TRIUMPHS IN MONTREAL
Phil Taylor put his recent court case worries behind him with a win over Peter Manley in the final of the Quebec Open 2001 While Crissy Howatt successfully defended her crown.
3RD ANNUAL QUEBEC OPEN - BILLIARD LE SKRATCH SARANTOS RETSINAS MEMORIAL $25,000
Originally known as the Billiard le Skratch Quebec Dart Player’s Open, the tournament name was changed to the Billiard le Skratch Sarantos Retsinas Memorial Dart Tournament, as a result of the untimely passing of Sarantos Retsinas, the founder and sponsor of the tournament. Retsinas’s daughter, Caterina Retsinas, now promotes and continues the tournament in her father’s name.
Saturday began with the singles consolation rounds. Making it through the men’s brackets was Marc Asselin and Tony Sweeney. In the final, Sweeney did not display the form he had earlier in the day. Asselin was able to sweep the best of 7 game match 4 games to nil. On the women’s side, Delores Cloutier faced Johanne Blackburn in their consolation finals.
The same format as the men, of the best of 7 games, was in play and Blackburn took the match 4 games to 1. The women’s singles format was best of 3 legs, best of 3 sets. In the quarter finals, Chrissy Howat defeated France Lavoie, Rani Gill defeated Tina Phillips, Catherine Sergerie beat Lise Filiatrault and Guylaine Levesque bested Tina DiGregorio.
Howat, the defending champion, showed great form as she saw off Gill 2 sets to nil in the first semi final. Levesque had a bit harder time defeating Sergerie in her semi final, 2 sets to 1. The women’s singles final pitted the defending champion, Chrissy Howat, against Guylaine Levesque, the local favorite.
Howat was all business on stage taking the best of 3 sets 2 nil while Levesque was unable to win a single leg. “It’s nice to retain the title, and hopefully carry on at Saskatoon next week and retain that one too,” commented Howat. “I had a tough group, but only lost one game, but still came out top of my group. I played Rani Gill in the semi finals and she gave me a good run for my money.”
The men’s singles format for the knockout money rounds was best of 3 legs, best of 5 sets. Some of the big names falling in the last 64 included local favorite John Part, Peter Evison, Eric Bristow, Dennis Latimer, Jamie Harvey, Steve Raw, and Avtar Gill.
Of course everyone who survived the round robin group competition on Saturday was a qualified shooter, but only 32 advanced.
Up one nil in set against Taylor in the last 16, Colin Lloyd was shooting well and with confident. “I started missing doubles, just on the wire,” said Lloyd. “When you travel anywhere around the world and play this level of competition, at this stage of the game, you’ve got to hit your doubles. It was there for the taking. I’ll be back.”
Steve Brown had Peter Manley on the ropes, up 2 set to 1. Manley fought back to level at 2 set each and one game each in the final set. Manley controlled the last leg shooting 139, 100, 180, 74 missing the doubles 16 for the win in 12. He proceeded to miss on his next three turns leaving the out for Brown to take. With three darts at tops, Brown missed the double 20, missed doubles ten and missed the doubles 5.
Manley finished on his next dart, double 2, turned and said, “I was only teasing!”
Cliff Lazarenko was down 2 sets to nil against Alain Valcourt, the Quebec favorite, but fought back to level the match at 2 set each and 1 game each in the final set. Valcourt looked to have Lazarenko running scared, but missed opportunity after opportunity to put it away.
In the final leg, Lazarenko was all business opening with 180, 100, 100, 85 to leave 36 after 12 darts. Valcourt was back at 161 as Big Cliff took to the oche for the win. However, after several missed attempts, Valcourt was suddenly looking at 32 with three darts in hand, and it seemed Valcourt would easily advance. You could almost see the confidence in his stroke and the disbelief in his eyes when at the end of his turn he still needed 8.
Lazarenko wasted no more time and dispatched his opponent with a double 8. Big Cliff looked relieved that the match was over and he was in the winning column.
Cliff Lazarenko continued his Cinderella run with an impressive victory over Rod Harrington who seemed frustrated with his darts. Big Cliff must have gained some confidence from his match with Valcourt as he continued to put up big scores and take his out shot opportunities. Harrington was scoring well, but had to be perfect on his doubles because Lazarenko offered no quarter.
Andy Jenkins had been playing very well throughout the tournament when he came up against the Dennis Priestley of old.
“Priestley played well,” commented Jenkins. “I beat the number 2 player in the world, Alan Warriner, in the previous round. I wanted to play Taylor, but I couldn’t because Priestley took my head off showing some of his old form. I’m going to take up tiddly-winks next week!”
Manley and Baxter both play fast and the match was over in quick order with Manley the victor taking 3 sets to Baxter’s 1. “I went one set up and had darts to go two sets to nil, but I started missing doubles,” Baxter commented.
