It’s Grand Slam time this weekend. The only tournament where the PDC meets the BDO. The majority of darts fans, myself included, follow the PDC players far more than their BDO cousins. The tournament has only ever been won by a BDO member once, Scott Waites in 2010. Mr Phillip Taylor, unsurprisingly, has been dominant, winning it five times since its inception in 2007, the only other winner being Barneveld and Scott as already mentioned. The favourites heading into this weekend are, as always, van Gerwen and Taylor but could it be won by a BDO player? Let’s look at the prospects.
Scott Waites , having won the tournament previously, has to be a strong prospect. Winner of the BDO World Championship in 2013, there were many who thought he would make a move to the PDC, as he clearly showed he had the attributes to challenge the best. Currently ranked 10th in the BDO order of merit, his form has been indifferent in 2014. He has an aggressive style of play, a quick throw and a gutsy attitude. Hailing from my own home town of Halifax, I will be sure to cheer him on as the BDO’s strongest chance in this tournament.
Tony O’Shea has a decent shot at the title. Despite being a crowd favourite, he has never been as successful as he could have been, reaching the final of the BDO World Championships three times. He has had success previously in the Grand Slam, reaching the quarter finals in 2009 and 2013. His form in major championships seems to be going in the right direction, so lets hope he can go a few steps further this year.
Robbie Green is a beast of a darts player. Although he only has a BDO ranking of 17, I fancy him to do well in this tournament. He had a decent run in the BDO World Championship earlier this year, losing to Stephen Bunting in the semi final. He has had a successful 2014, winning the Isle of man open, Gwynedd open and the Scottish open. He’s showed this year that he can maintain high averages and win tournaments on the BDO circuit, the question now is, can he mix it with the best on the big stage. This tournament is a great chance for him to showcase his game.