Soutar shows the way

By Editorial Staff 30/12/2021

With the talent level seeming to widen every year, and the additional external factors affecting this years World Championship, it may pay special dividends to look, past the star names at those quietly going about their business. Three underlined their intentions yesterday.

Callan Rydz laid down his title credentials in emphatic style with a 4-0 blitz of two-time semi-finalist Nathan Aspinall.
In just his third Alexandra Palace appearance, Rydz maintained his record of not dropping a set in the tournament as he reached the last 16 for the first time.
The young Geordie dropped just four legs, ending the match with a 98.35 average and seven 180s to eliminate tenth seed Aspinall, who was once again playing with a strapped right arm.
"I'll take that win any day of the week against such a great player," said Rydz.
"The first two sets could've gone either way but I came out after the second interval and just went for it.
"I don't see myself as a serious contender [to win the title], I just take it game by game. If I'm in the final on January 3 then happy days."
Rydz's fourth-round opponent will be Scottish firefighter and Ally Pally's debutant Alan Soutar.

Alan Soutar, whose dream debut continued as he survived a match dart in a 4-3 defeat of seventh seed Jose de Sousa.
A 90 minute battle saw Soutar come back from 3-2 down, completing the comeback with a 136 checkout.
Soutar, who sealed his second-round win over Mensur Suljovic with a 144 finish, squandered 11 darts to win the first set and ended the match with 45 missed attempts at the outer ring.
However, an out-of-sorts De Sousa was unable to finish the job after going 3-2 up in sets as he missed a match dart at double top in the set six decider.
Soutar found double eight at the sixth attempt to level at 3-3, before finishing the stronger of the pair in the deciding set.
"That was nerve-racking, it was horrible but when you win the feeling you get is absolutely incredible," said Soutar. "Neither Jose or I were at our best but I'll take it, I'm absolutely buzzing."

In addition to these names, there was a similar group from the previous days' play. Martin Kleermaker, Merv KIng with Ryan Searle perhaps leading that section of the draw.

Luke Humphries received a bye to the fourth round after Dave Chisnall withdrew following a positive Covid-19 test result.
The action continues on Thursday with the final day of darts in 2021, when the quarter-final line-up will be completed following the six remaining third-round ties.
Humphries takes on Dobey in the afternoon session, in the battle of the byes, while the evening session includes a clash of World Champions between Anderson and Cross, and Peter Wright's meeting with Ryan Searle.
The tournament is being broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK, through the PDC's worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and RTL7, and on PDCTV (excluding UK and Netherlands based subscribers).

2021/22 William Hill World Darts Championship
Wednesday December 29
Afternoon Session
3x Third Round
(R3) Alan Soutar 4-3 Jose De Sousa (2-3, 3-0, 3-1, 0-3, 2-3, 3-2, 3-1)
(R3) Luke Humphries bye Dave Chisnall
(R3) Callan Rydz 4-0 Nathan Aspinall (3-1, 3-1, 3-0, 3-2)

Evening Session
1x Third Round, 2x Fourth Round
(R3) Gary Anderson 4-3 Ian White (2-3, 0-3, 2-3, 3-1, 3-0, 3-2, 3-1)
(R4) Gerwyn Price 4-1 Dirk van Duijvenbode (1-3, 3-0, 3-0, 3-0, 3-0)
(R4) Michael Smith 4-3 Jonny Clayton (2-3, 1-3, 3-1, 3-2, 3-1, 1-3, 6-4)
Thursday December 30
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x Fourth Round
Raymond Smith v Mervyn King
Alan Soutar v Callan Rydz
Chris Dobey v Luke Humphries

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x Fourth Round
James Wade v Martijn Kleermaker
Gary Anderson v Rob Cross
Peter Wright v Ryan Searle
William Hill Tournament Outright Odds
Gerwyn Price 2/1, Michael Smith 7/2, Peter Wright 9/2, Rob Cross 8/1, Gary Anderson 14/1, Callan Rydz 14/1, James Wade 16/1, Ryan Searle 16/1, Chris Dobey 25/1, Luke Humphries 25/1
*Prices correct at time of send, subject to fluctuation. 18+.
Lead Image: PDC
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