The top 16 seeds commence their 2020 European Tour campaigns at the Belgian Darts Championship in Hasselt on Saturday as…
The top 16 seeds commence their 2020 European Tour campaigns at the Belgian Darts Championship in Hasselt on Saturday as Round Two takes centre stage.
The opening day of the £140,000 tournament saw four Belgian hopefuls progress, while Stephen Bunting, Luke Humphries and Justin Pipe were among the notable names to suffer early exits.
Part One of an unmissable double-header on Saturday kicks off with a clash between multiple major finalist Michael Smith and a resurgent Ronny Huybrechts.
Smith returns to action less than 48 hours after hitting a sensational nine-darter in the Premier League in Dublin and will look to carry that form into this contest against his veteran opponent who thrashed Humphries 6-1 on Friday despite having dropped off the main tour.
A repeat of last August’s Brisbane Masters final sees Rob Cross aiming to take revenge on Australian ace Damon Heta – who marked a dream European Tour debut with a 104 average in whitewashing Michael Barnard on Friday.
Premier League star Glen Durrant also faces a tough opener as he takes on Euro Tour stalwart Mervyn King, while Jermaine Wattimena and Danny Noppert collide in an all-Dutch affair.
Ian White, a two-time European Tour event winner last season, starts out with a tricky clash against in-form Dirk van Duijvenbode – a semi-finalist on the ProTour after regaining his Tour Card at Q School.
Krzysztof Ratajski, who already has a Players Championship title to his name this season, as well as last year’s Gibraltar Trophy, takes on Germany’s most in-form darter Gabriel Clemens in another mouth-watering tie.
Joe Cullen, who claimed his first Euro Tour title last season, begins this campaign against former BDO star Martijn Kleermaker – who pulled off a shock scalp of Bunting in Round One.
The final match of the afternoon sees world number nine and former European Champion James Wade take on Irish ace Steve Lennon – who landed a nine-darter and reached the Semi-Finals on the ProTour last weekend.
The evening session gets underway with a show-down between UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall and former BDO World Champion Steve Beaton.
Gerwyn Price, twice a winner of the International Open, looks to safely progress past Dutch qualifier Wesley Plaisier, while world number 12 Mensur Suljovic faces a tough opener against recent Players Championship event winner Ryan Searle.
Michael van Gerwen, who has won an astonishing 32 European Tour titles, looks to kick-start his charge towards a first ranking title of 2020 by overcoming Belgian youngster Mike De Decker – who edged out Ron Meulenkamp 6-5 in Round One.
Reigning World Champion Peter Wright begins his bid for a seventh career Euro Tour triumph with a clash against a rejuvenated Andy Hamilton.
Wright was out of sorts in the Premier League in Dublin on Thursday, losing 7-1 to Price, and will be determined to get that defeat out of his system by denying ‘The Hammer’ another comeback win on his first Euro Tour outing since 2017.
Czech Open champion Jamie Hughes aims to crush the hopes of home favourite Dimitri van den Bergh, while Kim Huybrechts – the PDC’s most successful Belgian – returns to face Dutch star Jeffrey de Zwaan.
Premier League Challenger Jonny Clayton looks to put a poor run of form behind him when he takes on Steve West – who needed an average of just 78 to whitewash Jeffrey van Egdom on Friday night.
The action gets underway from midday GMT, with all matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs.
Belgian Darts Championship 2020 Schedule
All times GMT (local time one hour ahead)
Saturday February 29
Afternoon Session (12pm-4pm)
Michael Smith v Ronny Huybrechts
Joe Cullen v Martijn Kleermaker
Krzysztof Ratajski v Gabriel Clemens
Glen Durrant v Mervyn King
Rob Cross v Damon Heta
Ian White v Dirk van Duijvenbode
Jermaine Wattimena v Danny Noppert
James Wade v Steve Lennon
Evening Session (6pm-10pm)
Nathan Aspinall v Steve Beaton
Gerwyn Price v Wesley Plaisier
Peter Wright v Andy Hamilton
Michael van Gerwen v Mike De Decker
Jeffrey de Zwaan v Kim Huybrechts
Jamie Hughes v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Mensur Suljovic v Ryan Searle
Jonny Clayton v Steve West