By any measure, it’s a tall order for an outsider to win the World Championship against any of Europe’s top professionals, who benefit from world-class competition all year long, but the gap is closing.
Armed with a legitimate professional tour in the Championship Darts Circuit, North American players have seen their averages rise in tune with increased opportunities, providing optimism for now and the future.
Each North American has shown the mettle and skill to be highly competitive — it will come down to stage experience and a fair bit of luck for these underdogs to pull off an upset and make history, but the thrill is in the chase!
Chuck is playing the third match in the afternoon session on 18 December.
Scouting Report: The lone representative from the United States, Massachusetts native Chuck Puleo qualified for the World Championships by taking the #1 ranking spot in the Championship Darts Circuit, barely edging out Darin Young by defeating this year’s BDO Lakeside qualifier for the USA, Jim Widmayer, on the final day of the tour.
Known for high scoring and stone-faced composure, Chuck faces off against one of the PDC’s rising stars, Dimitri vanden Bergh, ranked 35th in the world and back-to-back World Youth Champion.
Dimitri has thrown a perfect 9-dart game in a televised tournament this year and is perhaps the toughest draw for the North Americans.
Chuck loses his debut at Ally Pally 3-0 to Dimitri, now setting his sights on next year and a possible visit to PDC Q-School in January.
CDC 2018 Main Event #4 Top 16 – Chuck defeats Nick Linberg with his highest recorded tour match average: 104.4 DCA – View Match Report
CDC 2018 Main Event #10 Semifinals – Chuck throws a 94 DCA to hold off Gary Mawson’s surging comeback midway through the match – View Match Report
CDC 2018 Main Event #9 Semifinals – Chuck narrowly loses to 3X World Champion John Part with a 94.2 DCA – View Match
JIM LONG – Canada
DartConnect Member #9499
Jim is playing the second match in the morning session on 15 December.
Scouting Report: Canada’s Jim Long has been well known throughout his home of Ontario, but before this past year had not committed himself to play darts seriously or professionally.
All that changed as Jim burst onto the CDC scene, traveling to tour stops around the continent and consistently finishing deep into each competition, securing his place at the World Championships as CDC’s top-ranked Canadian.
Jim has earned a first-round matchup vs veteran Irish professional, Mickey Mansell, ranked 63rd in the world. This is Mansell’s fourth appearance on the Ally Pally stage, but he has yet to make it out of the first round and likely banking on a turn of fortune against newcomer Long.
The most successful of the three North America players, Jim Long puts up a tremendous fight, but loses the 2nd round overtime battle to Benito van de Pas 3-2.
CDC 2018 Main Event #8 Qrtrfinals – Jim defeats Gary Mawson with his highest recorded tour match average: 97.8 DCA – View Match Report
CDC 2018 Main Event #2 Finals – Jim narrowly loses out to Chuck Puleo in his only finals appearance of the 2018 tour – View Match Report
CDC 2018 Main Event #8 Semifinals – Another of Jim’s five tour semifinal appearances, Jim falls again to eventual winner Chuck Puleo with an 86.1 DCA – View Match
JEFF SMITH – Canada
DartConnect Member #99
Jeff is playing the third match in the morning session on 15 December.
Scouting Report: No stranger to World Championships, Jeff Smith is one of the most experienced North Americans when it comes to international competition and earned his spot by winning the PDC’s North American Championship last July in Las Vegas.
Having played at Ally Pally last December, one year after losing in the finals of the 2017 BDO World Professional Championship at Lakeside, Jeff knows full well how to prepare, and succeed, against the world’s best players.
He will need to draw on his deep experience to overcome his first opponent, former youth star Josh Payne, currently the 53rd ranked player in the world. Josh has garnered recent successes on the PDC tour in 2018 and has beaten many top-ranked players throughout the year, now hoping to add Mr. Smith to his hit list.
After winning the first set, Jeff falls to Josh 3-1 and will now focus on attending PDC Q-School in January.
