Jacob Taylor and 14 ahead of Jim long, with 18 points available Sunday. He started Saturday with three comfortable wins, 5-0 over Rick Allred, 6-1 over Jason Brandon, and 6-1 over Danny Lauby, prior to his nail biting 7-6 victory over Long in the semifinals.
Stowe Buntz, who sits second on the American points list – 10 behind Alex Spellman and 6 ahead of Danny Lauby – sailed comfortably through his first three contests as well, winning 5-3 over Michael Nguyen, 6-1 over Chuck Puleo, and 6-1 over Leonard Gates before meeting Spellman in the semifinals. Even though he fell 7-5 in that semifinal, he extended his lead over Lauby for the wild card spot at the Ally Pally. The top American and top Canadian at the conclusion of the Tour will earn their spot at the Worlds, as will the highest-ranked player not otherwise qualified, regardless of nationality.
Danny Lauby secured the highest average in event 11, with a brilliant 94.74. He’ll look to keep that going Sunday to hold out hope for a return to the Palace. David Cameron was untouchable on his checkouts, converting 48%. Jim Long notched 7x 180s and Jacob Taylor had the highest checkout, with a 161.
David Cameron (2) 7-3 Stowe Buntz (5)
Stowe Buntz (5) 7-5 Alex Spellman (1)
David Cameron (2) 7-6 Jim Long (6)
Alex Spellman (1) 6-2 Gary Mawson (9)
Stowe Buntz (5) 6-1 Leonard Gates (4)
David Cameron (2) 6-1 Danny Lauby (7)
Jim Long (6) 6-5 Jacob Taylor (3)
The players meet one last time, for the Winmau Blade 6 Championship, which is the 12th and final event of the season. Coverage beginning at 11:00 am eastern from, Indianapolis, Indiana. At the end of the day, the top American and Canadian player, along with the next highest ranked player, will earn their spots at the 2024 PDC World Championships in December. The current points list can be found on champdarts.com.
Article by Brian Fraser
“The Jackal,” Alex Spellman, was dominant on Friday, cruising to victory in the Magic Darts Masters in Indianapolis. After finishing as a bridesmaid to Stowe Buntz twice in Toronto, he would face a new challenger – “Soulja” Leonard Gates – here in Indiana. Gates came into today fresh off of his win at the World Seniors Matchplay last weekend, but Spellman would not be denied. He opened with a 10-darter, and maintained a 100+ average throughout the final, sealing the title with a 127 out for a 12 darter in leg 10. The 7-3 victory earned Spellman his third title of 2023.
Stowe Buntz, who stormed up the leaderboard by winning the past three events, saw his 17-match win streak snapped at the hands of Gates in the quarterfinals.
Leonard’s day was almost finished before it began as he survived a last leg decider against Rick Allred, in his first match. He would find his shot after that, dispatching seeded players Joey Lynaugh (6-1) and the aforementioned Buntz (6-2) before whitewashing Canadian Jake MacMillian (7-0) in the semis.
Spellman cruised to the finals without facing a deciding leg. He opened with a 5-1 victory over Chris Caldwell, and followed it up with a tidy 6-3 win over Jason Brandon. In the quarterfinals, he outplayed an in-form Danny Lauby, winning 6-3, then upped his game yet another level, knocking off JT Davis in the semifinals 7-4, averaging 93.98. He fell behind in that match 2-0, before rattling off 6 straight legs to take control of the match.
In the race for spots at the 2024 PDC Paddy Power World Darts Championship, Alex Spellman extended his lead over fellow Americans Stowe Buntz and Danny Lauby, while Canadian David Cameron closed the gap on Jacob Taylor. The top American and Canadian at the conclusion of Event 12 will earn their ticket to London in December, as will the highest-ranked player not otherwise qualified, regardless of nationality.
Alex Spellman had the top average for the tournament with 92.70, three points higher than Jim Long. He also connected on a tournament-high nine 180s and led the way in finishing, converting 41% of his checkout attempts.
