There are 71 different ways to throw it and it has fallen in almost every Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) tournament. In the history of the Darts World Cup alone, twelve players managed the feat. But a woman had never managed the nine-darter at a PDC event. Until Saturday.
Two Challenge Tour tournaments were played in Hildesheim on March 18th. The second-class tournament series offers players without a tour card the opportunity to win regular prize money. The ranking list is also used to allocate replacement places for the Pro Tour and even qualification places for major tournaments such as the World Championship. At the end of the season, the first two in the table also receive a tour ticket for the Pro Tour.
Fallon Sherrock was among the hundreds of players who regularly attend Challenge Tour events over the weekend. The Englishwoman had already reached several milestones at the PDC. With her achievements she is in many areas of the organization “The first woman who …”. She caused quite a stir at the 2020 Worlds when she made a debut with her victories over Ted Evetts and Mensur Suljovic. Never before had a woman bested a man at the season’s climax. To this day she is the only one.
At the ninth tournament on the Challenge Tour 2023, she now managed the nine-darter. In her opening match against Dutchman Marco Verhofstad, the 28-year-old made the perfect game at 5:3: 501 points with just nine arrows. Sherrock chose the classic route triple-20, triple-20, triple-20 – triple-20, triple-20, triple-20 – triple-20, triple-19, double-12.
For Sherrock, the next milestone is meant to be just the beginning of something bigger. “It’s been a long time coming!! Hopefully just the first of many,” she wrote on Twitter late Saturday night.
The trained hairdresser has been trying in vain to get on the Pro Tour for many years. Also this year she failed at the Q-School. In Hildesheim she was eliminated in the round of 16 against Christian Kist from the Netherlands. The rankings take her 32nd after nine out of 24 events.
A German provided the second surprise of the tournament. Dragutin Horvat secured his first victory in an international PDC tournament. The 47-year-old triumphed in the final with a 5-0 whitewash over Kist and moved up to ninth place in the ranking thanks to £2,500 in prize money.
The table is led by John Henderson. The Scot won one of the two events on Friday, but lost 5-1 to YouTuber Marcel “Scorpion” Althaus in the round of 128 in the first tournament on Saturday. The German played an average of 85.17.
Max Hopp, also at home on the Challenge Tour after losing his tour card, reached the round of 16 at least once and is 44th overall. The 26-year-old wants to play his way back to the top of the world through the tournament series, which will be played out in two Players Championships in Hildesheim on Sunday and Monday. All six German tour ticket holders will be there, including Gabriel Clemens and Martin Schindler.