The WDF tour stopped off in Littleton, Colorado this past Saturday for the Ground Hog Open, an event that saw Leonard Gates successfully retain his title and Emily Kaufhold win her first on the WDF circuit.
Soulger breezes to glory
Leonard Gates entered the Men’s Open as top seed and defending champion and he more than lived up to the billing, dropping just three legs in the entire tournament.
A hat-trick of whitewash victories saw Gates into the quarter-finals, where he beat Danny Moore 4-1. He followed that up with a 4-2 victory over Morgan Dotson to book a final meeting with Ed LaBarbera.
LaBarbera had been the surprise package of the tournament, beating seeded players Eric Gregory and Kevin Luke to reach his first WDF final in a decade.
He was no match for Gates in the final, though, as the two-time Lakeside qualifier raced away to win 5-0 with a 90.54 average.
Ground Hog Open | Men’s Quarter-Finals
Leonard Gates 4-1 Danny Moore
Morgan Dotson 4-3 Elliot Milk
Kevin Luke 4-2 Nick Coachman Jr
Ed LaBarbera 4-2 Steve Barlock
Gates 4-2 Dotson
LaBarbera 4-0 Luke
Gates 5-0 LaBarbera
Kaufhold clinches maiden WDF title
A new name entered the winners’ circle in the Women’s Open as Emily Kaufhold took home top honours.
Registering points for the first time in a WDF competition, Kaufhold kicked off her campaign with two whitewash wins before downing top seed Sally Kelly 4-1 in the quarter-finals.
In the last four, she came through a nervy last-leg decider to beat Denise Johns. Kaufhold had led 3-1 in that game and she repeated the trick in the final, going 3-1 up against Tammy Dauber. She converted that lead with more room to spare though, eventually sealing a 4-2 victory.
Ground Hog Open | Women’s Quarter-Finals
Emily Kaufhold 4-1 Sally Kelly
Denise Johns 4-1 Sharon Penna
Tammy Dauber 4-1 Tanja Bencic
Renee Ripol 4-0 Nichole Dotson
Kaufhold 4-3 Johns
Dauber 4-1 Ripol
Kaufhold 4-2 Dauber