Alex Spellman (2) 7-3 Leonard Gates (4)
Leonard Gates (4) 7-0 Jake MacMillan
Alex Spellman (2) 7-4 JT Davis
Jake MacMillan 6-2 David Cameron (1)
Leonard Gates (4) 6-2 Stowe Buntz (5)
Alex Spellman (2) 6-3 Danny Lauby (7)
JT Davis 6-4 Ryan Vander Weit (14)
The players reconvene on Saturday for event #11, the penultimate event on the tour, as they vie for critical points in the Dart Connect Derby beginning at 12:00 Eastern from Indianapolis.
It was a perfect Sunday afternoon for Stowe Buntz, Ross Snook and darts fans across the continent as Weekend 3 on the 2023 Championship Darts Circuit came to a close.
Buntz completed a clean-sweep on the weekend with a 7-2 victory over Jim Long in the final of the Galaxy Gold Cup, making him the first player in CDC history to claim a trifecta of CDC Tour event titles in a single weekend. He averaged 91.28 in the final and went 31-12 in legs on the day.
But that wasn’t the only piece of history made.
Ross Snook became the first player to hit a perfect nine-dart leg on a CDC Main Tour event live-stream, pinning Double 12 in the third leg of his last-64 match against Cashmere Ventura. This on Snook’s first weekend of CDC play this season following open-heart surgery earlier in the year. While it came in a losing effort, “The Rock” was smiling from ear-to-ear after the match, feeling that it was a huge milestone in his recovery and a big step towards returning to top form.
Buntz opened his bid for a third consecutive title with a 5-1 victory over Eugene Schmitt before overcoming 12th seed Doug Boehm and 13th seed Chuck Puleo, both by a 6-4 score. He then outclassed an out-of-sorts Danny Lauby 7-1 in the semis to book his tie with Long in the final.
For his part, the 6th-seeded Long began his journey with a 5-1 victory over Justin Fawcett and followed it up with a tight 6-4 victory over the aforementioned Cashmere Ventura. He then caught fire, defeating 3rd seed Jacob Taylor (6-4) and 2nd seed David Cameron (7-2), gaining ground on the two Canadians ahead of him in the standings. Long almost added a nine-darter of his own along the way, just missing the double twelve against Jacob Taylor.
Buntz connected on an incredible 47% of his checkout attempts on Sunday, while his finals opponent, Jim Long, led the way with 9x 180s. Jules Van Dongen recorded the highest average with 93.37, and the highest checkout belonged to Alex Spellman, with a 164 against Sylvain Bourdeau.
Stowe Buntz (5) 7-2 Jim Long (6)
Stowe Buntz (5) 7-1 Danny Lauby (8)
Jim Long (6) 7-2 David Cameron (2)
Danny Lauby (8) 6-4 Ryan Vander Weit (16)
Stowe Buntz (5) 6-4 Chuck Puleo (13)
David Cameron (2) 6-0 Keifer Durham
Jim Long (6) 6-4 Jacob Taylor (3)
The final weekend of the 2023 Championship Darts Circuit tour takes place September 8-10 in Indianapolis, Indiana, where the culmination of the tour will determine the Canadian and American representatives at the 2024 PDC PaddyPower World Darts Championship, as well as the field for the 2023 CDC Continental Cup.
Article by Brian Fraser
August 13, 2023
Stowe Buntz continued his winning ways in Toronto on Saturday, standing atop the field as the Hitkor Heritage Tournament Champion one day after securing his maiden CDC Title. Buntz defeated Alex Spellman in the finals for the second consecutive day, this time breaking Spellman’s throw in the last leg decider to capture the title 7-6. Both players are earning valuable points in the race to the Ally Pally with berths in the PDC PaddyPower World Darts Championship to be awarded at the conclusion of the 2023 CDC Tour.
Buntz was in even finer form on Saturday, starting his campaign with a 5-1 victory over Justin Fawcett before dismantling Gary Mawson 6-2. He was uncontested in the quarterfinals and semifinals, defeating top-seed Jacob Taylor 6-1 and 4th seed Leonard Gates 7-2, respectively, to set up the rematch with Spellman.
