By Alex Moss
24 JUNE 2017 • 5:27PM
Chris Dobey whitewashed Stephen Bunting 6-0 to set up a possible third round clash with second seed Peter Wright in the Austrian Darts Open tomorrow.
The 27-year-old punished a below-par performance from the former BDO world champion, who averaged 78.09, to win in straight legs and progress through to the final day of a PDC European Tour event for the first time this year.
Dobey enjoyed a breakthrough year on the PDC circuit in 2016, making his debut in the William Hill World Darts Championship, reaching his first TV quarter-final in the Grand Slam of Darts, and appearing in his first PDC senior final.
And the Bedlington thrower has strengthened his position to qualify for his first World Matchplay next month with this latest victory, and he will face either world number three Wright or Finland’s Kim Viljanen in the last 16 on Sunday.
Bunting was one of three seeds to suffer an early exit as the second round of the Austrian Darts Open got underway in Vienna this afternoon, with eighth seed Alan Norris and 16th seed Steve West also tasting defeat.
Scottish qualifier Jamie Bain reeled off four straight legs to come from 4-2 down to defeat Norris 6-4, while European Tour debutant Vincent van der Meer held off a late fightback from West to prevail by the same scoreline.
Former European Tour winner Mervyn King produced the performance of the afternoon, posting a 99.54 average and hitting six out of seven doubles to see off home favourite Zoran Lerchbacher 6-2.
Michael Smith, winner of the Gibraltar Darts Trophy last month, kicked off his bid for a second European Tour title triumph of the season in style, firing in five 180s as he recorded a comfortable 6-2 victory against Chris Quantock.
Former European Tour finalists Benito van de Pas and Daryl Gurney will lock horns in the third round tomorrow, after both came through their opening ties this weekend unscathed.
Fifth seed van de Pas recovered from a slow start to win six out of seven legs from 2-0 down to beat Scotland’s John Henderson 6-3, while Gurney checked out 126 to knock out Welshman Jonny Clayton 6-2.
And finally, Spain’s Cristo Reyes defied a brave fightback from German qualifier Rene Eidams to win in a last-leg decider, after his opponent had fought back from 5-2 down to force an 11th leg.
2017 Austrian Darts Open
Multiversum Schwechat, Vienna
Saturday June 23
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Steve West 4-6 Vincent van der Meer
Cristo Reyes 6-5 Rene Eidams
Michael Smith 6-2 Chris Quantock
Mervyn King 6-2 Zoran Lerchbacher
Alan Norris 4-6 Jamie Bain
Benito van de Pas 6-3 John Henderson
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Jonny Clayton
Stephen Bunting 0-6 Chris Dobey
Picture: PDC Europe