The much anticipated start of the 2023 Championship Darts Corporation main event season began on Friday night with Main Event 1, the 2023 Galaxy Barrel Bash in Indianapolis, Indiana. Emerging victorious from a star-studded field of North America’s finest players was Jake Womack, the 2019 Evolution Tour champion who earned his first title on the main tour.
Womack opened his season with a hard fought 5-4 victory over Ryan Vander Weit, and followed that with a 5-0 victory over Hossey Hicks. He then rattled off three consecutive victories over top-10 ranked players, defeating 2022 top Canadian, David Cameron (6-3), American legend Larry Butler (6-4), and Jacob Taylor 7-6 in the semifinals, where both players played outstanding.
In the finals, Womack came out on fire and took advantage of a slow start by Stowe Buntz to create a 6-0 lead. Buntz found his form and tried to mount a comeback, but he could not overcome the lead and Jake Womack earned the 7-2 victory.
Prior to the finals, Stowe Buntz was perhaps the on-form player of the day. Last year’s two-time finalist event earned a victory over John Steinhofer in the last 64 before dismantling Sylvain Bourdeau with a 95.94 average. He then defeated the reigning North American champion, Leonard Gates, in the last 16, the reigning Continental Cup champion, Alex Spellman, in the last 8, and the 2022 points leader, Danny Baggish, in the semifinals.
Danny Lauby, after taking time off from the tourn last season, had a nice return to CDC action, defeating Chuck Puleo, Chris Lawson, and Elliot Milk, before succumbing to Jacob Taylor in the quarterfinals.
It was a strong showing for many players today. Alex Spellman, despite his defeat in the last 8, led the way with a 97.68 average on the day, with a staggering 51% checkout success. Stowe Buntz led the way with 14x 180.
Play continues on Saturday, May 20, with Main Event #2, the A-Z Darts Duel, which will be followed by the first qualifier for a spot in the 2023 US Darts Masters.
Article by Brian Fraser
May 19, 2023