A Generational Challenge

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Darts World has often commented how the 2023 season can be viewed as a battle between the old guard and the newer generations who are pushing at the post covid door. It seems that the Winmau Challenge Tour is determined to join in:

If you were to take the top 16 in the Challenge Tour rankings after fourteen events you will find a group as varied as has ever been the case. 

Representing the previous generations of stars are former Lakeside World Champions Cristian Kist (=2) and Scott Mitchell (13), a World Cup Champion in the person of John Henderson, European Championship finalist Wayne Jones (11) and veterans such as Andy Boulton (9).

More recent talents looking to break through include: exciting youngsters Cam Crabtree (7) Owen Bates (12) and Lukas Wenig (16). Players who are not exactly the next generation but more the ‘inbetweenies’ include the likes of Chris Landman, Dragutin Horvat and Thibault Tricole.

It would also be remiss not to mention the growing variety of nationalities represented. Dutch, Hungarian, French and Germans are joined by Swiss with the North Americans just outside the top 16 so far.

Indeed, it could be argued that after more than a decade’s development, the Challenge Tour is finally functioning as it ideally should. It is a bit of a parachute or plateau for those who have lost place at the top table, who in-turn ensure that those coming up are given a true test and gain valuable experience before heading onward if they are good enough.

Current leader Berry Van Peer is having a superb year. The player previously best known for a crippling attack of dartitis on live TV, has added multiple Challenge Tours – including going back-to-back in events 12 & 13 – to his Dutch Open title as he seeks his return to the elite.

The previous day had seen Van Peer and Wayne Jones bag a crown each, with The Wanderer winning five consecutive last leg deciders just to reach the quarter finals of event 11!

Conan Whitehead then reconfirmed the benefit of the MODUS Super series as he captured his first PDC title at Challenge Tour 14.

Van Peer’s run had begun on Winmau Challenge Tour weekend two as he claimed event six while another popular win was clinched when Hendo claimed the seventh of the year.

The Saturday of that weekend was remarkable for a breakthrough win by Dragotin Horvath and Ron Meulenkamp finally reaching a little of his promise.

The final word was had by Fallon Sherrock who once more created darting history, in Hildesheim on Saturday in event 9, becoming the first woman to hit a nine-dart finish in a PDC event. 

Darts Database Super 8

1Berry van Peer£11,850
2Chris Landman£5,050
2Christian Kist£5,050
4Dragutin Horvat£4,950
5John Henderson£4,875
6Ron Meulenkamp£4,725
7Cam Crabtree£4,475
8Conan Whitehead£4,050


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