WRAP: First night of Melbourne Darts Masters sees upset
SIMON Whitlock insists Corey Cadby is the most talented player Australia has seen despite knocking his compatriot out of the Melbourne Darts Masters at Hisense Arena on Friday night.
Australian No.1 Whitlock won a tight contest between the two 6-4 to set up a quarter-final with world No.1 Michael van Gerwen on night two in Melbourne.
The man they called the Wizard produced some magic darts during the clash but said Cadby was definitely a star in the making.
"I think Corey is the most talented player I have ever seen from Australia," a relieved Whitlock said.
"To get one over him again is a relief and maybe my experience told in the end."
Whitlock said he was confident he could do well against van Gerwen who was in dominant form in his first round clash, defeating Raymond Smith 6-1 with an 111.41 average.
"I'm feeling good, my form's good and I just need to hit things at the right time, it's all about that," he said.
Whitlock said he got a great buzz off the Melbourne crowd and was hoping for more of the same on Saturday night.
"The crowd were fantastic," he said.
"I thought they were very fair and they got behind both of us which was great.
"We are all trying to promote the darts in Australia.
"It's going to be a good game against Michael and hopefully there's a big crowd to see it.
"Hopefully I can play a bit better. I need to play my best game to beat Michael."
In other results on night one, Raymond van Barneveld defeated Ray O'Donnell 6-4, Michael Smith beat Tim Pusey 6-2, Rob Cross defeated Haupai Puha 6-2, Gary Anderson was too good for James Bailey 6-1, and Peter Wright was 100% on his doubles in 6-0 win over Mike Bonser.
Damon Heta sprung the upset of the night, defeating his best mate Kyle Anderson 6-5 on his 31st birthday.
A number of players and officials showed their support for Victorian golfer Jarrod Lyle, who lost his battle with cancer this week aged 36.
Some wore pins of Leuk the Duck, the mascot of the Challenge organisation, a charity which Lyle was an ambassador with alongside fellow Victorian Robert Allenby.
Wright went one step further, having Leuk painted on his head by wife Jo.
The Scotsman said Lyle's sad story had inspired he and other players in Melbourne.
"Last night (golfer) Paul Gow was wearing the badge and I asked him if he could get me one for tonight," Wright said.
"Then Jo came up with the idea of having it on my head which would be more respectful and hopefully the fans will appreciate the hard work and show that darts support all sports.
"I was inspired by the man himself. He never gave up and he was a family man and he was always telling the other players 'be a man'.
"So it was a case of anything we can do to support that cause."