Richie Burnett Reaches His First UK Open Quarter Final
The 2023 UK Open certainly lived up to high expectations with many moments of darting drama throughout the three-day darting festival. Richie Burnett had never made it beyond the Last 16 in the FA Cup of Darts but cleared the hurdle this weekend in Minehead after beating the World Number 2 Peter Wright 10-8 on the main stage.
The Prince of Wales entered this year’s UK Open in the Second Round, facing James Richardson on the main stage in Friday’ opening session. Ruthless came in having played a game more than his opponent after he beat Thibault Tricole 6-4 in the First Round.
The former BDO World Champion claimed a 6-2 victory against Ruthless, going through to face young darting star Jurjen van der Velde, who in the past has averaged at around the 108 mark whilst playing in PDC Development Tour Events.
Burnett beat the Dutch youngster 6-1 on the outer boards to ensure his name will be part of the 4th Round Draw, with the top 32 on the PDC Order of Merit entering in the 4th Round at Butlins Minehead Resort.
The 56 year old drew German star Florian Hempel for a place in the 5th Round, with the player from Dessau coming through a Third Round clash with Players Championship 1 Runner Up Jamie Hughes on Friday afternoon. The 32-year-old has appeared at the last two World Championships, stunning Dimitri van den Bergh in the Second Round back in 2021.
The Welshman showed huge signs of character on the oche, clinching a last leg decider (10-9) against his German opponent to go through to Saturday and all importantly the 5th Round Draw.
The Prince of Wales was handed an early matchup on the outer boards against Ted Evetts who had appeared at last year’s Grand Slam of Darts. Burnett for the second time in his UK Open campaign needed a last leg decider to beat Super Ted, playing well throughout to reach the 6th Round of the UK Open for the 3rd time.
The former World Masters winner was handed a tough draw for a place in the Last 8, with World Number 2 Peter Wright his opponent on the main stage in front of a packed audience at Butlins Minehead Resort.
The 56-year-old included 5 180s and a 109 checkout to hold his throw in the 14th leg of the match. A crucial break in the 17th leg put Burnett just one leg away from the Quarter Finals, hitting a 78 checkout to go 9-8 up.
The Red Dragon Player was in no mood to mess about when an opportunity to win the match came about, hitting an 88 checkout with treble 20 and double 14 in two darts to secure his place in his maiden UK Open Quarter Final.
The Welshman fell to a 10-2 defeat against Dimitri van den Bergh in Sunday’s afternoon session, but can certainly hold his head high after what was a fantastic three days in Minehead. The Prince of Wales returned to the Alexandra Palace at the recent World Championship, but showed this weekend just how far his game has developed since he won his tour card back in 2022.
A fantastic showing this weekend from Richie Burnett, as he reached his first UK Open Quarter Final whilst entertaining the many in attendance at Butlins Minehead Resort over the 3 day festival of darts.
By Harry Masterson