Robbie King flies flag on night of upsets at Pro Darts Showdown
HOMETOWN hero Robbie King flew the flag for the Australian qualifiers on a night of upsets at the International Pro Darts Showdown Series at Gold Coast Turf Club.
King, who throws for the Paradise Club just a few kilometres away from Wednesday night's venue, continued his stellar form from the first leg of the series in Brisbane where he reached the semi-finals, with a thrilling 6-5 victory over America's John Kuczynski.
The Gold Coaster went toe to toe with Johnny K, as he is known, and led 5-4 before the American hit a spectacular 116 finish.
Kuczynski, then had a bounce out from the triple 20 bed when needing 130 to take the decider before King showed great nerve to check out on 114.
King said he was 'ready to take on anyone' on night two in the quarter-finals on Thursday night before being drawn to play fellow Australian qualifier Lucas Cameron from Geelong.
Cameron showed plenty of class in his 6-2 win over South African No.1 Devon Petersen in another upset.
The night began with Brisbane's Steve Macarthur, the man they call the General, saluting in a 6-1 win over Scottish veteran Jamie Harvey.
Tasmania's Brad Thorp continued the theme for the night, by upsetting Australian darts legend Russell Stewart in another last-leg thriller 6-5.
Macarthur's reward for his success was a last-eight showdown with Brisbane winner Phil 'The Power' Taylor, who defeated a plucky Tic Bridge 6-3.
Taylor was impressed with the left-hander from Geelong, who on another night could have got closer to the 16-time world champion.
Andy Hamilton showed he was still in form after reaching the final in Brisbane by beating Ipswich's Gordon G Mathers 6-4.
Mathers, who played in the World Championships in London at the end of last year, also gave a good account of himself in front of a large group of friends and family. He hit back-to-back finishes of 158 and 150 to level at 2-2 and also had chances before Hamilton scored a 6-4 victory.
Rhys Mathewson pushed Aussie No.2 Kyle Anderson all the way in another clash which went to 6-5 before Simon 'The Wizard' Whitlock almost pulled a rabbit out of the hat in his game against New Zealander Stuart Leach, going close to a perfect nine-dart finish in leg three of his 6-1 victory.
Whitlock threw seven perfect darts but missed a treble 15.
The second night looks set to be just as exciting on Thursday in front of what should be another bumper crowd.
Lucas Cameron v Robbie King
Phil Taylor v Steve Macarthur
Kyle Anderson v Brad Thorp
Andy Hamilton v Simon Whitlock