Nine-dart finish


Nine-dart finish

A nine-dart finish is the ultimate checkout in the game of darts, constituting a perfect game. It is notoriously difficult to achieve, even by the game's top professionals. It is considered to be the highest single-game achievement in the sport, similar to a maximum 147 break in snooker, a 300-point game in bowling, a perfect game in baseball, a golden set in tennis, or hitting six sixes in an over in cricket.

Contents

Methods of achievement

A single game (known as a leg) of darts requires a player to score 501 points, ending with either the bullseye or a double. Each shot consists of three darts, making 180 the maximum score of any shot. As a result of these rules, nine throws is the minimum necessary to win. Although other combinations are possible, the traditional way of completing in nine throws requires a score of 60 (treble 20) with each of the first six darts, that is, with the first two shots of three. This leaves 141 to score on the final shot, known as the outshot.

This outshot is traditionally performed in one of three ways:

  • treble 20 (60), treble 19 (57) and double 12 (24)
  • treble 18 (54), treble 17 (51) and double 18 (36)
  • treble 20 (60), treble 15 (45) and double 18 (36)

There are two ways to perform the 141 outshot with a bullseye finish:

  • treble 17 (51), double 20 (40), and bullseye (50)
  • treble 19 (57), double 17 (34), and bullseye (50)

Also possible are:

  • treble 20 (60), treble 17 (51) and double 15 (30)
  • treble 19 (57), treble 18 (54) and double 15 (30)
  • treble 19 (57), treble 16 (48) and double 18 (36).

Another way is to score 167 with each set of three darts, scoring a perfect 501 total, in the following way:

  • treble 20 (60), treble 19 (57) and bullseye (50)

This eliminates the chance of any dart being deflected by an already thrown dart into the wrong scoring area by throwing each dart at a different location on the board. It is only usually seen in exhibition matches as, in tournaments, players are inclined to aim for the triple 20, only switching to the triple 19 for a cover shot.

Arguably the most difficult nine dart finish would be 180 (3xT20), 171 (3xT19), and 150 (3xBULL) – owing to the difficulty of getting all three darts in the bullseye: it is the smallest double on the board.

A nine dart finish is also attainable in games which require a double to commence scoring, though the scoring patterns seen are typically different. In such games, throwing for double 20 first can lead to a maximum score of 160 with the first throw, leaving the thrower commonly requiring 180 then 161 (T20,T17,BULL) in their remaining six darts, though other outcomes are possible. It is worth noting that in these games, only throwing for double 20, double 17, or bullseye to start the leg can result in a nine dart finish.

Another, sometimes overlooked method of achieving a 9 darter is 180 (3xT20) 151 (T20,D20,T17 / T18,T19,D20 / T20,T19,D17 or BULL,BULL,T17) all of which leave 170, the top finish possible in Darts achieved by T20,T20,BULL.

The total number of different ways of achieving 501 with 9 darts is 3944, of which 2296 finish with the BULL, 672 end on D20, 792 on D18, 56 end with D17, 120 finish on D15, and just 8 end with D12.

First televised nine-darter

The first televised nine dart finish was achieved at the World Matchplay championship on October 13, 1984 by John Lowe,[1] who used the second method (with the T17 first, then T18, D18) above as his outshot after scoring two maximum 180s. For this he received a prize of £102,000, and he went on to win the whole event.

World Championship nine-darters

The first player to manage the outshot in the world championship was American player Paul Lim on January 9, 1990 against Ireland's Jack McKenna. He favoured the first method of those listed above for his outshot.[2] Lim won a £52,000 bonus for the feat, which was more than the eventual tournament winner, who claimed £24,000 for becoming World Champion.

Even with two versions of the World Championship in operation, Lim's achievement was not repeated for nearly 19 years.

On January 2, 2009 Raymond van Barneveld became only the second person to achieve the feat and the first since the split in darts.[3] The finish came against Jelle Klaasen at the quarter-final stage of the 2009 PDC World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Palace, and he claimed a £20,000 bonus prize (having rolled over from three previous tournaments since Phil Taylor's nine-darter at the UK Open). On 28th December 2009 he repeated the feat at the 2010 PDC World Darts Championship during his second round clash with Brendan Dolan netting him a £25,000 prize.[4]

Adrian Lewis achieved a nine-dart finish in the third leg of the 2011 PDC World Darts Championship final against Gary Anderson, winning £10,000.[5]

Most prolific nine-darters

Shaun Greatbatch hit the first ever nine-dart finish during a live televised darts match. The feat was achieved during the 2002 Dutch Open final against Steve Coote, which was broadcasted on Dutch television.[6][unreliable source?]

