The biggest open tournament in world darts, the Dutch Open, returned to the majestic De Bonte Wever in Assen at the start of February and it delivered darting drama in spades.
Beau Greaves won the Women’s Open title for the second time in her career, while in the Men’s tournament Jarno Bottenberg claimed his maiden WDF event win with a sensational tops-tops 131 finish.
Brilliant Bottenberg denies Plaisier to seal Lakeside return
3,421 players started the Men’s Dutch Open in pursuit of glory but in the end there was only one left standing and that was 22-year-old Dutchman Jarno Bottenberg.
In the final, Bottenberg tussled with top seed and the 2022 WDF World Master Wesley Plaisier.
Plaisier, who’d shown some blistering form in Saturday’s earlier rounds as he recorded averages of 107.36 and 121.86, took the first 3-0 as Bottenberg struggled to find trebles with any regularity.
Momentum swung in the second set, with Plaisier’s finishing proving costly. The big Dutchman was only successful with 24.4% of his attempts on the outer ring in the final and two of his misses came at 2-1 up in the second set, with Bottenberg pouncing to level the set on tops before making it 1-1 in sets with a great 89 finish on the bull.
Bottenberg then grew into the game, taking the third set 3-1 to move 2-1 up and within three legs of his first WDF title. Plaisier, who’d beaten Bram van Dijk and Sascha Stuhlemmer in his previous Sunday stage games, wouldn’t go down without a fight though and took the fourth set 3-0 in 48 darts.
That seemed to have put momentum in Plaisier’s favour but Bottenberg started the deciding set stronger, breaking Plaisier’s throw in the opening leg before following in with a 16-darter to move 2-0 up. ‘Bottie’, who reached the Last 32 on his Lakeside debut last December, then missed a dart to win the set 3-0 but didn’t make the same mistake the second time, pinning 131 on tops tops to seal 3-2 with an 84.44 average.
Bottenberg, who’d beaten the likes of Brian Raman, Damian Mol and Arjan Konterman to reach his first final, secured €5,000 as winner and a return to Lakeside later this year as a Platinum ranking event winner.
Men’s Dutch Open | Quarter-Finals
Wesley Plaisier 5-2 Bram van Dijk
Sascha Stuhlemmer 5-4 Christian Kist
Jarno Bottenberg 5-2 Arjan Konterman
Jeremy Derksen 5-1 Sybren Gijbels
Plaisier 2-0 Stuhlemmer
Bottenberg 2-0 Derksen
Bottenberg 3-2 Plaisier
Greaves triumphs in Lakeside rematch with Aileen de Graaf
The final of the Women’s Dutch Open was a meeting between the tournament’s top two seeds and a rematch of last year’s title decider between Beau Greaves and Aileen de Graaf.
De Graaf won that match but she was on the losing end when they met again last December at Lakeside and it was that Lakeside meeting that proved more indicative of form, with Greaves repeating the feat to win in Assen.
The two-time World Champion raced into a 4-0 lead and after De Graaf got on the board with a lovely tops tops 100 checkout, sealed a 5-1 victory on double two with an 83.04 average.
Greaves had made it look easy in the tournament’s earlier rounds, reaching the quarter-finals without dropping a leg before notching successive 4-1 wins over Lorraine Hyde and Noa-Lynn van Leuven to reach the final.
De Graaf had had a bit of a bumpier ride, meanwhile, coming from behind to win a last-leg decider against Nathalie van Marm in the Last 32 and eventually reaching the final with a 4-2 triumph over Natalie Gilbert.
Women’s Dutch Open | Quarter-Finals
Beau Greaves 4-1 Lorraine Hyde
Noa-Lynn van Leuven 4-1 Kirsty Hutchinson
Aileen de Graaf 4-1 Anca Zijlstra
Natalie Gilbert 4-3 Rhian O’Sullivan
Greaves 4-1 van Leuven
De Graaf 4-2 Gilbert
Greaves 5-1 de Graaf
Baalmans and Pauling take Youth titles
The Dutch Open Youth tournaments foreshadowed their Senior counterparts later in the day, with title glory split between the Netherlands and England.
In the Boys Open, Germany’s Yorick Hofkens had been tournament favourite but after the Europe Cup Youth winner went out in the Last 16, the field completely opened up.
It was Dutch duo Ruben Baalmans and Cor Beukema that made the most of it to reach the final, with 14-year-old Baalmans coming out on top 4-2 to claim his first WDF title.
Paige Pauling, who won the Girls World Masters in the same building back in 2022, was top seed for the Girls Open and more than lived up to her billing, winning the title without dropping a leg.
The 15-year-old kicked off her campaign with a 3-0 win over Mahi Bosmia of India, and wrapped it up with a whitewash triumph against Germany’s Kira Mertens.
Photos: Bas van den Berk/NDB