Mark Webster (darts Player) - PDC Career

PDC Career

With rumours persisting over a potential switch to the PDC, Webster had remained defiant that he would return to Lakeside in 2010. However, it was announced on 5 February 2009 that Webster had joined the PDC, making his debut at the double-header Players Championship events in Gladbeck at the end of February.

In his PDC debut he did not manage to earn any prize money—losing 6–1 to Ronnie Baxter in the opening round. The following day however, Webster got through to the second round of the Sunday event in Gladbeck, earning his first prize money as a PDC player.

Having started from scratch in the PDC rankings, Webster had to build up ranking points by entering the PDC Pro Tour events. His best result came at the UK Open Scottish Regional Qualifier in March when he reached the semi-final. He also managed two quarter final appearances in Players Championship Events in the East Midlands in April and Atlanta in August. By October 18 he had played in 31 Pro Tour events. His PDC Prize Money, boosted by a run to the last 16 of the UK Open had totalled £10,800 and his ranking had improved to 71.

In his debut at the PDC World Championship in 2010, Webster defeated established players including Mark Walsh, Peter Manley and Co Stompe to reach the semi-final, where he was outplayed by Taylor. Webster did, however, earn the consolation of third place via a playoff match with van Barneveld, earning an extra £20,000 in the process and entering the top 32 in the PDC rankings for the first time.

He began 2010 poorly with repeated early exits in Floor events but found form by a few quarter final appearances and by reaching consecutive semi finals in a Players Championship and UK Open Qualifier 8 in Wigan during May. This cemented his qualification for the 2010 UK Open Darts. However he was knocked out in his first match against Tony Eccles.

After the UK Open his poor floor form returned in which he failed to progress past the last 32 in any event until the 2010 World Matchplay Darts in which he knocked out seventh seed Adrian Lewis 11–9 in the first round but was beaten 13–9 by Co Stompe This earned him £7,500 towards the order of merit.

His next major event was the 2010 Championship League Darts which he qualified for due to his order of merit ranking of 29 which put him into the last group – 8. He qualified from the group stage in fourth with wins over Jelle Klaasen, Michael van Gerwen, Dennis Priestley and Denis Ovens this meant that he played group winner Co Stompe in the semi final in which he prevailed 6–3 however he was beaten 6–2 by Wayne Jones in the group final.

After this competition his floor event form sharply rose with a Victory over Richie Burnett in a Players Championship Final in Germany earning him his first ever PDC tournament victory and £6,000. This was followed soon later with a Semi final and final appearance in a weekend in Barnsley further pushing him up the order of merit.

Due to his 3rd place finish at the previous World Championship Webster qualified for the 2010 Grand Slam of Darts. Despite losing 5–2 to Wayne Jones in his first game a 5–3 win over Mark Hylton (darts player) left him with a chance to qualify however even though he beat Gary Anderson 5–3 it was not enough as he missed multiple doubles to win the match with the required scoreline of 5–1 to qualify.

Webster was the Welsh captain for the inaugural 2010 PDC World Cup of Darts in which Barrie Bates was his partner. After beating New Zealand in their first game 6–4 Webster and Bates became the surprise package of the tournament topping their group in the next stage which included wins over the Scottish pairing of Gary Anderson and Robert Thornton and the Spanish team of Carlos Rodriguez and Antonio Alcinas who had knocked out the England team consisting of world number one and two Phil Taylor and James Wade. This meant that they played the Australian team of Simon Whitlock and Paul Nicholson in the Semi Finals. A 6–5 win for Webster over Nicholson in the opening match proved crucial as it kept them in the match after the other 3 matches were won by Australia taking the match the doubles match. They won this 6–4 which meant that the match would go to a sudden death leg to decide who went to the final. Despite Australia winning the throw for the bull and opening with a 180 from Whitlock consecutive 140's from Wales got them back in the match. Bates then held his nerve to take out a 116 to take them to the final which also went to the doubles match after Webster defeated Co Stompe and Raymond Van Barneveld back to back with an 100+ average in each match. However they lost the doubles 8–5 to finish runners up in the tournament.

He continued this good form into the 2011 PDC World Darts Championship in which he knocked out Steve Maish, number 8 seed Ronnie Baxter and Mark Hylton (darts player) in the early rounds losing only 1 set between them. In the quarter-final he knocked out 15-time and defending world champion Phil Taylor by 5 sets to 2 to reach his second successive World Championship semi-final. He lost 6–4 to Adrian Lewis in the semi-finals, continuing the trend of players beating Taylor but going on to lose their next match when the event is televised. This earned him £50,000 and Moved him into the top 16 of the PDC rankings for the first time at number 13.

Webster played in the 2011 Premier League. His early form was strong, pushing Taylor hard with a 170 out-shot and avenging his loss to Adrian Lewis with an average of 110.19 – the second highest ever achieved in the Premier league (behind Taylor). However, he then had a great loss in form, receiving 8–1 defeats at the hands of James Wade and Phil Taylor among other heavy losses, leaving him bottom of the table with two wins and a draw from his fourteen matches.

At the 2011 UK Open, Webster reached the semi-finals and led James Wade 9–7 in their best-of-19 match, but lost 10–9 despite throwing for the match on two occasions.

Webster reached his second quarter-final at the Grand Slam of Darts, once again beating John Part en route to a defeat by Lewis.

Webster finally reached his first PDC major final at the 2011 Players Championship Finals, beating number one seed Justin Pipe after seeing six match darts missed against him, followed by wins over Dave Chisnall and Wes Newton, before being defeated by Kevin Painter.

His good form from the previous week did not help him, however, at the 2012 World Championship where he was upset by fellow countryman, Richie Burnett, 2–3. Webster had a dart at double top in the deciding set to win the match, but missed and was the highest seed to exit in the first round of the event. He then teamed up with Burnett for his second World Cup and together they reached the semi-finals with wins over Croatia and South Africa. Webster couldn't reach his second successive World Cup final however, as the English pair of Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis won 1–3. At the World Matchplay, Webster defeated Colin Lloyd 10–6 in the first round, before losing to Andy Hamilton 6–13 in the last 16. In September, Webster threw a nine darter in the opening leg of his first round match against Andree Welge in Event 4 of the European Tour, but went on to lose 4–6. After all 33 ProTour events of 2012 had been played, Webster was 27th on the Order of Merit, inside the top 32 who qualified for the Players Championship Finals. He lost to Taylor 2–6 in the first round.

Webster beat Ian White in the first round of the 2013 World Championship, but then lost to Colin Lloyd 2–4.

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