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Column #HR384 The Three Dot Lounge is Open…

Friday, December 2, 2022
Column HR384
The Three Dot Lounge is Open…

Back in the day, the Old Dart Coach always looked forward to Friday and the arrival of the San Francisco Chronicle sports page…

Inside the “Green Sheet” (the sport section was printed on green paper) sports writer Bruce Jenkins would start his column with “Welcome to the Three Dot Lounge”.

Jenkins was the son of the famous musical arranger Gordon who worked and caroused for years with Frank Sinatra.  Three dots (…) in a newspaper lingo mean “more to come”.

Jeff Smith, in the words of a Larry The Cable Guy, “got er done” as he qualified for the PDC World Championship being played December 15 to January 3 at the Alexandra Palace in London.

Smith swept through the field like the Maple Leaf’s Auston Matthews does on the ice when scoring a goal.  Smith had one close call against Jack Main in the round of 48.  Main broke out from 2-3 down to go up 5-3 using 16, 11 and 12 darts, denying Smith a shot a double.  But Smith held and claimed one back.  He then got another in “ugly” (19 darts) fashion, followed by a 15-darter for a 6-5 win.  He would then stroll in his final match to a 7-1 win over England’s Nick Fullwell – and into the Ally Pally lineup…

Smith will join fellow Notre Americanos Leonard Gates, Danny Baggish and Canadians Matt Campbell and David Cameron at the Big Dance.

Three of the five have reasonable draws with chances of moving on to the next round better than 50-50…

For Matt Campbell and Danny Baggish only one will move on as they face each other at the jump.  The winner will face Mervyn King where the odds of a win are less than good as King is a tough old customer.  First round losers collect £7,500 – the Baggish vs. Campbell will win at least £15,000. 

The ladies will be in the spotlight during the early rounds of the World Championships…

For the first time there are three.  Those players outside the seeded 32 are dependent on the draw to “escape” to the first round…

Lisa Ashton would appear to be in the cat bird seat with a draw of Ryan Meikle.  Meikle lost to MvG 6-3 last weekend averaging 97+.  A win and Ashton would get the #32 seed.  Not good, as that seed will face the red-hot Raymond van Barneveld.

Fallon Sherrock drew Ricky Evans (who lost 6-3 averaging a beatable 92+) – the winner will face Joe Cullen.

Wunderkind sensation Beau Greaves gets the toughest assignment.  She’ll face William O’Connor who was level at 4 with Krzysztof Ratajski last week only to lose 6-4…

Bounding rumors are an everyday occurrence at the Thee Dot Lounge…

Early in the year it was that Michael van Gerwen was on the way down from the mountain top.  Last weekend at the Cazoo Players Championship Finals van Gerwen took home £100,000 when he tossed a spanner in Rob Cross’s hope for a TV title.  In winning his 5th TV title of the year, MvG did it in spectacular 11-6 fashion…

With the match level at 1, van Gerwen tossed T77, T80 with a T44-check on d12.  That be 9-darter.

Cross got it close (down 6-7) when he missed 2 to level the match.  van Gerwen then took out T70 which caused the Fat Lady to lick her lips getting ready to sing.

Forced to withdraw from last year’s World Championships with Covid, van Gerwen is the betting choice early on.  van Gerwen said, “If I play my game, they can’t beat me.”…

Josh “U” Rock came into general prominence when he tossed a 9-darter against van Gerwen in the Grand Slam.  That Rock was defeated 10-8 was lost as the announcers immediately announced he was the next great player.  Within hours, his future prospects were elevated to a level not unlike a pint with no head or being born at night in a manger with a star overhead.

As Bill Shakespeare might have said, “Me thinks they spoke too soon.”

One thing is true- he’s head and shoulders ahead of other PDC youths.  He picked up the youth championship title with an easy 6-1 won over Nathan Girvan – Rock averaged a sizzling 104.13.  He would trail only once in the tournament (that at 0-2) against Sebastian Bialecki.  Rock would win that one 6-3.  Maybe they didn’t speak too soon… 

While all the pros were toiling away in Minehead the Winmau Jr. Darts invaded the Gibraltar…

America’s Kaden Anderson got to the JDC Open quarter finals but lost to Henry Coates of England.  Canadian Ethan Marshall defeated Yank Peter Stewart Jr. 4-3 where winning the bull decided the match in the quarter finals.  Marshall would lose his semi match to England’s Luke Littler 5-2.

Littler would hang a 6-0 Snyder on fellow Brit Evan Willoughby in the final.  That would be a darting double as Littler also won the JDC Open the day before against Pim Van Bijnen of Denmark.  Van Bijnen broke out after being level at 2 to take the lead 4-2.  Littler got to 3-4 when the Dane couldn’t check with 6 from 32.  They tied at 4 when Van Bijnen left 40 from 61 as Littler checked 25 after missing the bull from 129.  Littler closed it out in 15 and 16 darts for the 6-4 win.  Play continues at press time…

The Three Dot Lounge, like any pub in the world, has its cast of characters…

There’s an Old Curmudgeon who comes around daily.  He sits on his stool, sips a Guinness with a roll your own in the corner of his mouth.  He’s been places seen things and probably got a t-shirt somewhere along the way that has long been lost and forgotten…

He mumbles to himself while at times dispensing advice and wisdom which no one seems to appreciate…

Yes, he’s an old dart player who remembers paper boards, flights and brass darts.  He’s uncertain about tungsten darts as he thinks maybe there a passing fad.  Playing cricket is foreign to him as is keeping score without chalk.  His wisdom though shouldn’t be ignored.

The Old Curmudgeon told the Old Dart Coach recently, “Your friends can accomplish what enemies’ can’t”.   

Stay thirsty.