Richard Veenstra ready to defy the odds again
Don't lump on Lakeside favourites in tight second-round contests
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Favouritism at the BDO Lakeside World Championship is a fairly vague concept so don’t be seduced into thinking that odds-on equals must-bet on Thursday's card.
Round one saw a few supposedly good things chinned – notably Jamie Hughes and Wesley Harms – but then good things are few and far between at Frimley Green, where the playing field looks very level.
Richard Veenstra was one of the outsiders who delighted the bookmakers in the first round. Despite being seeded 11th, he was 13-8 to take care of the much-hyped Kyle McKinstry, but Veenstra’s experience enabled him to run out a 3-2 winner.
Having defied the odds once, the 2016 semi-finalist can do so again, this time against Geert de Vos.
Veenstra produced a perfectly respectable 91.88 average against McKinstry in a match in which he went off like a train, winning eight of the first nine legs, survived a fightback and then powered home with 12 ton-plus scores in four legs when it mattered most.
He blows more hot than cold and won’t mind tackling De Vos, who is the sixth seed but was less than impressive in seeing off Derk Telnekes in his opener.
Another player who shone as an outsider in round one was Conan ‘The Barbarian’ Whitehead. The Kent brickie got at Cameron Menzies from the off and won 3-1 with a 91.86 average. That’s ten points superior to his second-round opponent Jim Williams.
Welshman and ninth seed Williams was involved in a really sub-standard affair against Dennis Nilsson.
Williams deserves credit for coming from two sets down to beat the Swede but nine of the 13 legs he won were clinched in 17 darts or more.
Williams is a sound floor player but has yet to translate that to the stage and if Whitehead gets ahead against him, the Englishman has the scoring power to finish the job.
2pts 6-5 general
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