Having just won the Betvictor World Matchplay in Blackpool, Gary Anderson has shown that he is getting better with age. The Scotsman, now aged 47, keeps teasing the darts world by saying that he will call it a day within the next couple of years. Currently, Anderson is sat fourth in the PDC order of merit, with only Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright and world champion Rob Cross above him. With world rankings aside, for me, Anderson is the best darts player in the world right now.
The way the PDC ranking system works, in my opinion, has some significant floors in it. The order of merit is a two-year rolling cycle, so at times it’s not an accurate reflection of what is happening within the PDC. The two-year period we currently have can, at times, give a false ranking and protects players. Only at the beginning of the year. former back to back world champion Adrian Lewis plummeted from world number four down to a lonely 20th. Lewis was defending a world final in the rankings, as the Stoke star crashed out in the first round at Ally Pally leaving him with a massive deficit.
So far this year, Anderson has won two PDC majors in the UK Open and the World Matchplay, along with a World Series event in Las Vegas. What’s more, Anderson is still winning Pro Tour events on the floor. The Flying Scotsman is showing no signs that waning. Anderson was in majestic form on the Winter Gardens stage, as he hit a perfect nine-dart finish against Joe Cullen on the way to an extra time win.
Michael van Gerwen
Current world number one and two times world champion Michael van Gerwen finds himself struggling for form right now. The great Dutchman has crashed out of the last five televised events, the latest being the first round of the Matchplay when Jeffrey de Zwaan beat him. This is the first time in five years that van Gerwen has had a slump in form, and in no way am I saying that he won’t come back from it. However, I go back to my case in point that the way the ranking is done, MvG could miss the rest of the year and still be ranked number one.
The way van Gerwen’s head works, I wouldn’t be surprised if he went and won all three of the World Series events down under over the next three weeks. Van Gerwen always seems to find a way to bounce back from disappointments in his career. Looking at van Gerwen’s demeanour over the last few months, it seems to me as if he may need to manage his playing schedule a little better. The relentless nature of the PDC tour makes it virtually impossible for the top stars to play in everything. Although many like MvG and Peter Wright try, I believe that this is one of the main reasons that we have seen a dip in the form of MvG.
R & R
It’s been no secret that Gary Anderson hasn’t played on the European Tour for three years now, as he says his body can’t cope with the copious amounts of travelling. This showed more than ever at the UK Open. The freezing weather aside, Anderson looked fresh while the others had been chasing around Europe along with the Premier League. The rest and family time Anderson is getting in between events is proving to be a winning formula.
After claiming the World Matchplay, Anderson joined an elite darting club, completing the triple crown – the World Championship, the Premier League and the World Matchplay. The only other members of this exclusive club are Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen. Now Anderson is among the sporting greats of the darting world.