One major advantage enjoyed by professional commentators and sports journalists is that their girlfriends don't usually make them turn the darts off at 10.00 pm so they can watch Eastenders. However, despite my slightly-less-than-uninterrupted spectation, I did make a few notes :o)
First, I must get this off my chest...
Note to Ashley Whisker re Chewing Gum at the Oche:
This was your first televised darts match, and I thought you showed flashes of real talent in a difficult pairing with a previous UK Open Finalist. However, one polite request for your future career: PLEASE consider refraining from chewing gum during televised matches as it really isn't pleasant to watch on the split-screen close-up. I enjoy chewing gum as much as the next man, but then a close-up of my face isn't being displayed to TV viewers around the world while I do it.
Thanks and best wishes for the future...
OK, now that's done...
Gary Mawson fell at the second hurdle, beating Whisker in the preliminary round but losing to Dylan Duo (that's a superhero, surely?) in the first round.
Wayne Mardle survived, and will play Phil Taylor today.
Peter Manley (a top 32 player) made a surprise exit, losing 6-3 to 19 year old Michael Smith.
Most impressive to me was 23 year old Irishman William O'Connor, who showed some real class and for much of his match was running at an average of over 100.
Another impressive youngster (it seems - I missed this one) was 18 year old Reece Robinson, who'll meet Simon Whitlock in the third round - I'll be watching out for that one.
Other matches I'll be looking out for: Dennis Priestly v. Steve Maish, Kirk Shepherd v. Paul Nicholson and Wes Newton v. Terry Jenkins.
Full results and more detailed commentary here