“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.