On Wednesday at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas the final two qualifying events for the North American Championship finals were concluded, and the eight names who will contest the North American Championship on Thursday were confirmed.
Jeff Smith of Canada and Danny Lauby Jnr of the United States won the final two qualifying events for the event, Smith was particularly impressive the win Qualifier no.3.
The former Lakeside World finalist was consistently good throughout the course of the event as he produced a number of high-quality displays to seal his spot in the final eight of the North American Championship and the US Darts Masters.
In the final, Smith came up against his fellow Canadian compatriot David Cameron. As you’d expect it was a high-quality final with Smith just edging it 4-2. ‘The Silencer’ averaged 94.3 on his way to securing the win, and over the course of the event he was in great form. And, amazingly Smith dropped just six legs over the seven matches played.
En route to securing qualification, Smith saw off the likes of Tim Mitchell 4-0 (97), Darryl Norman 4-0 (82.4), Derek Hanley 4-0 (95.4), Shawn Burt 4-0 (95.4), Willy Walker 4-2 (86.9) & Ross Snook 4-2 (93.7).
In the final qualifier on Wednesday it was the youngster from Indiana, Danny Lauby who managed to seal his place in the North American Championship finals.
Lauby has been particularly impressive in the CDC events recently as he’s reached the latter end of tournaments on a comsistent basis, and it came as no surprise to me to see him qualify. Surprisingly, Leonard Gates who was tipped to qualify, did not make it through the qualifiers which I’m sure that he’ll be disappointed about.
Lauby sealed his qualification place by edging out Joseph Huffman 4-3 in a well-fought finale. Coincidentally, Huffman qualified through the order of merit as he reached two finals in the four events played.
Along the way to securing qualification, Lauby enjoyed some impressive victories over Ray Carver 4-1 (86.3), Jim Long 4-2 (82.3), Pat Rose 4-3 (70.8), Kyle Liddeke (88.3), Gary Broomhead 4-3 (85) & Dawson Murschell 4-3 (78.1).
Lauby joined DJ Sayre, John Norman Jnr & Jeff Smith in winning through the four qualifying events. The other four places were awarded to the top four players in the order of merit which were Joseph Huffman, David Cameron, Ross Snook & Dawson Murschell.
In the last eight of the North American Championship which will contested on Thursday on a televised stage, Danny Lauby and Joseph Huffman will face off again as they did in Wednesday’s final.
North American Championship Finals
John Norman Jnr – David Cameron
DJ Sayre – Dawson Murschell
Joseph Huffman – Danny Lauby
Jeff Smith – Ross Snook
Photo : Championship Darts Circuit