Michels v Griffiths: Miracles can happen
The UK Open brings together such a wide range of darts players and that is why it is many people’s favourite tournament; part of the excitement is the number of up and coming young players getting an opportunity on the big stage and the contest between Mareno Michels and Shaun Griffiths demonstrates just that.
Michels may not consider himself as a young pup anymore, but at 27 there is still a long way for him to go in his darts career and he will be looking to make a real impression for the first time since joining the PDC in 2010.
He looks a solid player and enjoyed some success in his BDO days, but it is this last 64 stage that Michels has been struggling to overcome. It seems that it could be a lack of confidence having been very short of wins after his PDC switch, even in qualifying through Q-School he couldn’t quite win an event, but got through on the Order of Merit.
His 20-year-old opponent Griffiths, on the other hand, has had the winning feeling of late, mainly thanks to the youth tour. Regularly reaching the latter stages of these tournaments, including the semi-final of the under-21 world championships is a major factor in the youngster starting to make an impression on the main tour.
A quarter-final appearance in a Players Championship event and one in a UK Open qualifier is better than many more experienced players have achieved and it could be the time for the former British Teenage Open champion to really make an impression.
Michels is a good player and I expect him to make an impact in the coming years, but Griffiths looks like he is ready to take the bull by the horns and make a name for himself on the big stage.
Shaun Griffiths to win @ 13/20 with Bodog
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