MVG clear favourite for Austrian Darts Open
The newly expanded European Tour is proving to be an exciting and popular addition to the PDC’s calendar and it rumbles on to its fourth event of the year this weekend as the players travel to Wiener Neustadt in Austria.
There have been three different winners and three different runners-up in the trio of events around Europe so far which shows just how unpredictable these contests taking place in new venues for the players can be.
The longer the Euro tour goes on though, the more surprising it would be if no one were to return for a second final, especially as man of the moment Michael van Gerwen won the last event in Dusseldorf.
It was something of a surprise to see MVG go out in the last 16 of the UK Masters and then the semi-finals of the European Darts Trophy, but he remedied these relative failures by winning the European Darts Open earlier in May to pick up his first £20,000 winner’s cheque of the European season.
He is hot favourite to make it back-to-back European titles at a best price of 15/8 with Bet Victor, a price that has become all the shorter since the withdrawals from the event of Phil Taylor, Simon Whitlock and Adrian Lewis. It is fair to say the Lewis has not shown too much championship winning form this year, but with the Power and the Wizard out of the Austrian picture it could be pretty plain sailing for Mighty Mike.
Raymond van Barneveld is closest to him in the odds at a best price of 8/1 with Bet365 and Barney has certainly been playing well enough to make a run to the latter stages, whether he could beat a rampant MVG is another question though.
One man that has shown that he can deal with the tidal wave of talent that is van Gerwen is Robert Thornton who has seen off thee Dutchman’s challenge on more than one occasion this year. The Scot has been resurgent since his UK Open title last year and he is on the brink of making the top 10 in the world. He is available at 18/1 with Sky Bet and is certainly worth an each-way punt at those odds.
The other man who has grabbed headlines of late is Jamie Caven who achieved the remarkable feat of a double Players Championship win at the weekend in Wigan. Very few have ever managed this and Caven joins an illustrious list including Taylor, Barney and MVG. He is not used to winning stage tournament which is why his odds have remained long, but at 40/1 with Sky Bet he will be attracting some each-way bets himself.
The action gets underway on Friday May 31 and comes to a conclusion on the evening of Sunday June 2.