Phil Taylor has achieved this feat more than any other darts player on television,[7] having done so eight times: the first came on August 1, 2002 during a quarter final tie against Chris Mason, at the 2002 PDC World Matchplay in Blackpool.[8] It was the first live-televised nine-dart finish on British television and Taylor received £100,000.

The 2007 International Darts League became the first televised tournament to witness two nine-darters when Phil Taylor's effort was matched the following day (May 9) by another perfect game from Tony O'Shea against Adrian Lewis.[9][unreliable source?]

Mervyn King hit his first televised nine-dart finish in the 2009 South African Masters on September 27, 2009 against James Wade — he became the first player to hit a televised nine-darter outside of Europe.[10]

James Wade achieved three nine-dart finishes during a calendar year (2006) in tournament play at the UK Open North West finals in March, the PDPA event in Hayling in June and the Vauxhall Open in November.[11] However, none of the events were televised. Wade briefly changed his playing nickname from the Gladiator to 009, a play on James Bond and reference to his nine-dart achievements. Wade's first televised nine-darter, came against Gary Anderson at the 2008 Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton on November 20, 2008, shown live on ITV4. It was the first time the feat had been achieved live on terrestrial, free-to-air television in the UK.

The youngest player to throw a televised nine-darter is Michael van Gerwen, who hit the perfect leg in the semi-finals of the Masters of Darts tournament in the Netherlands. The event was screened live in the Netherlands. Van Gerwen was just &1000000000000001700000017 years, &10000000000000298000000298 days old at the time. The Dutch youngster scored 174 (T20, T19, T19) and 180, then checked out 147 with T20, T17, D18. Van Gerwen's nine-darter was the first live televised nine-darter that did not start with two 180s.

On May 24, 2010, in the Premier League final against James Wade, Taylor made history by being the first player to ever hit two 9-dart finishes in a single match. These were his seventh and eighth nine-dart finishes.

Brendan Dolan became the first player ever to hit a nine-darter in a game which required a double to commence scoring. He did this in the semi-final of the 2011 World Grand Prix against James Wade on 8 October 2011. He opened with double 20, before hitting successive treble 20s (160, 180) and then finished on 161 with T20, T17 and a bullseye.[12]

List of televised nine-darters

So far 27 televised nine-darters were achieved.[13] Two people stand at more than two, Phil Taylor at 8 and Raymond van Barneveld at 5. 20 of those 27 hit two 180s and finished with T20, T19, D12.

