Kist and Landman seal Challenge Tour titles in Milton Keynes

Christian Kist (Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Dutch duo Christian Kist and Chris Landman shared the spoils as the 2023 Winmau Challenge Tour got underway in Milton Keynes on Friday.

The opening day of the 2023 Challenge Tour saw Landman defeat Lukas Wenig 5-2 to claim Event One glory, before Kist defeated Scott Mitchell by the same scoreline to triumph in Event Two.

Landman, a World Championship qualifier in 2021/22, defeated Germany’s Wenig in impressive style to scoop the £2,500 top prize in Friday’s opening event at the Marshall Arena.

The Dutchman defeated a trio of German players en route to victory, kicking off his campaign with a resounding 5-1 win over teenage star Fabian Schmutzler.

Landman then recorded six straight 5-3 wins in reaching the Event One showpiece, overcoming Franz Roetzsch and producing a fine display to topple Scottish veteran Jim McEwan in the last eight.

Landman then saw off Wayne Morgan in the semi-finals, before dispatching Wenig in superb style, reeling off four consecutive legs in 16, 15, 13 and 13 darts midway through the tie.

Wenig also impressed in his run to the final, whitewashing Sam Cromwell and Jamie Suckling in the opening stages, before claiming the scalps of Conan Whitehead and Ron Meulenkamp.

The 28-year-old then eased past Chas Barstow in the last eight, and he secured his third whitewash win of the day in the semi-finals, demolishing former World Championship semi-finalist Andy Jenkins 5-0.

Jenkins produced a string of fine performances to reach the last four, defeating Women’s World Matchplay winner Fallon Sherrock in a last-leg decider in round two.

Former World Cup winner John Henderson enjoyed a run to the last 16, whitewashing three-time PDC ranking event winner Jelle Klaasen in the process.

However, Event Two saw Kist celebrate his second Challenge Tour success in the space of four months, as he toppled Mitchell in a battle of the former Lakeside Championship winners.

Two-time PDC televised quarter-finalist Kist began Event Two with a whitewash win over Josh Newton, before coming through deciding-leg ties against his fellow countrymen Daan Bastiaansen and Klaasen.

Kist also saw off Matthew Dennant, Henry Coates, Shane McGuirk and Lewis Pride to set up a showdown against Mitchell, racing into a 3-0 lead courtesy of 15, 16 and 12-dart legs.

Mitchell reduced the arrears with back-to-back legs of his own, although Kist regained his poise to complete a 5-2 success with a 92 average.

Mitchell, who relinquished his PDC Tour Card following the Cazoo World Darts Championship, defeated World Youth Championship runner-up Nathan Girvan in the early stages of Event Two.

The Dorset star also accounted for German duo Max Hopp and Wenig in the latter stages, and he was forced to defy a superb nine-darter from James Hurrell to come through a high-quality semi-final tie.

Hurrell – who averaged 103 in defeat – landed the second perfect leg of the afternoon in his run to the last four, after Dale Gadsby had fired in a nine-darter during Event One.

Former Development Tour star Lewis Pride joined Hurrell in the Event Two semi-finals, averaging 102 in his quarter-final tussle against Spain’s Jesus Noguera.

Elsewhere, Event One runner-up Wenig made the last eight alongside UK Open quarter-finalist Sebastian Bialecki, with Hopp and American ace Alex Spellman succumbing in the last 16.

The 2023 Winmau Challenge Tour continues on Saturday, with Events 3-4 taking place at Milton Keynes’ Marshall Arena.

The top two players from the final 2023 Challenge Tour Order of Merit will secure a PDC Tour Card for 2024/25 and a place in the 2023/24 Cazoo World Darts Championship.

Click here to view Events 1-2 Results

Match stats and results are available through DartConnect.

2023 Winmau Challenge Tour
January 20, Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
Event One

Wayne Morgan 5-3 James Hurrell
Chris Landman 5-3 Jim McEwan
Andy Jenkins 5-3 Jeremy van der Winkel
Lukas Wenig 5-2 Chas Barstow

Chris Landman 5-3 Wayne Morgan
Lukas Wenig 5-0 Andy Jenkins

Chris Landman 5-2 Lukas Wenig

Event Two

Scott Mitchell 5-2 Lukas Wenig
James Hurrell 5-1 Sebastian Bialecki
Lewis Pride 5-1 Jesus Noguera
Christian Kist 5-3 Shane McGuirk

Scott Mitchell 5-4 James Hurrell
Christian Kist 5-3 Lewis Pride

Christian Kist 5-2 Scott Mitchell