2007 Grand Slam of Darts


2007 Grand Slam of Darts

The 2007 Grand Slam of Darts was the inaugural staging of a darts tournament by the Professional Darts Corporation. The tournament invited the best performing players from the PDC and its rival the British Darts Organisation. There had been two previous head-to-head matches between the champions of the two organisations and a few tournaments have also featured BDO v PDC clashes. This tournament was the first of its kind to be held in the UK.

The 2007 tournament was staged at the Wolverhampton Civic between November 17 and November 25 2007. Phil Taylor won the title, beating Andy Hamilton 18-11 in the final. In one of the early group matches which may not have stood out at the time, John Part narrowly beat Mark Webster 5-4 and less than two months later the two players became the World Champions of their respective organisations.

Controversy

Controversy hit the tournament in May when it was confirmed by the BDO that the Winmau World Masters had been moved from its original dates of October 26-28 to a new date of November 16-18 [ [http://www.bdodarts.com/BDO%20ANNOUNCE%20WORLD%20MASTERS.htm BDO confirm new date for the World Masters] ] clashing directly with the Grand Slam. This meant that players from the BDO were forced into a direct choice between competing at the Masters for valuable ranking points or taking their place at the Grand Slam for better prize money. BDO World Champion Martin Adams almost immediately confirmed that he would participate in the Masters. [ [http://www.stuartpyke.com/ Stuart Pyke website regarding Martin Adams withdrawal from event] ]

Draw and results

Group Stages

all matches race-to-5/best of 9.
NB: P = Played; W = Won; L = Lost; LF = Legs For; LA = Legs Against; +/- = Plus/Minus Record, in relation to legs; Average = 3-dart average; Pts = Points.

Group A

*November 17, 2007:James Wade 91.82 5-4 Phill Nixon 92.19
Highest Checkout: 65 (Wade)

Niels de Ruiter 76.61 1-5 Pat Orreal 86.21
Highest Checkout: 98 (de Ruiter)

*November 18, 2007:James Wade 102.79 5-1 Pat Orreal 90.35
Highest Checkout: 100 (Orreal)

Phill Nixon 81.68 5-0 Niels de Ruiter 75.69
Highest Checkout: 116 (Nixon)

*November 19, 2007:James Wade 97.42 5-1 Niels de Ruiter 85.15
Highest Checkout: 158 (Wade)

Phill Nixon 76.61 4-5 Pat Orreal 81.89
Highest Checkout: 64 (Nixon)

Group D

*November 17, 2007:Mark Webster 93.54 1-5 Andy Jenkins 96.45
Highest Checkout: 141 (Jenkins)

John Part 81.50 2-5 Gary Mawson 87.03
Highest Checkout: 126 (Part)

*November 18, 2007:Mark Webster 97.70 4-5 John Part 94.89
Highest Checkout: 105 (Webster)

Andy Jenkins 85.23 3-5 Gary Mawson 87.57
Highest Checkout: 110 (Mawson)

*November 20, 2007:Andy Jenkins 95.13 0-5 John Part 95.13
Highest Checkout: 124 (Part)

Gary Mawson 85.76 1-5 Mark Webster 96.20
Highest Checkout: 117 (Webster)

Group G

Television

Coverage was shown on ITV. The first afternoon session on November 17, the Sunday afternoon session on November 18, the semi-finals, and the final were all be broadcast live on ITV1. The rest of the tournament was shown live on ITV4. It was ITV's first televised darts tournament since they ceased coverage of the Winmau World Masters in 1988 - although they did show the first Clash of Champions match between Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld in 1999. [ [http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/sport/article-23395241-details/On+the+line:+Sleepy+Wasps+set+alarm+bells+ringing/article.do ITV agree to cover Grand Slam] ]

The ITV Sport team consisted of lead presenter Matt Smith, analysts Steve Beaton and Alan Warriner-Little, and commentators John Rawling from ITV Boxing, Stuart Pyke from Sky Sports and Nigel Pearson of talkSPORT.

Prize money

PartyPoker.net increased the prize fund for the event from the original announcement of £250,000 to £300,000 making it the second richest tournament in 2007 - ahead of both the Premier League and the BDO World Championship. [ [http://www.planetdarts.tv/page/LatestDetail/0,,10180~1023937,00.html Sponsor confirmed] ]
*Total £300,000:Winner £80,000:Runner-Up £35,000:Semi-Finalists £15,000:Quarter-Finalists £10,000:Second Round Losers £6,000:First Round Losers £4,000

Format

The 32 players were split into eight groups of four players with the top two from each group qualifying for the last 16 knockout stages. Each player was guaranteed three matches in the competition.

Qualifiers

The PDC Chairman Barry Hearn announced on February 21, 2007 that all major tournament finalists for the past two years from both the BDO and PDC will be invited to the event. Also World Championship semi-finalists from the same period would receive an invite. The tournaments used for the qualifying criteria were the two World Championships, the World Matchplay, World Grand Prix and World Masters (2006 only), UK Open, Las Vegas Desert Classic, Premier League, World Series of Darts, International Darts League and the World Darts Trophy with the field set at 32 players.

BDO players Gary Anderson, Mark Webster Shaun Greatbatch, Niels de Ruiter, Phill Nixon and Scott Waites all accepted invites to the event leaving Martin Adams (the BDO World Champion) as the only player to have rejected the opportunity to play [ [http://www.planetdarts.tv/page/LatestDetail/0,,10180~1029689,00.html Anderson & Webster accept invites] ] He participated in the 2007 Winmau World Masters instead, losing at the quarter final stage.

Qualifiers from BDO/WDF tournaments

*Martin Adams elected not to compete at the Grand Slam of Darts.

Qualifiers from PDC tournaments

During the qualification period, players who had already sealed their places at the Grand Slam continued to reach major finals which left the PDC with several vacant positions. The qualifying criteria was therefore extended to include the highest ranked non-qualifiers from the PDC and WDF (Dennis Priestley and Scott Waites [ [http://www.planetdarts.tv/page/GrandSlamDetail/0,,10180~1087796,00.html Priestley & Waites invited] ] ). A wildcard tournament qualifier was expanded to two qualifiers (Chris Mason & Kevin McDine). Other events to be awarded places were the DPA Australian Open (Glenn Power, who was replaced by Pat Orreal due to visa restrictions [ [http://www.planetdarts.tv/page/GrandSlamDetail/0,,10180~1163651,00.html Orreal to Replace Power] ] ), the South African Open (Charles Losper), the North American Order of Merit (Gary Mawson). Finally, the next two highest ranked players from the PDC rankings were added (Ronnie Baxter & Kevin Painter [ [http://www.planetdarts.tv/page/GrandSlamDetail/0,,10180~1143758,00.html Final two places to come from Order of Merit] planetdarts.tv] ) to complete the 32 man field.

Previous BDO v PDC tournaments

There have been previous tournaments in which players from both the PDC and BDO have competed. Between 1998 and 2001 several BDO players competed in the World Matchplay - this was as a result of a 1997 Tomlin Order which allowed freedom of players to enter more events. This was later restricted when eligibility rules allowed only Professional Dart Players Association members to compete in the tournament.

The 2005 Masters of Darts was the first tournament to feature the top players from each organisation, and since 2006 the Dutch organisers of the International Darts League and World Darts Trophy invited some PDC players to compete alongside BDO players.

External links and references

* [http://www.planetdarts.tv/page/LatestDetail/0,,10180~985319,00.html Announcement of tournament] Planetdarts.tv


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