Rob Cross produced one of the best stories in the history of the PDC World Championship back in January as Voltage capped off a dream debut season as a professional darts player to lift the trophy at the Alexander Palace after beating the legend of the sport, Phil Taylor, in the final. Without being disrespectful to Cross, before the world championship, he wasn’t a household name. However, he proved that if you put in the hard work in this game, you get your reward.
Many players on the tour will take inspiration from Cross’ achievement last season and will be hoping to follow in his footsteps by winning their maiden world title in January. Here are three players who have the game to rule supreme at the Ally Pally.
After winning the World Youth Championship in 2013, a lot has been expected of Michael Smith in the game. Bully Boy has won six PDC Pro Tour titles, however, he is still waiting for his first major trophy. That wait for success in one of the big tournaments is going to come to an end soon as we have seen in the Premier League this season, he has been able to get results against the best players in the sport. Smith is 33-1 in the darts betting to win the World Darts Championship in 2019 and that price could be slashed if he wins a big competition before then.
2017 was a big year for Northern Ireland’s Daryl Gurney as he won his first PDC major crown in the World Grand Prix where he beat Simon Whitlock in an epic final 5-4. Gurney has found the position as the bad boy of the sport, however, he has the game to back up his villain character. Superchin’s best performance in the world championship was in 2017 when he was beaten in the last eight by Michael van Gerwen. The experience of the Premier League this season will have been invaluable and he has to be considered as a future world champion.
Australian Corey Cadby certainly does not lack in confidence. The 2016 World Youth Champion finished runner-up in the 2018 UK Open where he fell just one game short of the title. The 23-year-old is not only full of personality; he has the game to be a real star of this sport in the upcoming years. It is difficult to say if he is ready to go all the way in the world championship just yet, however, he has picked up big results against the majority of the top players in some of the floor tournaments over the last 12 months, therefore, he is unlikely to fear anybody. No Australian has ever won the PDC World Darts Championship, however, there will be real confidence down under that they now have a player who can end that wait for their first trophy.
|1994||Dennis Priestley||beat||Phil Taylor||6||-||1|
|1995||Phil Taylor||beat||Rod Harrington||6||-||2|
|1996||Phil Taylor||beat||Dennis Priestley||6||-||4|
|1997||Phil Taylor||beat||Dennis Priestley||6||-||3|
|1998||Phil Taylor||beat||Dennis Priestley||6||-||0|
|1999||Phil Taylor||beat||Peter Manley||6||-||2|
|2000||Phil Taylor||beat||Dennis Priestley||7||-||3|
|2001||Phil Taylor||beat||John Part||7||-||0|
|2002||Phil Taylor||beat||Peter Manley||7||-||0|
|2003||John Part||beat||Phil Taylor||7||-||6|
|2004||Phil Taylor||beat||Kevin Painter||7||-||6|
|2005||Phil Taylor||beat||Mark Dudbridge||7||-||4|
|2006||Phil Taylor||beat||Peter Manley||7||-||0|
|2007||Raymond Van Barneveld||beat||Phil Taylor||7||-||6|
|2008||John Part||beat||Kirk Shepherd||7||-||2|
|2009||Phil Taylor||beat||Raymond van Barneveld||7||-||1|
|2010||Phil Taylor||beat||Simon Whitlock||7||-||3|
|2011||Adrian Lewis||beat||Gary Anderson||7||-||5|
|2012||Adrian Lewis||beat||Andy Hamilton||7||-||3|
|2013||Phil Taylor||beat||Michael van Gerwen||7||-||4|
|2014||Michael van Gerwen||beat||Peter Wright||7||-||5|
|2015||Gary Anderson||beat||Phil Taylor||7||-||6|
|2016||Gary Anderson||beat||Adrian Lewis||7||-||5|
|2017||Michael van Gerwen||beat||Gary Anderson||7||-||3|
|2018||Rob Cross||beat||Phil Taylor||7||-||2|