Luke Humphries - The Euphoria on the Euro Tour
Despite not being part of the inaugural eight-man Premier League field, Luke Humphries has a case for being one of the most in-form players in the world of darts, winning four Euro Tours so far in 2022.
Cool Hand added the European Darts Matchplay to his collection by clinching a last leg decider against Austrian World Cup participant Rowby-John Rodriguez 8-7.
The Newbury Darting star broke through in the Development Tour back in 2017 picking up five tournament victories, as well as a win on the Challenge Tour in the same year. The Englishman really put his name in lights, reaching the Quarter Finals of the World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Place in 2019.
Humphries beat Dimitri van den Bergh 4-1 in the first afternoon session back after Christmas with an 89.64 average, but went on to cause a huge upset in the last 16, beating defending champion and tournament second seed Rob Cross. The Red Dragon star found one of the performances of his life at the time, averaging just under a ton in a 4-2 win against Voltage.
This year though has seen a more dominant and ruthless approach from the 27-year-old, winning the very first Pro Tour against Ryan Searle with an average of 100.55 in the Final. The Euro Tour has been a very happy hunting ground for Cool Hand, winning the German Darts Grand Prix, European Darts Grand Prix and the Czech Open.
Michael van Gerwen the recent Premier League champion, could not believe his eyes when meeting Humphries in the German Darts Grand Prix Semi Final. Mighty Mike has also been very successful this year on the Euro Tour but failed to get out of gear one against Cool Hand losing 7-0. The four-time Euro Tour winner averaged over 107 and missing just five darts at double, before beating Martin Lukeman 8-2 in the Final.
With the World Matchplay fast approaching in Blackpool, could the man from Berkshire win his very first major PDC Event as the action heads to the Winter Gardens on the 16th of July. He made his debut last year in the iconic venue beating 2009 Premier League champion James Wade 10-3 in the opening round before a Last 16 exit to Krzysztof Ratajski.
The confidence however will be a lot higher this year with all the success Humphries has had within the PDC, and a TV Title is really the only thing missing from what has been a very bright darting career for a heavy scorer, and now a prolific force on the outer ring, as seen multiple times on our screens.
Cool Hand has reached three World Championship Quarter Finals losing last year to Gary Anderson on New Year’s Day. The UK Open run last year remains the Englishman’s best TV performance, losing to James Wade in the Final after impressive performances over the likes of Michael van Gerwen in the Semi Finals, (107.41) and Dave Chisnall in the Quarter Finals.
A very strong start to 2022 for the Red Dragon star, and with still 6 months left in the year could there be more success to follow, with events such as the Grand Slam and the Grand Prix still to come this year.
By Harry Masterson