Raymond van Barneveld only took three days since his comeback as a professional darter to make it to a final of a PDC tournament. In fact, it only took ‘Barney’ three days to immediately grab its first tournament win. In that final, he defeated Joe ‘Rockstar’ Cullen in an exciting climax: 8-6
for the first time in eight years he has taken a PDC ranking tournament. In 2014, Van Barneveld won the Premier League by defeating Michael van Gerwen in the final, but this is about money and credit, but not about points for the Order of Merit. ‘Barney’ left around 11,500 euros in prize money at his triumph.
He reached the final by first defeating the Krzystof Kciuk Pool, and a party later for the first time controlling his career Rob Cross in a heart-pounding party: 6-5. His average against Cross was impressive in this last leg: 115.6.
Believe in yourself
In the semifinals, he then finished with Ian White (7-3). Danny Noppert also reached the last four, but he went down against Cullen (7-3).
“ It all starts with believing in yourself. Last week I was an amateur and a week later I win on the Pro Tour. That‘s what happens if you believe in yourself.”
Stress and doubts
Van Barneveld had a rough start in Bolton. He went down on Thursday in his first game, and Friday he stranded in his second duel. On the third tournament day, the 53-year-old Hagenaar once in a while again looked like the old ‘Barney‘. He won his games with high averages and also had a finish of 170 points. He won the final with an average of 94.4.
“ I initially had quite a lot of stress here”, confessed Van Barneveld after his won finals. “But today everything went well. I finally got my focus again. I missed it in the last two, three years. In the finals, it went amazingly well. I’m really happy. Of course, I had doubts on my way back. But I also had confidence, partly thanks to the many training hours I‘ve made. I didn’t want to give up, and now I‘m standing here again, as the winner.”
Zondag is the last day of the PDC Super Series 1 in Bolton. So far Michael van Gerwen couldn’t make much impression in the first event of the ProTour.
Van Barneveld closed his brilliant darts career in early 2020. More than six months later, he announced his return. ‘Barney’ secured his tour card in Germany last week.