Raymond van Barneveld was unable to liven up his return to the Pro Tour on Thursday with a victory. The five-time world champion narrowly lost to Stephen Bunting in the first Players Championship of the season: 5-6.
53-year-old Van Barneveld announced his return in September and took a Tour card from the PDC on the final day of the Q-School final round last week. With that, his return as a professional darter was a fact.
With a match against Bunting on the opening day of the PDC Super Series in Bolton, England, Van Barneveld did not make it with the draw. The Englishman, number seventeen in the world, made it to the semi-finals at the last World Cup.
Nevertheless, Van Barneveld offered good resistance after he first came up 5-1 behind. De Hagenaar fought back to 5-5, but still pulled the short straw in the deciding leg.
Van Barneveld achieved an average of 94.3 points with three arrows. ‘The Bullet’ contrasted this with a score of 98.4 points.
In the coming days, ‘Barney’ will have every chance to book his first professional victory since his return. Three more Players Championship tournaments are scheduled on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Source: NU by www.nu.nl.
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