Jeff’s last 25 matches on the PDC North American Power Index:
Jeff Smith – Match Highlights:
PDC North American Championship Finals – Jeff Smith defeats fellow Canadian John Norman, Jr. in Las Vegas to earn his spot in the World Championship – View Match Report
PDC 2018 World Series Qualifier 3 Finals – This is the match that sent Jeff on his path to Ally Pally qualification, defeating his friend and BDO Lakeside participant, David Cameron with a 94.3 DCA – View Match Report
Seacoast Open 2017 501 Finals – Jeff defeats Darin Young with a 93.4 DCA to take the 501 singles title at this annual New England major event – View Match Report
https://www.dartconnect.com/wp-content/uploads/PDC-wc-2.jpg557800Gregg TongGregg Tong2018-12-11 16:57:042018-12-21 16:51:30DartConnect Scouting Report - North Americans at the PDC World Championship
It’s never been a better time to be a darts fan in the USA and the world! The UK’s second most popular televised sport (No joke! it’s #2 after “football/soccer”) has never been more popular with global viewership on the rise.
BBC America will be covering the illustrious Professional Darts Corporation’s World Championships from December 13 to January 1st so you can watch every match through the holidays. This year’s field has expanded to 96 players from around the globe, including 2 female qualifiers and 3 North Americans.
See below for a complete schedule and links on where to watch, then click here for our scouting report on the North American players.
Where can I Watch in the USA?
See EVERY Match
December 13 through January 1 – Two Sessions per day: 7:30 pm & 2:00 pm Eastern Time
Tuesday, January 1 – LIVE STREAM 3:00 pm Eastern Time; Re-airing 9:30 PM on BBC America Cable/Sat
In addition to being streamed LIVE on BBC America’s website and Facebook Page, this will air on BBC America’s standard cable/satellite channel, check your local listings for the channel # in your area. This will immediately follow the Doctor Who New Year’s Day special.
Highlights and Featured Matches
Sundays 9:00 AM Eastern Time – 12/16, 12/23, 12/30
In the United States, watch 3 hours of coverage from BBC America’s standard channel on your local cable/satellite provider. Check your local listings for the correct channel # in your region.
Where can I watch outside the USA?
For standard television options, check the PDC website for the most up to date information for your country/region. Subscribers to Sky Sports in the UK can watch the entire competition on their dedicated channel, Sky Sports Darts.
For almost everywhere in the world, you can subscribe to PDCTV-HD, the PDC’s official streaming service. Sign up for a 7-day free trial before continuing your subscription for the World Championships, plus gain access to exclusive PDC tournaments throughout the year.
https://www.dartconnect.com/wp-content/uploads/pc-21-22-ratajski.png557800Gregg TongGregg Tong2018-10-22 16:31:542018-10-22 16:58:42Back to back wins for the Polish Eagle at final PDC Players Championship weekend
https://www.dartconnect.com/wp-content/uploads/PDC-Asia-2018-Manila-T11.jpg557800Gregg TongGregg Tong2018-10-14 12:42:492018-10-14 21:12:51Ilagan takes FOURTH title in Manila ; Malicdem bookends a second at PDC Asian Tours 11 & 12
https://www.dartconnect.com/wp-content/uploads/PDC-PC18-Aspinwall.jpg557800Gregg TongGregg Tong2018-09-05 20:36:332018-10-07 18:51:35Wright wins again while Aspinall takes first title at PDC Players Championships 17 & 18
https://www.dartconnect.com/wp-content/uploads/PDCAsia_KL1.jpg557800DC AdminDC Admin2018-08-19 12:40:172018-09-13 18:55:23Asada (2x) joins Ilagan (3x) as Multiple Tour Winner in Kuala Lumpur at PDC Asian Tours 7 & 8
Jeff Smith showed the grit and tenacity necessary to overcome his fellow North Americans and take the title at the PDC North American Championships. After a grueling 2 days of qualifiers in Las Vegas, Smith proved his vast international experience under the bright lights was the difference in taking the crown from his colleagues.
With this win, Smith has secured his return to the Alexandria Palace stage for the PDC World Championship spot at the end of the year, representing Canada. All 8 players from this competition now take on the 8 PDC visiting professionals in the US Darts Masters.
Review all of the DartConnect match reports and stats from the day on DCTV:
https://www.dartconnect.com/wp-content/uploads/Jeff-Smith-NA-Champion.png480640DC AdminDC Admin2018-07-06 15:07:362018-08-15 20:50:08Jeff Smith wins PDC North American Championship - books his place at Ally Pally