Whitlock Watch – PLD Week 8 Preview
It was the commentators curse, the dreaded kiss of death that plagued Simon Whitlock last Friday in his week 7 match against Andy Hamilton, after we declared him in red hot form and ready to defeat ‘the Hammer’.
Unfortunately, Whitlock served up a very disappointing performance. He faded in and out of the game, throwing some beautiful darts to give himself superb opportunities before capitulated with some particularly bad darts. One of our predictions was correct – Hamilton was off his game, or at least well below his great form from the last few matches. He was also inconsistent and many a time said “here you go, have this leg” to Whitlock. But the Wizard just couldn’t cash in, he missed so many chances to put himself in charge of the match. Instead it was Hamilton that skipped away to a 7-4 win. Whitlock had a higher average, it was a game he should have won.
While we are still on week 7, I must mention of the incredible performance from Michael van Gerwen. About the first 5 legs were simply stunning, hitting 180’s, bulls, moving around the board with easy and barely missing a double. And he does it all at such pace. His average was hovering at about 117 for much of the match and it looked like he was going to set a new record, but some relatively slower final legs brought that figure down to 107. Gary Anderson did not stand a chance. You can watch that match HERE, I strongly recommend it!
This week Whitlock has a crucial match against Robert Thornton. There are only two matches to go before to bottom two players drop out of the competition and Whitlock is just a solitary point ahead of 9th place. With MVG as his opponent in the last round, it is incredible important that the Wizard racks up a win against Thornton. He also needs to stay in touch with that top 4!
The Thorn sits a point ahead of Whitlock. He had a fantastic start to the tournament, but had dropped off a little of late. He appears to have a taste for draws, recording 3 so far, more than anybody else in the Premier League. He is a solid player and this will certainly be no easy task for Whitlock. His stats from his match last week against Lewis are quite amazing: he hit 5 180’s and had a checkout rate of 5/9. That is top shelf stuff, but his average was only 94.4 (and he went down 5-7). Thorton struggles to post big scores in between the brilliance, he is good for a stray dart into the 5 and/or 1 after hitting a 180.
This is going to be a very close game. Which Simon Whitlock will turn up? This match is second up, which means they will hit the stage at about 6:50 am (Friday morning). The 4.00 odds for the draw looks good and is my tip, but we will be cheering the Wizard on all the way!