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In just his second CDC event, Florida’s Danny Baggish etched his name into the history books as he claimed his first title in the tenth and final ranking event on the 2019 Magic Darts Championship Darts Circuit.
The PDC North American Darts Championship winner, who turned heads by recording three 110+ match averages in Saturday’s play only to fall short to Danny Lauby in the Last-16, stormed through the field in Philadelphia and dropped only eight legs en route to darting glory.
‘Big Daddy’ Darin Young’s dominance on the 2019 Magic Darts Championship Darts Circuit continued apace yesterday in Philadelphia as he claimed his third title of the year on five finals appearances. More importantly for Young, his seventh title in the five-year history of CDC saw him book his place at the 2020 William Hill World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Palace, London.
The entire 2019 campaign has been one of intense focus for Young after being edged out by Chuck Puleo for the U.S. World Championship spot in the final Tour event last year. The Pennsylvanian was determined not to leave that door open again and his quarterfinal win over Joe Huffman guaranteed him a tenth PDC World Darts Championship appearance.
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