Taylor had no trouble dispatching Stoddart 3 set to nil on the other side of the bracket to advance to the semi finals.
The Taylor Priestley match was brilliant to watch with both players shooting well. Taylor took a 2 sets to 1 lead and opened the 4th set with 137, 95, 99 leaving a 170 after just 9 darts. After twelve darts, Priestley was resting on 184.
Taylor came to the line and stroked 60, 60 and instead of throwing the bull for the win, he shot a fat 10 to leave 40. One dart later, Taylor pocketed a 13 darter.
When asked why he didn’t try for the 170 finish, Taylor commented, “I passed on the 170 finish because he (Priestley) wasn’t on a finish. I gave myself three darts at double on my next turn.” There’s a lesson there, even if you’re the best player in the world, playing the percentage shots keep you there.
Taylor finished the match on the next leg to advance to the finals. Priestley’s comment, “I must try harder!”
In the second semi final, Lazarenko was full steam ahead having advanced by the narrowest of margins in the last 16 and a clean sweep in the last 8. 'One Dart' Manley, however, was not about to give up his title defense without serious effort.
With match level at one set each, Manley was not as sharp on the doubles as his nick name implies. He was not Mr One Dart, but still was not imminent danger of losing.
Manley just increased his scoring average to compensate for missed doubles and he went on the defeat Big Cliff 3 sets to 1.
After the match, Manley said, “I must be saving my doubles for the next match. Both Chrissy and I are defending our titles here and I’m pretty confident one of us will win!”
The final of the men’s championship was a lesson from Taylor. Taylor defeated the defending champion, Manley, in quick order 3 sets to nil, preventing Manley from taking a single leg. “Taylor takes a 147 finish in my best leg,” Manley commented. “How can you beat that? I played well, he was just better.”
Taylor was pleased with the outcome and hopes to defend his title next year: “It was a wonderful tournament. Of course it’s always wonderful when I win,”
Alan Warriner picked up an extra $1,000 in the Saturday round robin competition for being the first to punch out a 170 finish. Caterina Retsinas presented Warriner with the $1,000 bonus. “I kept leaving 171, but couldn’t hit it, so I had to settle for the 170,” said Warriner.
MENS SINGLES 501, 1st-Phil Taylor ($5,000); 2nd-Peter Manley ($2,500); T4-Dennis Priestley, Cliff Lazarenko ($1,000); T8-Ronnie Baxter, Rod Harrington, Graeme Stoddart, Andy Jenkins ($500); T16-Steve Brown, Gaston Gagne, Mick Manning, Alain Valcourt, Colin Lloyd, Bob Aldous, Paul Lim, Alan Warriner ($250); T32-Paul Williams, Garry Spedding, Dave Askew, Bob Anderson, John Lowe, Chris Bowring, Mike Gauthier, Reg Harding, Doug Scanlon, Rory Orvis, Robbie Widdows, Christian Chartrand, Keith Deller, Scott Cummings, Steve Raw, Gerry Convery ($200); T64-Darrel Hollis, Andy Fordham, Keith Wetton, Camil Bureau, Matt Clark, Peter Evison, Claude Soucy, Eric Bristow, Francisco Alvarez, Chad Hersman, Dan Lauby, David Bicknell, John Part, Mike Davidson, Carol Brossard, Darrin Park, Paul Bolduc, Avtar Gill, David Kandall, Alex Roy, Dennis Latimer, Al Hedman, Jean Guy Lemelin, Mike Reed, Ted Lawrence, Dave Jowatt, Otim Harris, Ross Snook, Bob Given, Eric Vallieries, Claude Seguin, Jamie Harvey ($75).
WOMENS SINGLES 501, 1st-Chrissy Howat ($950); 2nd-Guylaine Levesque ($475); T4-Rani Gill, Catherine Sergerie ($250); T8-France Lavoie, Tina Phillips, Lise Filiatrault, Tina DiGregorio ($125). MENS SINGLES 501 Consolation, 1st-Marc Asselin ($300); 2nd-Tony Sweeney ($200); T4-Jean Filiatrault, Russ Bray ($100); T8-Sabastian Gagnon, Jon Dilley, Gopinathan Loginathan, Mike Smith ($50); T16-Stephan Bergevin, Alain Dion, Jason Bernard, Norm Beaulieu, Pat Patterson, Rejean Chabot, Joe Balog, Peter Ryby ($25).
WOMENS SINGLES 501 Consolation, 1st-Johanne Blackburn ($250); 2nd-Delores Cloutier ($160); T4-Pam Riddell, rhonda Maidment ($80); T8-Martin DeVillers, Lorraine Henkley, Claudette LaLonde, Anglia Knight ($50). Reporting from Montreal, Quebec, Canada Jay Tomlinson - Bull’s-Eye News May 13, 2001