No 1 seed Glen Durrant is bracing himself for the toughest match of his career when he starts the defence of his BDO Lakeside World championship on Sunday lunchtime. The record books show Eric Bristow and Raymond van Barneveld are the only first-time winners of the BDO championship to retain the trophy – and that’s the challenge facing Durrant this year. The 47 year old from Middlesbrough meets either PG Pengiran Mohamed or Gary Robson in the first round and said: “(2015 BDO world champion) Scott Mitchell told me my first game as world champion will be my toughest game. “I always said there wouldn’t be any pressure once I’ve won the world title, but Scott says that’s when I will feel it. “I won’t be heartbroken if I don’t win the world title again, but at the same time, I don’t want to be remembered as a flash in the pan. “I want to win it again - and not many players have retained it. “I’ve got a tough draw. “I’ve played Gary six times – and he’s beaten me five times. Everyone has a bogey player – and I happen to have possibly drawn mine in the first round !” Durrant hasn’t been that active on the circuit since his world-title triumph, concentrating instead on exhibitions and his job for the local housing association. But he has still won the Welsh Open, Denmark Masters and England Matchplay – and was only a double 12 away from a nine-dart leg at the Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton in November. “I didn’t need the money anyway !” laughed Durrant, who went on to lose the quarter-final match to Peter Wright. “The Grand Slam showed that I can still play on the big stage. That’s my confidence boost going into the BDO World Professional Championship.”
Ross Montgomery Vs Scott Waites
The clash between two-time BDO world champion Scott Waites and Ross Montgomery could be the tie of the opening round. Montgomery had a good 2017, winning the British Open and Wolverhampton Open and reaching the final of the Dutch Open, while Waites was quieter. He took a break following the birth of his daughter, but won the Jersey Open to ensure he heads to the Lakeside in good form. Montgomery trounced Waites 4-0 when they met in the last 16 three years ago – Montgomery is looking to become the first Scot to win the BDO World Professional Championship since Les Wallace in 1997,he lost his next match to Martin Adams and bowed out in the first round in both 2016 and 2017.
Umit Uygunsozlu Vs Chris Harris
For the first time in BDO World Championship history, Turkey are represented. Umit Uygunsozlu has qualified and as Scott Mitchell will tell you, ‘The Angry Turk’ can play. The 32 year old took Mitchell to a deciding 11th leg in the BDO World Trophy. Uygunsozlu meets Welshman Chris Harris in the preliminary round. Harris claims he reached the Lakeside without practicing ! The 33 year old Welsh international says that with four children, he simply doesn’t have the time. Despite that, Harris still threw superbly at Bridlington – taking out several 12 darters. The prize for either Uygunsozlu or Harris is a first-round match against No 12 seed Dean Reynolds.
Corrine Hammond Vs Fallon Sherrock
Last year’s women’s runner-up Corrine Hammond meets Fallon Sherrock in what could be the pick of the women’s first-round matches. Sherrock, a prolific 180 thrower from Milton Keynes, lost to Lisa Ashton in the 2015 showpiece - and Ashton denied Hammond the trophy last year with a 3-0 whitewash in the final. Hammond won the 2017 BDO British Open.
Wesley Harms Vs Wayne Warren
Lakeside favourite and No 7 seed Wesley ‘Sparky’ Harms, twice a semi finalist, meets Welsh veteran Wayne Warren in the first round on Sunday night. Warren has yet to win a match at the Lakeside, losing in the first round in 2005 and 2013, to Mervyn King and Alan Norris respectively.
Derk Telnekes Vs Chris Landman
Also on Sunday night, Dutchmen Derk Telnekes, the Belgium Open winner who won five matches to reach the Lakeside, and Chris Landman go head to head in a preliminary round match to decide who meets No 6 seed Geert de Vos in the first round.
Jeffrey Sparidaans Vs Dennis Nilsson
There’s another preliminary-round tie between 2017 England Classic winner Jeffrey Sparidaans and Dennis Nilsson, the former strongman from Sweden. The winner meets No 9 seed Jim Williams.
Sharon Prinns Vs Maria O’Brien
Sharon Prins, the No 8 women’s seed from Holland who’s lost to Lisa Ashton in three of her four appearances at the Lakeside, meets Maria O’Brien, who makes her Lakeside debut after a consistent year on the circuit that includes reaching the final of the International Open.