Spellman also never faced a match dart on his road to the final. He defeated Ross Snook 5-2, Joey Lynaugh 6-3, and Larry Butler 6-4 to reach the semis. Once there, Spellman made short work of the 7th seed, Danny Lauby, winning 7-2 and averaging nearly 89.
It was a second consecutive early exit for Chuck Puleo, who was again retired in the last-32. It was also the second consecutive date with no Canadians in the final – a rarity on the CDC Tour this year. If there were a “Man of the Match” award, it would have gone to Jules Van Dongen who fired a blistering 116.34 average against Jeremiah Millar in a 5-1 win. For his part, Millar averaged almost 95 in the losing effort – the second straight weekend he bowed out to a CDC record-setting average by The Dutch Dragon.
Van Dongen led the field in average on the day, with a 104.72 average across his two matches. He also set the pace for checkouts, converting 50% of his attempts with Stowe Buntz right behind with a 45% success rate. Leonard Gates and Doug Boehm each connected on 8x 180s, while Van Dongen had the high out with a 158.
Stowe Buntz (8) 7-6 Alex Spellman (3)
Stowe Buntz (8) 7-2 Leonard Gates (4)
Alex Spellman (3) 7-2 Danny Lauby (7)
Stowe Buntz (8) 6-1 Jacob Taylor (1)
Leonard Gates (4) 6-4 Jim Long (5)
Danny Lauby (7) 6-2 David Cameron (2)
Alex Spellman (3) 6-4 Larry Butler (6)
Article by Brian Fraser
August 12, 2023
American sharp shooter, Stowe Buntz, has secured his first Championship Darts Circuit title, winning the Cosmo Fit Flight Challenge. The event was number 7 of 12 of the 2023 tour, and the first in Canada. The 11th seeded Buntz, defeated the 4th seed – and reigning Continental Cup champion – Alex Spellman, 7-4, to grab the trophy. After holding his throw to pull ahead 5-4 in the finals, Buntz earned a critical break of throw in the tenth leg and followed it up with a 16-dart hold to close out the match.
The Virginia man started his day with a tight 5-4 victory over Jason Watt before overcoming a 2-0 deficit against Jeremiah Millar – winning six straight legs enroute to a 6-2 victory. After dispatching the 14th-seeded Doug Boehm, 6-3 in the quarters, Stowe faced the second seed, David Cameron, in an eventful semifinal that saw him grab a 5-3 lead only to suffer back-to-back breaks of throw as Cameron ran off three unanswered to pull within a win of the final. Unfortunately for the Canadian man, he ran into double trouble in a leg he should have won easily and then dropped the decider as Buntz produced a 14-darter, checking 78 in two and booking his spot in the final.
Spellman’s road to the final was less rocky, as he cruised to a 5-2 victory against Marlo Yanson before whitewashing 13-seed Steve Warnock 6-0 to advance to the quarterfinals. A back-and-forth affair with Jim Long resulted in a 6-4 victory for the American who then brushed aside top-seeded Jacob Taylor 7-1 in the semifinals, winning seven on the spin after dropping the first leg.
Overall, Jules Van Dongen had the highest average on the day with 92.36, narrowly edging out fellow Americans Doug Boehm and Alex Spellman. Spellman and Boehm also led the way, along with David Cameron, all of whom notched seven 180s. The Canadian duo of Jake MacMillan and Justin Fawcett each reeled in a big fish 170 finish.
Stowe Buntz (11) 7-4 Alex Spellman (4)
Alex Spellman (4) 7-1 Jacob Taylor (1)
Stowe Buntz (11) 7-6 David Cameron (2)
Jacob Taylor (1) 6-1 Gary Mawson (8)
Alex Spellman (4) 6-4 Jim Long (5)
David Cameron (2) 6-0 Danny Lauby (7)
Stowe Buntz (11) 6-3 Doug Boehm (14)
The Championship Darts Circuit continues on Saturday, August 12, with the Hitkor Heritage Tournament. Coverage begins at 12:00 Eastern, from Toronto, Ontario.
Article by Brian Fraser
August 11, 2023