The world’s greatest Darts players ascend at the Palace of Dreams for Masters Championship
24 August 2009
The world's greatest darts players have tipped South Africa as a country that will produce a World Champion in the next decade. Phil Taylor, the 14-time World Champion, made the claim ahead of his visit to Johannesburg later this month to compete in the Virgin Atlantic South African Masters at Emperors Palace on 26 September 2009.
Taylor has played a large role in the growth of top-level darts in South Africa in recent years with three visits to Johannesburg to take on the country's leading players. Having seen the likes of Cape Town duo Charles Losper and Wynand Havenga - former South African Open winners - first hand, he believes the country has the potential to produce a star on the world stage. "The rate of improvement by South African players has been impressive in the last couple of years and it's been great to see," said Taylor.
"Wynand Havenga won through a few rounds in the World Championship when he played in England and Charles has really progressed in his two visits. However, behind them there are lots of players working hard to win a place in the World Championship and show just how good they are. The South African Open on 26 September is their chance and the top four players will also get to play in the South African Masters taking place the next day, so it's an exciting time for them. It wouldn't surprise me if one of these players came through to the top level and even won a World Championship in the next ten years, they're that good," said Taylor.
Emperors Palace will host both the South African Open as well as the eight-player South African Masters. The winner of the South African Open will be entered into the World Championship in England in December. Sunday's South African Masters gives the last four the chance to meet a quartet of superstars. Taylor will be joined by world number two James Wade, three-time World Champion John Part and England's Mervyn King in travelling for the R200,000 event, to be screened live on SuperSport.
Tickets for the Virgin Atlantic South African Masters cost R20 and are available on 011 928 1297 or via www.computicket.com. Watch the Virgin Atlantic South African Masters live on SuperSport from 8pm on Sunday September 27. Entry for the PDC South African Open costs R150 and is available via Jon McGowan on 082 87 36 046.