An astounding 4000 players were competing at the 47th Dutch Open at De Bonte Weaver in Assen this weekend.
Friday’s focus was the Men’s and Ladies pairs, which was played down to the finals. The Ladies competition produced a truly international final four, with England, The Netherlands, Australia and Japan all represented. 2018 Champions Lorraine Winstanley secured their second consecutive place in the final with a 3-0 win over The Netherlands’ Suzan Konings and Jana Kanovska, whilst the Japanese pairing of Mikuru Suzuki and Yukiro Yamaguchi came from 2-0 down to beat Lincolnshire’s Trina Gulliver and Paula Jacklin 3-2.
Suzuki and Yamaguchi looked unstoppable in the final as they took the Ladies pairs title over the reigning champions in straight legs, registering over a 78 average in the process.
The Dutch dominated the Men’s tournament, with only the British pairing of Tony Martin and Michael Warburton left in the semi-finals to challenge the Dutch competitors. They missed out of a final spot 4-3 against Martijn Kleermaker and Justin van Tergouw, whilst Gino Vos and Berry van Peer had a comfortable 4-1 victory over Derk Telnekes and Schenk.
Sunday’s final saw a close battle between Vos/van Peer and Kleermaker/van Tergouw which went the distance. Kleermaker and van Tergouw stormed into a 3-leg lead, however Vos and van Peer dug deep to force a deciding leg, clinching the win 5-4 in 17 darts.
Saturday saw the commencement of arguably the biggest open singles tournament in the BDO calendar, with 3357 men and 367 women ready to toe-the-oche.
The Women’s event saw Dutch International Aileen de Graaf claim her place in Sunday’s final with a 4-2 win over Surrey’s Laura Turner, who had earlier denied reigning Dutch Open Champion Deta Hedman a third consecutive title as she snuck through to the semi-finals with a narrow 4-3 victory over the titleholder.
De Graaf would face the newly crowned World Champion, Mikuru Suzuki in the final as the ‘Miracle’ took a confident 4-1 win over the Netherlands’ Anneke Kuijten. Suzuki’s journey to the final saw her drop only three legs en-route, demonstrating the form she showed at this years Lakeside.
De Graaf was hoping to emulate her successes in 2014 and 2015, but the reigning Womens World Champion proved too strong for the Dutch ace as she was denied a third Dutch Open title by 5 legs to 2.
Richard Veenstra became the first Dutch player in over a decade to lift the title on home soil, since Raymond van Barneveld in 2006.
‘Flyers’ took the early initiative against Scotland’s Ryan Hogarth moving into a two-set lead, before Hogarth found another gear to level the match a two sets a-piece. With the crowd behind him, Veenstra found the strength to hold on to the last set to lift the prestigious title 3-2 over the ‘Headhunter’.
The eventual Champion faced 2019 Lakeside debutant, Belgium’s Jeffrey Van Egdom, in the semis winning his place in the final with a 2-1 win, whilst Hogarth narrowly beat Surrey’s Dave Parletti 2-1, who’s recent form sees him now break into the top eight. Hogarth’s route to the final saw him knock out some top names, including Rick Hofstra, Scott Mitchell and Michael Unterbuchner.
Full results and further information about the Dutch Open can be found at https://www.dutchopendarts.nl/en/
Photo: Evert Zomer