Day two of the Coral UK Open provided more moments of drama and high-quality tungsten as we were left with a pretty much unexpected last eight in Minehead with the likes of Steve West, Robert Owen & David Pallett making the last eight for the first time in a PDC major.
I have been particularly impressed with the rise of the Welshman Robert Owen who has really come on leaps and bounds over the past nine months. Just this time last year, Owen had only won one game in a UK Open qualifier, and to follow that up with a run to the last eight (possibly more).
Gerwyn Price looks to maybe even go one better as he reached the final 12 months ago. The Welshman has shown a great return to form after some disappointing results in the Premier League, and he’s definitely up for the challenge.
Corey Cadby has really impressed me since making the switch, we all expected him to do well, but the impact he’s made has been nothing short of phenomenal, he captured his tour card on the very first day, he then claimed his first PDC title just a few weeks later as he won a UK Open qualifier in Wigan. He then went on to reach another final, as he lost out to an on-song MVG at Players Championship two in Barnsley.
The way he’s gone about his business over the weekend has been very professional as he’s swept aside some great players, and despite not being at the top of his game, Cadby has produced the goods at the crucial points.
Here is what some of the darts community had to say following the action from day two :
” Wow. Another day of huge upsets. Obviously, the current World Champion – Rob Cross and the former back-to-back World Champion – Gary Anderson still remain but names like Steve West, David Pallett, Robert Owen, Corey Cadby and Gerwyn Price now have a huge opportunity to claim their first televised major title. John Part has been the story of the weekend, dropping just four legs in his opening three games before edging past Ron Meulenkamp and Mervyn King, the Canadian now has a big chance to claim his first UK Open title. The last title ‘Darth Maple’ won was the UK Masters in Minehead, on the European Tour. The TV broadcasters definitely didn’t want the draw to go the way it did with Price drawing Cadby and Cross going up against Gary Anderson, as both games are easily capable of being finals.
I personally think this is a crucial tournament for the future of darts with youngsters like Corey Cadby and David Pallett reaching major quarter-finals and having a massive opportunity to go on and take home £70,000 and add their name to the Coral UK Open Roll of Honour. ”
– The Maximum (@TheMaximum180)
” The evening session only pulled up two surprises for me; firstly Steve West getting over the line against Michael Smith and the second surprise is that the West Smith match was on an outside board. Steve West has been playing fantastic for the last 2 years and has won a players championship event. His only bad period on the floor in the last two years was the 2016 UK Open Qualifiers where he ran into Phil Taylor in 3 of the 6 events. Since then he’s been smashing it! I think he deserved to have the main stage with Smith given his form. Having said that, I wasn’t expecting him to get over the line! All other matches weren’t big surprises – that’s not to say they weren’t very pleasing! Really glad for Part and Owen! Hoping for a decent day of darts and hoping I can pick up a few predictions points too.
– Paul Lees (@predictions180)
” The 2018 UK Open. Weird. Bizarre. Crazy. At times farcical. But perhaps the most fascinating tv event in years. Freaky Friday was followed by Shocking Saturday as more big names exited the event. Wade, Gurney, Huybrechts, King, Bunting, White and most surprisingly Michael Smith will all look back at this as a wasted opportunity.
So we’re down to eight. A wonderfully eclectic line up of World Champions and fast improving players.
The winner of Anderson and Cross will have to be favourite to win the event. Both have played some terrific darts so far and as the arena conditions seem to have improved their quality should come through.
Cadby and Price. Box office. Gerwyn has quietly snuck into the last 8 almost unnoticed but his victory over a sensational Paul Hogan was perhaps the best individual performance of the event so far.
Honestly I have thought Cadby was being overhyped. Think I’m wrong on that one!
The other four quarter finalists are surprising. Steve West has threatened a good tv run for years and starting a final leg decider v Smith with 3 140s shows he’s a classy player.
Pallett & Owen have both shown signs of form on the floor this year and both have probably been helped by the odd circumstances of the weekend. But they have beaten some good players en route so fully deserve their last 8 berths.
And then there’s John Part. What a man. 1000/1 at the start of the event the legend has somehow scrapped his way through to the last 8. His finish to beat Meulenkamp in their last leg decider was vintage. He’ll again start today as the long shot but with how bizarre this weekend has been it isn’t beyond the realms he could reach the final or even win it. Come on JP!
The 2018 UK Open. Embrace the madness. ”
– Warren Allsworth (@Warrenallsworth)
” Out of the eight quarter finalists, I think that they are all deserved. Maybe Gerwyn Price got a bit lucky at times and John Part had to scrape his way back into it. I was disappointed to see that Cadby v Dobey wasn’t on telly as it is two youngsters starting to make a real name for themselves. I followed on DartConnect and it did not disappoint. I was surprised to see Michael Smith go out, but that’s just another upset. From what I saw yesterday, I think that the winner of Anderson vs Cross will win the tournament, and I’m going Ando to edge that one. It has been a brilliant weekend so far and shall be remembered for years to come for more than one reason. ”
– Finlay Earnshaw (@TandL180)
” The stand out for yesterday would have to be Rileys Qualifier Paul Hogan! He did so well to make the last 16 and he played fantastic to only just get his pocket picked by Gerwyn Price. This tournament seems to be the one tournament where big upsets happen, but this year It’s more frequent than ever! David Pallett is someone who has produced some really quality darts in the last 2 matches beating ex Premier League stars James Wade and Kim Huybrechts and fairly convincingly! With the temperature coming up to normality the big stars are finding the quality averages that they we are used to seeing with Rob Cross, Gary Anderson and Gerwyn Price all sitting around the 100 average! Another talking point is that the 4 favorites to win the tournament are all facing against each other! A tasty rematch of the fiery youngsters of the Iceman vs “The King” Cadby! Both of these guys will not want to lose this match! This match I would love to see go the distance and I have to go for the Aussie in top form, Corey! The other shocking matchup is between “The Flying Scotsman” Gary Anderson vs Wolrd Champion Rob Cross and I want to see this go all the way as well and I have this as a Gary Anderson win 10-9. Unfortunately the other 2 matches won’t be so quality but its so inspiring to see 3x World Champion John Part in a fantastic position to make a first semi final since God knows how many years ago against Robert Owen who definitely fancies his chances against the veteran. And lastly we have the battle of 2 players who have already beaten quality competition, Steve West vs Dave Pallett – To be honest I’m not really fussed about the winner of this battle so the form guide tells me that the winner should be Dave Pallett in a close one 10-8. ” – Ben Gaiter (@SnappyGaiter)
” Day two in Minehead was a cracker and produced some more big results. I was gutted for Nathan Rafferty missing 3 darts to reach last 16. Daryl Gurney’s form and body language is worrying. John Part is simply the man of the moment and whatever happens now he can be very proud. For me, as I said yesterday this is Gary Anderson’s weekend and he will come out on top today. ”
– Mick O’Brien
[Photo courtesy of Chris Dean / PDC]