Buntz celebrates CDC Continental Cup glory to seal Grand Slam spot

Stowe Buntz (CDC)

Stowe Buntz celebrated 2023 CDC Continental Cup glory on Saturday night, to seal his place in next month's Mr Vegas Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton.

Buntz, who will also make his Paddy Power World Darts Championship debut in December, overcame Larry Butler, Jacob Taylor and Jason Brandon to triumph on a bumper day of action in New York City.

Buntz opened his challenge with a stunning display in Friday's first round, averaging 104.14 in a 5-2 win over Canada's Jake Macmillan, and he continued his fine form to claim the spoils on Finals Day.

The colourful American eased past 1994 World Matchplay champion Butler in the last eight, before reeling off six straight legs from 2-1 down to dispatch Taylor in the semi-finals. 

This set up a showdown against Tennessee's Brandon, who fell 3-0 behind in Saturday's showpiece after squandering a host of opportunities on the outer ring.

Brandon responded impressively, opening his account with a 16-dart break, before following up a 90 checkout in leg five with a 12-darter to level the contest at three apiece.

Buntz broke back immediately and restored his buffer with a 14-dart hold in leg eight to make it 5-3, and Brandon was unable to make further inroads against throw, as Buntz converted a clinical 82 kill to complete an 8-6 success.

The enigmatic American, a winner of three CDC ProTour titles in 2023, will now make his televised debut in the Grand Slam of Darts, which takes place from November 11-19 at the Aldersley Leisure Village.

Buntz has also confirmed his qualification for both the 2024 US Darts Masters and the North American Championship, which returns to Madison Square Garden next year.

Brandon, who starred in the 2023 edition, fell just short in his title bid, having dumped out reigning champion Alex Spellman and Canadian veteran David Cameron to secure his spot in Saturday's decider.

Cameron launched a superb comeback from 3-1 down to deny Danny Lauby in the quarter-finals, producing an 11-darter and finishes of 118 and 101 on his way to a deciding-leg victory.

In the other quarter-final tie, Cameron's compatriot Taylor recorded a 6-1 rout over a below-par Leonard Gates, landing 115 and 94 checkouts before wrapping up victory with back-to-back 14-darters.

2023 CDC Continental Cup
Saturday October 21

Jason Brandon 6-5 Alex Spellman
David Cameron 6-5 Danny Lauby
Stowe Buntz 6-2 Larry Butler
Jacob Taylor 6-1 Leonard Gates

Jason Brandon 7-4 David Cameron
Stowe Buntz 7-2 Jacob Taylor

Stowe Buntz 8-6 Jason Brandon