Van Veen & Cole triumph in latest Development Tour double-header

Gian van Veen (Jonas Hunold/PDC)

Gian van Veen moved top of the Winmau Development Tour Order of Merit after winning his fourth title of 2023 on Saturday, as Jarred Cole celebrated his first Development Tour success for almost five years in Germany.

Saturday’s latest Development Tour double-header saw players aged 16-24 competing for £15,000 in each event at Halle 39, and it was Van Veen and Cole who shared the spoils in Hildesheim.

Van Veen recovered from 4-1 down to defeat Wessel Nijman in a thrilling all-Dutch Event 13 final, denying his compatriot back-to-back titles following his Event 12 success on Friday.

Nijman landed a superb ten-darter to race 3-0 ahead with a 119 average, but Van Veen fought back to restore parity at four apiece, before surviving multiple match darts in the decider to triumph.

Having conceded just one leg in his opening three matches, Van Veen remarkably won through five consecutive last-leg shoot-outs to claim the £2,500 top prize in Saturday’s opening event.

The 21-year-old edged out his compatriot Danny Jansen and Germany’s Sascha Stuhlemmer to move through to the last eight, where he produced a 13-darter to defy Cam Crabtree’s stirring fightback.

Van Veen then rallied from 4-3 down to account for UK Open qualifier Lewis Gurney in the semi-finals, following up a skin-saving 76 checkout with a 15-darter to prevail in a nine-leg affair.

The emerging Dutchman later halted Nijman’s bid for a second Development Tour crown in as many days, securing his fourth title of 2023 to overhaul Luke Littler at the top of the Order of Merit.

Nijman, meanwhile, had stormed through to the last 32 with three successive whitewash wins, and he continued his charge with a 4-3 win over Germany’s Pascal Rupprecht, who averaged 99 in defeat.

Nijman then dispatched Littler to reach the quarter-finals, before averaging 99 and 101 in wins over former World Youth Champion Bradley Brooks and Cole respectively.

However, Cole responded in superb style to clinch Event 14 victory, demolishing Austrian star Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 5-1 to secure his second Development Tour win – his first since September 2018.

The 22-year-old kicked off his campaign with a series of comfortable wins, before posting a 103.24 average to defeat Littler 4-1 and advance to the last 16.

The Hertfordshire youngster continued his progress with a routine victory over Czech thrower Tomas Houdek, while accounting for Germany’s Dominik Gruellich and Crabtree in the latter stages.

This set up a showdown against six-time Development Tour winner Rodriguez, and after opening the contest with legs of 14 and 15 darts, Cole maintained control to cap off a terrific afternoon’s work.

Rodriguez also impressed in Hildesheim, relinquishing just nine legs en route to the Event 14 decider, which featured a 107.36 average in his four-leg blitz of Tom Kloppmann.

Elsewhere, Nijman succumbed to Gruellich in an extraordinary tie, averaging 106 to the German’s 107, while Van Veen’s winning run was ended by his fellow countryman Levy Frauenfelder in the last 16.

However, Van Veen [£12,300] now boasts a £2,200 lead over Littler on the Development Tour Order of Merit, with Nijman closing the gap in third position on £8,925 ahead of Sunday's Event 15.

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

The event draws and results are listed in the Match Centre.

Click here for match stats.

2023 Winmau Development Tour
Saturday June 10
Halle 39, Hildesheim
Event 13

Jarred Cole 5-1 Connor Arberry
Wessel Nijman 5-4 Bradley Brooks
Lewis Gurney 5-1 Bradly Roes
Gian van Veen 5-4 Cam Crabtree

Wessel Nijman 5-3 Jarred Cole
Gian van Veen 5-4 Lewis Gurney

Gian van Veen 5-4 Wessel Nijman

Event 14

Levy Frauenfelder 5-1 Jurjen van der Velde
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 5-2 Robert Kef
Cam Crabtree 5-2 Jordan Sharpe
Jarred Cole 5-2 Dominik Gruellich

Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 5-1 Levy Frauenfelder
Jarred Cole 5-1 Cam Crabtree

Jarred Cole 5-1 Rusty-Jake Rodriguez