Scott Williams continued his dream European Tour debut with a 6-4 scalp of Peter Wright in the Second Round of the 2022 European Darts Open in Leverkusen on Saturday.
Associate Member qualifier Williams pulled off the biggest win of his career by knocking out the world number one to progress to the Last 16.
Wright established a 2-1 lead, but a total of 15 missed doubles allowed Challenge Tour Order of Merit leader Williams in to condemn the World Champion to a third consecutive Second Round exit on the European Tour.
“That wasn’t the Peter we all know, he missed too many darts at doubles, he didn’t score like he could but I won,” said Williams.
“I’m really looking forward to it, regardless of what happens. I’m a Challenge Tour player, not a professional technically, so just to be here for the whole weekend is fantastic. I’m enjoying myself.”
Williams will now face fellow emerging star Josh Rock in Sunday’s Third Round after the Northern Irishman averaged 101.7 in a 6-2 victory over Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski.
Michael van Gerwen began his quest for a fifth European Open title with a scintillating display to defeat Daryl Gurney 6-3.
The Dutchman averaged a stunning 113.8, missing double 12 for a nine-darter in the process, as he stormed into the Last 16 and launched his pursuit of a third Euro Tour title of the season in style.
Gurney played his part as he shared the opening six legs, and he had a chance to win the seventh despite Van Gerwen’s narrow miss for a perfect leg.
However, the Northern Irishman wired double 14 for a 121 checkout to allow Van Gerwen back in to complete a ten-darter, and the Dutchman ruthlessly closed out the victory in the next two legs.
“Daryl pushed me in the beginning of the game,” said Van Gerwen. “I missed a few darts here and there and that puts you under pressure. I still had a couple of really good legs.
“To be playing back here in Leverkusen is always good. I also want to do well because I think the crowd here deserve it and I need to make sure I keep my focus going. I feel good but tomorrow is another day.”
Van Gerwen will now take on current Premier League leader Jonny Clayton in Sunday afternoon’s Third Round after the Welshman dispatched Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-2 with a brace of 121 finishes in a dominant display.
Top seed Gerwyn Price was made to work hard against Luke Woodhouse, coming from 2-1 down to claim a 6-4 victory – although the qualifier had taken out 132 as he cut the gap from 5-2 to just one leg in the latter stages.
Price now takes on Nathan Aspinall in Round Three after the former UK Open champion closed out a 6-2 win over Karel Sedlacek with a superb 160 checkout.
Brendan Dolan produced an outstanding performance in a 6-0 whitewash of Andrew Gilding, landing four 13-darters and a 14-darter as he averaged almost 104.
Dolan now meets Luke Humphries after April’s German Grand Prix winner averaged 99.6 in a 6-2 win over Darren Penhall to safely reach the Last 16.
Joe Cullen and Dirk van Duijvenbode will collide in Round Three after both enjoyed rampant 6-1 wins on Saturday, seeing off Devon Petersen and Maik Kuivenhoven respectively.
Premier League star James Wade finished six from ten on the doubles and averaged 102.2 in a 6-1 rout of Berry van Peer to set up a meeting with Jose de Sousa – who edged out Sweden’s Dennis Nilsson in a tense deciding leg.
Ryan Searle impressed with a 102.6 average in his 6-2 win over Krzysztof Kciuk and now plays Dave Chisnall – who came from 4-3 down against Damon Heta before sealing a 6-4 success with a 146 checkout.
Germany’s Martin Schindler delighted the Leverkusen crowd with a 6-4 win over European Champion Rob Cross, taking out 154 and landing an 11-darter to move into the Last 16.
Schindler now meets Dimitri Van den Bergh – who enjoyed a 6-1 win over Cameron Menzies as he booked his spot in the final day of action.
Saturday May 7
Josh Rock 6-2 Krzysztof Ratajski
Jose de Sousa 6-5 Dennis Nilsson
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-1 Maik Kuivenhoven
Brendan Dolan 6-0 Andrew Gilding
Ryan Searle 6-2 Krzysztof Kciuk
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-1 Cameron Menzies
James Wade 6-1 Berry van Peer
Joe Cullen 6-1 Devon Petersen
Luke Humphries 6-2 Darren Penhall
Nathan Aspinall 6-2 Karel Sedlacek
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Luke Woodhouse
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Daryl Gurney
Peter Wright 4-6 Scott Williams
Jonny Clayton 6-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Rob Cross 4-6 Martin Schindler
Damon Heta 4-6 Dave Chisnall