Campbell Crushes the Competition in Chicago

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​​