Gary Anderson began quest for third World Championship title in style at Alexandra Palace

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Gary Anderson began his quest for a third World Championship title in style with a handsome victory over Simon Whitlock.

The Scot, who won back-to-back crowns at Alexandra Palace in 2015 and 2016, has been looking back to his best this year after a lull and eased through to the third round with a 3-0 success over the Australian.

He set the tone with a 180 with his opening throw of the match and won the first five legs to take command.

Anderson, who averaged 98.29, saw it out in style, taking out 116 for the highest checkout of the match.

“The first set I played better, but I have known Simon a long, long time, he struggled up there,” the Scot said. “But happy with the win.

“I am trying to get back, I didn’t want to play darts in the last three years. I am enjoying it again, win or lose, I am enjoying it.”

Jamie Hughes was fighting back tears after finally breaking his Ally Pally duck.


The world number 62 had lost his previous four matches on the big stage but put that right by beating David Cameron 3-1.

He said: “I am probably playing the worst I have ever played in my life and I have just won a game. I have played better and lost. I am so, so happy to finally get a win on that stage.

“Hopefully that has got the duck off my back and I can play my natural game.”

Dave Chisnall sent Cameron Menzies back to the day job after knocking him in the afternoon session.

Menzies had booked his place in the second round on Friday night after working a half-day as a plumber, having to fix a burst pipe and repair a kitchen sink.

He was back in action on Saturday afternoon, having at least had the morning off, but could not repeat the trick and 11th seed Chisnall came from a set down to win 3-1.

Menzies, who is hoping to make the transition to become a full-time darts player, will be back at the Palace on Sunday to support his girlfriend Fallon Sherrock, but his run at this year’s tournament is over.

Lee Evans reckons it would not be a major shock if he beats Luke Humphries in the second round.

The 35-year-old marked his Ally Pally debut with a 3-0 win over Sandro Eric Sosing to set up a date with his former playing partner Humphries, who is the favourite to win the tournament.

“What a draw. Good job I know him very well,” he said. “I know his game very well, he knows me. We played pairs years ago, played in the same teams, I will need to play my best game without a doubt,” Evans said.

“It is a free shot. If he goes to that A place, I think I have got the A place to match, but he is a level above everyone at the moment.

“I reckon I can push him close if I can play my best. If I beat Luke Humphries I think there will be bigger shocks. For me I don’t think it would be a shock. Everyone else might, but I wouldn’t.”

There were also first-round wins for Connor Scutt, Darren Penhall, Scott Williams and Keane Barry.

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