Date Player Tournament Method Prize Referee Commentator(s)
13/10/84 John Lowe
against Keith Deller
World Matchplay 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T17, T18, D18 £102,000 Freddie Williams Dave Lanning
9/1/90 Paul Lim
against Jack McKenna
BDO World Championship 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 £52,000 Martin Fitzmaurice Tony Green
3/2/02 Shaun Greatbatch
against Steve Coote
Dutch Open 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T15, D18 €200 Steve Nicolas Albert Manting
1/8/02 Phil Taylor
against Chris Mason
World Matchplay 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 £100,000 Russ Bray Sid Waddell
Dave Lanning
5/6/04 Phil Taylor
against Matt Chapman
UK Open 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 501 bottles of Budweiser Bruce Spendley Stuart Pyke
John Gwynne
12/6/05 Phil Taylor
against Roland Scholten
UK Open 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 501 bottles of Budweiser Bruce Spendley Dave Lanning
John Gwynne
23/3/06 Raymond van Barneveld
against Peter Manley
Premier League Darts 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 Bruce Spendley Sid Waddell
John Gwynne
17/2/07 Michael van Gerwen
against Raymond van Barneveld
Masters of Darts T20, 2 x T19; 3 x T20; T20, T17, D18 €10,000 Russ Bray Stuart Pyke
Rod Harrington
8/5/07 Phil Taylor
against Raymond van Barneveld
International Darts League 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 Opel Tigra Twin Top Bruce Spendley Leo Oldenburger
Jacques Nieuwlaat
9/5/07 Tony O'Shea
against Adrian Lewis
International Darts League 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 Opel Tigra Twin Top Bruce Spendley Leo Oldenburger
Jacques Nieuwlaat
9/6/07 Phil Taylor
against Wes Newton
UK Open 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 £20,000 Russ Bray John Gwynne
Rod Harrington
17/11/07 John Walton
against Martin Phillips
Winmau World Masters 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 £2,000 Nick Rolls Tony Green
7/6/08 Phil Taylor
against Jamie Harvey
UK Open 3 x T20; 2 x T20, T19; 2 x T20, D12 £25,000 Russ Bray Stuart Pyke
Sid Waddell
20/11/08 James Wade
against Gary Anderson
Grand Slam of Darts 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 Bruce Spendley Stuart Pyke
Alan Warriner-Little
2/1/09 Raymond van Barneveld
against Jelle Klaasen
PDC World Championship 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 £20,000 George Noble Nigel Pearson
Sid Waddell
27/9/09 Mervyn King
against James Wade
South African Masters 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 R110,000 Russ Bray John Gwynne
Rod Harrington
13/12/09 Darryl Fitton
against Ross Montgomery
Zuiderduin Masters 2 x T20, T19; 3 x T20; 2 x T20, D12 £4000 Rab Butler Jacques Nieuwlaat
28/12/09 Raymond van Barneveld
against Brendan Dolan
PDC World Championship 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 £25,000 George Noble Stuart Pyke
Rod Harrington
29/4/10 Raymond van Barneveld
against Terry Jenkins
Premier League Darts 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 Bruce Spendley John Gwynne
Rod Harrington
24/5/10 Phil Taylor
against James Wade
Premier League Darts T20, 2 x T19; 3 x T20; T20, T17, D18 George Noble Sid Waddell
Dave Lanning
24/5/10 Phil Taylor
against James Wade
Premier League Darts 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 George Noble Sid Waddell
Dave Lanning
5/6/10 Mervyn King
against Gary Anderson
UK Open 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 £5,000 George Noble John Gwynne
Rod Studd
17/7/10 Raymond van Barneveld
against Denis Ovens
World Matchplay 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 £5,000 Paul Hinks Sid Waddell
Stuart Pyke
3/1/11 Adrian Lewis
against Gary Anderson
PDC World Championship 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 £10,000 George Noble [nb 1]
16/7/11 John Part
against Mark Webster
World Matchplay 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 £10,000 Paul Hinks Sid Waddell
Rod Harrington
31/7/11 Adrian Lewis
against Raymond van Barneveld
European Championship 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12 Paul Hinks Stuart Pyke
Chris Mason
8/10/11 Brendan Dolan[citation needed]
against James Wade
World Grand Prix double-to-start
D20 , 2 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T17, bullseye
£5,000 George Noble John Gwynne
Rod Harrington
  1. ^ With the host broadcaster Sky Sports showing the final in both 2D and 3D, they implemented two different commentating teams. In 2D, Rod Studd and Sid Waddell commentated, while in 3D it was Wayne Mardle and Stuart Pyke.

Nine-darters in the PDC

With nine-dart finishes thrown on a regular basis the reward for throwing one has decreased. Currently the PDC has a rolling 400£ prize-pool for a nine-dart leg.[14] As long as it isn't won, it increases by 400£ for the next event. If thrown those don't garner media attention anymore. Sky Sports Premier events reward a rolling 5,000£ bonus still.

See also

References

  1. ^ "John Lowe Biography". unicorn-darts.com. http://www.unicorn-darts.com/team/world-champions/john-lowe.aspx. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "Paul Lim, Asian Darter Extraordinaire". medalist.com.sg. http://www.medalist.com.sg/paullim.php. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "Nine-darter helps Barney to semis". news.bbc.co.uk. 2 January 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/darts/7809177.stm. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Raymond van Barneveld hits second PDC nine-dart finish". news.bbc.co.uk. 28 December 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/darts/8432956.stm. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Nine-dart Lewis hits Jackpot". skysports.com. 4 January 2011. http://www.skysports.com/darts/pdc/story/0,25061,15623_6632810,00.html. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Shaun Greatbatch nine darter, Dutch Open 2002
  7. ^ Planet Darts Phil Taylor profile
  8. ^ Video of Phil Taylor's 9 dart finish v Chris Mason – World Matchplay 2002
  9. ^ Tony O'Shea feat at 2007 IDL
  10. ^ Taylor Wins Despite King Feat
  11. ^ Alan Warriner-Little website list of PDC 9 dart finishes
  12. ^ "PartyPoker.com WGP Semi-Finals". PDC. 8 October 2011. http://www.pdc.tv/page/NewsdeskDetail/0,,10180~2476279,00.html. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "List of PDC 9-darters". littlericharddarts.com. http://www.littlericharddarts.com/littlericharddarts/features/9dart.html. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  14. ^ "Order of merrit explanation". PDC. http://www.pdc.tv/page/OrderofMeritExplanation/0,,10180,00.html. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 

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