Austrian Darts Open Success For Clayton

Jonny Clayton claimed his maiden European Tour title as he came through a 48-man field  in Graz, pocketing £25,000 a long the way. 

Clayton won his maiden PDC title just six months ago and has already had another taste at glory as he beat Gerwyn Price 8-5 in a thrilling final on Sunday evening in Austria.

It was a successful debut for the Steiermarkhalle in Graz after the Austrian Darts Open was moved from crowd-favourite Mensur Suljovic’s residence of Vienna.

‘The Ferret’ started off a sublime weekend with a 6-3 win over fellow European Tour event holder Max Hopp before knocking out the final unseeded player left in the field of play in Austria – James Wade. Clayton averaged 105.32 on route to his first third round victory on the European Tour circuit.

In his first European Tour final session, Clayton saw off Ian White before silencing the Austrian crowd as he sent Mensur Suljovic out of the tournament to earn a spot in his first final since the Players Championship in Minehead last November.

Gerwyn Price was the man waiting in the final. Price received a call up to the Unibet Premier League earlier this year and that didn’t go to plan but in recent weeks, since being eliminated and finishing bottom of the Premier League, Price has found a bit of form.

Price enjoyed a 6-2 win over Scott Taylor in the second round with an average of 101.36 before continuing his resurgence with wins over Wayne Jones, Rob Cross and Joe Cullen to book his place in his first final since his UK Open run over a year ago.

The final was a very close and competitive match with the game being locked at a draw throughout. A break of throw in the twelfth leg was crucial for the Pontyberem-based star as he pinned double 10 in the following leg to wrap up a win over his fellow countryman.

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Clayton not only claimed £25,000 from the tournament in Graz, but also now looks set to make his debut at the World Cup of Darts, World Matchplay and Europwan Championships later this year. The World Grand Prix and Grand Slam of Darts could also be tournaments that ‘The Ferret’ will now be able to participate in.

“It’s my first [European Tour] title and I’m chuffed to bits,” said Clayton. “It’s been a great weekend for me.

“It’s been a brilliant crowd – I had to play against them all against Mensur but I got through it.

“It’s nice to see Welsh darts back on stage. There are some brilliant players and we’re all there to do a job.”

The European Tour will return in two weeks time as the circuit moves back to Germany and this time the Glaspalast in Sindelfingen.

Photography courtesy of Michael Braunschädel, PDC Europe

Austrian Darts Open

Friday April 20
First Round
Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm BST)
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Alan Tabern
Michael Barnard 6-1 John Henderson
Ron Meulenkamp 6-3 Gabriel Clemens
Wayne Jones 6-1 Dietmar Burger
Scott Taylor 6-1 Simeon Heinz
Jason Cullen 6-1 Tamas Alexits
Darius Labanauskas 6-3 Ritchie Edhouse
Steve Lennon 6-0 Roxy-James Rodriguez

Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm BST)
Luke Humphries 6-2 Kevin Munch
Steve West 6-3 Ronny Huybrechts
Richie Burnett 6-0 Alex Steinbauer
Adam Hunt 6-5 Cameron Menzies
James Wade 6-3 Hannes Schnier
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Simon Stevenson
Max Hopp 6-5 Stephen Burton
Cristo Reyes 6-1 Bastian Pietschnig

Saturday April 21
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm BST)
Mervyn King 6-0 Jason Cullen
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Scott Taylor
Steve Beaton 6-5 Luke Humphries
Ian White 6-4 Brendan Dolan
Joe Cullen 6-2 Steve Lennon
Michael Smith 6-0 Michael Barnard
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Benito van de Pas
Wayne Jones Bye (Due to Dave Chisnall’s withdrawal)

Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm BST)
Darren Webster 6-5 Richie Burnett
Daryl Gurney 6-3 Ron Meulenkamp
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Adam Hunt
Cristo Reyes 6-2 Jelle Klaasen
Rob Cross 6-5 Steve West
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Max Hopp
James Wade 6-4 Peter Wright
Mensur Suljovic 6-1 Darius Labanauskas

Sunday April 22
Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm BST)
Third Round
Michael Smith 6-2 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Joe Cullen 6-3 Mervyn King
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Wayne Jones
Rob Cross 6-5 Steve Beaton
Daryl Gurney 6-3 Darren Webster
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Cristo Reyes
Ian White 6-3 Simon Whitlock
Jonny Clayton 6-3 James Wade

Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm BST)
Quarter-Finals
Joe Cullen 6-2 Michael Smith
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Rob Cross
Mensur Suljovic 6-1 Daryl Gurney
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Ian White

Semi-Finals
Gerwyn Price 7-6 Joe Cullen
Jonny Clayton 7-6 Mensur Suljovic

Final
Jonny Clayton 8-5 Gerwyn Price

 

 

 

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