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     Three Times Two

    General Dart TopicsCharis writes "
     Once again this year I travelled to the UK Open in Bolton - better at Horwich Parkway near Bolton. The weather was outstanding - warm, blue sky, sunshine. I never had better weather here!

     But the weather had a big disadvantage too - in the Reebok stadium it was even warmer then usually, it was disagreeable warm and the hugh number of spectators made it even warmer. It was crowded more crowded then the last years I felt and it was almost impossible to really follow the matches. Only the matches on the main stage could be seen from every where. It would have been important to secure yourself a place in front on one of the boards but I was too late for this and only was able to follow the Preliminary Round matches of Bernd Roith and Maik Langendorf from row 5 or six. Both had no problems at all and were cheered by several German fans. I fought my way further on to watch Tomas Seyler who played not successful at all against Jason Wilson. Beside I followed the close match between Conan Whitehead and Roland Scholten on the main stage and saw how James Wade on one of the neighbouring got an easy win against his first round opponent.

    Maik Langendorf - another German Player - after that looked quite dominant against BDO player Gary Stone, who was shaking his head all the time because of his performance. Might be he had to fight the same problems as Tomas Seyler. As he told me he was really distracted by all the noise, the heat and the lights. Beside he only reached his board just in time - it's not easy to find there in the venue - the UK Open are no easy tournament for the players especially when you are a debutant.

     After all those matches I escaped to the press room to do some updates - that's a lot of work and needs some concentration on the first evening of the UK Open.

    When I returned Phil Taylor played his match against Kevin Dowling on the main stage - quite a one-sided affair. All German/Austrian players with the exception of Jyhan Artut were already out of the tournament - Artut won his second round match against Scott Coleman. I stayed at the boards five to eight because those were not as crowded as the rest and saw wins by John Henderson, Jelle Klaasen and Terry Temple.

    After the first evening 28 of 32 amateur qualifiers were out of the tournament. I didn't see many upsets - might be the early elimination of Dutchman Vincent van der Voort who really is out of form at the moment. Other players like John Henderson, Kevin McDine, Ted Hankey and Dennis Smith seem to regain some form. Something special in this year's tournament is that we've got three pairs of brothers in the event: Joey and Lee Palfreyman, Tony and Steve West and Ronny and Kim Huybrechts. While both Palfreymans survived the first evening and the Huybrechts will only start their tournament in round three. Tony West fell victim to Jake Pennington in first round and was revenged in round two by his brother.


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