Ilagan a Semi-Finalist in the Winmau World Masters
Gunner” Ilagan shocked the world of darts with his stunning
and spectacular performance reaching the semi-finals of the Winmau
Masters 2009 from a field of 256 players from around the world,
last September 6, 2009, in Bridlington, England,
The Winmau Masters is organized by the British
Dart Organization (BDO) and one of the major tournaments of the
BDO. 256 players from the United Kingdom, Europe, New Zealand, Australia
and the United States among others, were bracketed in to 16 groups
of 16 players each. The game format is best of 5 sets best of 3
Ilagan beat Lars Helsinghof of Denmark, 3-0; Aaron
Williams of Wales 3-0; Brian Woods of England, 3-1, a semi-finalist
of the 2008 Lakeside World Championships; Damien ODriscoll a top
Irish player, 3-0; and Craig Baxter of Scotland, 3-1. The jam-packed
audience at The Spa started to admire Ilagan’s spectacular
skills and killer instincts including his various body-antics. Even
referred to as ‘the one who illuminated the entire tournament’
by the announcers, Ilagan was all set to be at the top and performed
better after every match. The spectators watched in amazement as
The Gunner eliminated every player to reach the final 8 players
of the elimination round and earned the right to face the top 8
waiting seeded players of the tournament.
Ilagan went up the stage to face Scott Waites of
England, the number 2 seeded player of the tournament, the Open
Dutch Open Champion of 2008 and the runner-up of 2008 Winmau Masters.
The game proved to be a classic battle of two focused warriors each
determined to take the game and advance to the next round. Waites
was leading 2-1 sets before Ilagan made a 2-dart finish on his remaining
74 to even the match with 2-2 sets apiece, after Waites missed 6
chances to win the match. The deciding set went the distance for
the deciding leg with both players going for the bull eye to determine
the first thrower. Ilagan won the diddle for the bulls and scored
100-80-97-140 with 84 remaining Ilagan hit single 20 missed the
14 for a double bull set up and settled for 40 out set up. Waites
scored 115-85-96-100 with 105 left and to win the match, Waites
hit single 20, missed the triple 19, and with 66 left went for the
double bulls for 16 set up. With one dart Ilagan hit double 20 for
the win. With this impressive victory over BDO’s number 2
player; Lourence became an instant dart celebrity in Bridlington.
The points per dart average (PPDA) of Ilagan was 29.59 vs PPDA of
28.69 of Waites.
In the Quarter-Finals – Top 8, Ilagan met
Steve West, the number 7 seeded player of the tournament and a quarter-finalist
of Winmau Masters 2008. The match was another classic going the
full distance of the deciding set with Ilagan winning 2-0 in the
deciding set. Ilagan won 3-2 with PPDA of 29.79 vs 28.49 of West.
Ilagan’s unbelievable string of victories
came to an end in the semi-finals against Robbie Green of England,
popularly known as “The Kong” and a member of Team Unicorn,
losing 6-3. Green came all the way from the starting 256 and just
like Ilagan, gradually made his way up the ladder.
By far, this has been the best showing of any Filipino
and Asian darter in a prestigious international dart competition.
Ilagan proved to the world that Filipinos are not mere pushovers
in the sports of darts. Indeed, this is a milestone in Philippine
dart history and an inspiration to the growing and expanding local
Ilagan is currently ranked number 13 in the National
Darts Federation of the Philippines ranking and the back-to-back
winner of last year’s NDFP organized Darterong Pinoy and the
Philippine Qualifier to the World Darts Championship. He represented
the Philippines as a wild card player in the World Darts Championship,
the richest dart tournament in the world last December 2008 in Alexandra
Ilagan is a signature dart player of Monster Barrel
Design of Japan, a dart accessory distributor in Japan, which has
been sponsoring his international competitions including the 2009
Winmau Masters. He was born on February 11, 1978 and started playing
darts back in 1993. He is married and living in Cainta, Rizal.
The National Darts Federation of the Philippines
(NDFP) together with all its affiliate organizations nationwide
and outside of the country, extend its congratulations to Lourence
for a job well done. Let’s play darts!