JENKINS EDGES OUT KLAASEN AS WINSTANLEY HITS TOP FORM
Terry Jenkins continued his return to form with a superb 156 finish as he edged out Jelle Klaasen 6-5 in the Dutch Darts Masters first round on Friday, as Dean Winstanley, Ronny Huybrechts and Christian Kist made strong starts to the European Tour event in Veldhoven.
Seven-time major finalist Jenkins had hit a nine-dart finish in last week's Coral UK Open Qualifiers in Wigan, as he bids to return to the world's top 16.
And the Ledbury veteran showed his class by coming from 4-2 and 5-4 down to claim a dramatic win over Dutch hope Klaasen in their opener on Friday, taking out 156 for a 12-dart finish in the deciding leg of their contest.
Jenkins now plays Ian White in Saturday's second round of the £100,000 tournament, while World Champion Michael van Gerwen will come into the event against Steve Maish, who was another 6-5 winner as he edged out youngster David Pallett on Friday.
Maish had led 3-0 before Pallett took the next four legs, and the youngster punished three missed match darts from the Essex man to force a deciding leg only for Maish to hit a 180 to set up tops as he finally sealed victory.
"I love playing Michael and with him being the world number one and World Champion, he's there to be beaten," admitted Maish. "I'm immensely looking forward to it after that win.
"I was absolutely flying when I went 3-0 up but missed doubles let David back into the game and I thought it was going to be the same old story, but hitting a 180 in the last leg was great and I closed the game out well."
Dean Winstanley was the day's outstanding performer as he averaged 106.79 in a superb 6-4 win over Terry Temple, who took out finishes of 164, 136 and 120 in a strong challenge only to be out-scored by the Yorkshireman.
Winstanley, who took out 124 and an 11-darter as he took an early 3-1 lead, now plays Wes Newton in Saturday's second round in a mouth-watering contest.
Belgium's Ronny Huybrechts was another player to record a ton-plus average as he defeated Dutch debutant Kevin Voornhout 6-3, averaging 101.84 and hitting four 180s as he saw off the newcomer - who had knocked out Raymond van Barneveld in the Host Nation Qualifier.
Holland's Christian Kist, though, did win through the first round on his European Tour debut with a fine 6-2 win over Mensur Suljovic, opening the game with a 180 and reeling off four straight legs to claim victory and set up a tasty second round game with Kevin Painter.
Vincent van der Voort will also represent Holland in the second round, following his narrow win over Michael Barnard earlier on Friday as he progresses to a clash with Gary Anderson, who won the German Darts Championship a fortnight ago.
Young Belgian Dimitri van den Bergh impressed as he hit a 146 finish during his 6-2 victory over another PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour product, Josh Payne, as he moved through to face Mervyn King on Saturday.
Stuart Kellett, last year's UK Masters runner-up, will now play world number three Simon Whitlock in the second round following his 6-2 victory against Germany's Bernd Roith.
Richie Burnett hit a 139 finish in the opening leg of his 6-2 victory over Jyhan Artut, which he sealed with a brilliant ten-dart leg as he set up a second round meeting with World Championship finalist Peter Wright.
Two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis will now play youngster Jamie Lewis in the second round, with the Welsh ace overcoming Irish newcomer Glenn Spearing 6-4 in their first round game.
And Kevin Thomas completed a trio of Welshmen to win through the first round with his big 6-1 defeat of Wayne Jones, earning himself a clash with Steve Beaton - the German Darts Masters winner last September.
Andy Smith whitewashed German qualifier Fabian Herz as he moves through to meet world number five Dave Chisnall, while Darren Webster's 6-2 win over Mick Todd sees him face Jamie Caven.
Finland's Jarkko Komula came from 2-0 down to claim a 6-4 win over Mark Walsh in a see-saw contest which saw the former UK Open finalist finish 101 and 144 in fighting back from 5-2 down only to lose out in the tenth leg.
Komula, a quarter-finalist in last October's Dutch Darts Masters, now meets Paul Nicholson on Saturday, while reigning champion Kim Huybrechts opens up against Michael Mansell after the Northern Irish ace's 6-3 win over German teenager Max Hopp.
The day's other game saw youngster Joe Cullen also claim victory in a deciding 11th leg as he edged out Peter Hudson in a see-saw contest, setting up his clash with three-time World Champion John Part on Saturday.