Michael Smith slumped to a defeat in his opening match of the 2020 PDC World Darts Championship as he was defeated by an in form Luke Woodhouse in the final match of the evening session.

‘Bullyboy’, who reached the final 12 months ago, has enjoyed another successful year on the circuit, which saw him ranked number four seed for the tournament. But Woodhouse has enjoyed big victories over Daryl Gurney and Paul Lim of late, and added Smith to his list of scalps.

It was a strong start from Woodhouse in the opening set, as he carried the momentum from his win over ‘The Singapore Slinger’ into the match. Maintaining his 96 average from round one.

Smith would once again fail to get firing in set two despite a hold of throw on double five. Pivotal doubles would be missed at crucial times as ‘Woody’ swooped in to steal the second set, and tighten his grip on a place in round three.

Six match darts would go begging as Woodhouse failed to find the double nine bed to seal his place in the last 32. But after a much improved set of darts, Smith would be the one to hold his nerve in the decider and push the game into a fourth.

There was a roar of emotion for Smith as he pinned tops to go within a leg of levelling the encounter, but Woodhouse would once again send it to a decider. Woodhouse would seal his place in round three on tops, as he knocked out the World number four on darts’ biggest stage.

Words by Josh Green

Photo © Lawrence Lustig/PDC