WITH THE TWO World Darts championships over for another year, we have the usual comparisons of the quality of the two tournaments and their champions.
Martin Adams won the BDO version (televised on the BBC) for the third time on Sunday while Adrian Lewis was the surprise winner of the PDC championship (the one on Sky) with Phil Taylor knocked out in the quarter finals.
As usual, the three-dart averages were significantly higher in the PDC championship and there can be no doubt that, overall, the quality of the players in the PDC is higher. It’s not completely clear-cut though.
For a large part, the major difference between the two groups of players has been Phil Taylor who, when on form, has been head and shoulders above everyone else but hasn’t been able to maintain his incredible form of the last few years of late.
The steady stream of BDO players joining the PDC and competing quite well would indicate that, as they weren’t totally dominant in the BDO, the better BDO players are capable of hanging with most of the PDC roster. The structure of the BDO, including county and international teams means that there are several players, Martin Adams being the most obvious, who are unlikely to move to the PDC as things stand so the BDO tour is not going to simply become a feeder system for the PDC.
Also suggesting that the two groups of players aren’t as far apart as you might think is the fact that BDO player Scott Waites won the most recent Grand Slam of Darts, pretty much the only tournament where PDC and BDO players meet. Ted Hankey and Tony O’Shea both qualified for the knock-out stages too and Waites also reached the final in 2009 so the top BDO players are certainly able to compete with the PDC guys when they’re pitted against each other in this tournament.
Adams has never entered the tournament apparently because of an earlier perceived snub but it would be surprising if he couldn’t perform as well as the other BDO players have especially as he did well in PDC organised World Matchplay and Grand Prix events previously.
Speaking of BDO players joining the PDC, this year was the first time that the PDC championship was won by a player who had not previously won the BDO championship.
Adrian Lewis is pretty much the first top ‘home-grown’ PDC player as he never played in BDO tournaments, being a protégé of Phil Taylor since his teens. This may be the start of a trend of players joining the PDC without first competing in BDO events.
This post was first published at Action81