Justin Pipe booked his spot in the second round of the World Matchplay for the first time in four years with a comfortable 10-5 victory over Jelle Klaasen this afternoon.
The world number 30 had reached the quarter-finals at the Winter Gardens in 2012 and 2013, but had fallen at the first hurdle in each of his last three visits to Blackpool.
While his opponent Klaasen, the 10th seed, was also on a losing run at the World Matchplay, as he came in with three consecutive first round defeats, all since an appearance in the last eight back in 2010.
Pipe punished a slow start from Klaasen to take a surprise 5-0 lead against his higher ranked opponent at the first break, with 109 and 120 checkouts in the fourth and fifth legs helping him to establish a big advantage.
Klaasen stopped the rot in leg six, missing the bullseye for a 161 finish before cleaning up 25 on his next visit to get his first leg on the board.
The Dutchman then had the chance to make further inroads into Pipe’s lead in the next leg, but missed his chance and Pipe eventually found double three to regain his five-leg cushion at 6-1.
Pipe threatened an exhibition checkout in the eighth leg as he began an attempt at a 132 finish with two bullseyes, but missed his effort at the double 16, and Klaasen finished off 76 to double his tally.
However, Pipe never let the former BDO world champion build any momentum, with a 108 finish, his third 100+ checkout of the match, putting him 7-2 in front, before a maximum and double 18 stretched his lead to 8-2 at the second break.
Klaasen returned after the break in need of a miracle comeback to avoid another first round exit in Blackpool, and he showed signs that a revival could be possible with back-to-back legs, in 14 and 16 darts, to cut the deficit to 8-4.
But after the next two legs were shared, Pipe hitting double 16 for a 17 darter and Klaasen landing double four in a 15-dart finish, Pipe secured the victory, with his sixth maximum closely followed by double 16 wrapping up his first win on the Winter Gardens stage since 2013.
Jelle Klaasen (89.34): 100+ 16, 140+ 8, 180s 3, Highest checkout 76, Checkout percentage 26.32% 5/19 Justin Pipe (90.94): 100+ 21, 140+ 8, 180s 6, Highest checkout 120, Checkout percentage 31.25% 10/32