June 29, 1966 |
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Home town||Oshawa, Ontario
|Playing darts since||1987|
|Darts||23g Cosmo Darts|
|Walk-on music||The Imperial March (Darth Vader's theme from Star Wars)|
|Organisation (see split in darts)|
|Current world ranking||28|
|BDO majors - best performances|
|World Ch'ship||Winner 1994|
|World Masters||Last 16: 1995, 1997|
|World Darts Trophy||Last 16: 2007|
|Int. Darts League||Last 32 Group: 2007|
|PDC premier events - best performances|
|World Ch'ship||Winner 2003, 2008|
|World Matchplay||Runner up: 2002, 2005|
|World Grand Prix||Runner up: 2002, 2003|
|Grand Slam||Quarter-final: 2007, 2012|
|Premier League||6th: 2005, 2009|
|Desert Classic||Winner 2006|
|European Ch'ship||Last 32: 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013|
|UK Open||Runner up: 2004|
|US Open/WSoD||Semi-final: 2007|
|Players Ch'ship Finals||Last 16: 2009|
|Other tournament wins|
European Tour Events
John Part (born June 29, 1966 in Toronto, Ontario) is a Canadian professional darts player and commentator, who is nicknamed Darth Maple. Part is a three-times World Champion, having triumphed in the BDO World Championship in 1994 and the PDC World Championship in 2003 and 2008. Along with these triumphs, his 2006 Las Vegas Desert Classic title and a host of other tournament wins make him statistically North America's greatest darts player ever.
- 1 Career
- 2 Television Commentary
- 3 Tournament finals
- 4 World Championship Performances
- 5 References
- 6 External links
1987-1994 - Beginnings and the BDO World Championship
Part was given a dartboard by his parents as a Christmas present in 1987 and has played the sport ever since. Though television coverage of darts in Canada is rare and live coverage is almost non-existent, Part was still able to view the World Professional Darts Championship and the World Masters, where he would learn his game from some of the most famous champions in the sport, particularly Bob Anderson. Little is known of Part's formative darts years, but he won his first significant title at the Syracuse Open in 1991 and became a professional in the same year. It is assumed he had great success in the North American circuit as he was soon representing Canada in the WDF World Cup. Part has stated that he was 'produced as a darts player by the North American game', and that his experiences playing against some of the greatest North American players of the time gave him the capability of winning world championships.
By 1993, Part was Canada's highest ranked player and was competing in prestigious events sanctioned by the British Darts Organisation. A significant win soon came in the 1993 WDF World Cup, where he and Carl Mercer won the Pairs Championship for Canada. Nevertheless, when he qualified for the 1994 BDO World Championship, he was still a relative unknown. This was the first BDO World Championship since the acrimonious split in darts, and, as a result, the field included many newcomers and debutants, including Part himself. In the first round Part defeated second seed Ronnie Baxter in straight sets, and thereafter swept through to the final, dropping only one set en route. He faced the charismatic veteran Bobby George in the final and won 6-0 in sets. Seven years after receiving his first dartboard, Part had won a World Championship; he was the first non-British player to do so, and he is one of the few players to win the tournament on their debut. Part's achievement of dropping only one set in winning a World Championship is only matched by Eric Bristow from the 1984 BDO World Darts Championship and later by Phil Taylor during the 2001 PDC World Darts Championship.
1995-2000 - Lean years and move to the PDC
Part is generally regarded to have failed to consolidate his early success for most of the 1990s. Despite more wins on the North American circuit, including the Canadian Open and Canadian National Championships in 1995, he struggled to make an impact in the major tournaments in the United Kingdom. In the 1995 BDO World Championship, he only one won match in defending his title; he lost in the second round to Paul Williams. He was also unable to make it to the quarter-finals of the World Masters during his entire BDO career. He qualified for the 1996 and 1997 BDO World Championships, but continued to suffer successive second round defeats. Despite his initial whirlwind success, Part was struggling to reach the heady heights of his breakthrough win. In June 1997, Part left the British Darts Organisation and joined the rival Professional Darts Corporation, and has competed in PDC sanctioned events ever since then.
Joining the PDC, however, initially failed to provide the impetus that Part's results needed. His performances in the major events continued to be indifferent, including early exits in the 1998 and 1999 PDC World Championships. The new millennium, however, began to bring small success for Part. Despite a quiet 2000 PDC World Championship, where he was eliminated in the round of sixteen, he secured a smaller victory in the Eastbourne Open in 2000. Part then secured his highest placing in a major PDC event by reaching the quarter-finals of the 2000 PDC World Grand Prix. These slightly improved results were only a harbinger, however, for what was to be the most storied and successful phase of Part's career.
2001-2003 - PDC World Championship and World Number One
The 2001 PDC World Darts Championship was to be a turning point in Part's career, even though he ultimately suffered a crushing defeat in the final. Part comfortably advanced through the tournament until the semi-final, where he defeated Essex veteran Rod Harrington 6-5 in a classic contest to reach his first major PDC final. There he would meet Phil Taylor, who had won the last six world championships and is now considered as darts' greatest ever player. This was Part's first meeting with Taylor in an official PDC match, but it was not a happy one. Taylor, who had been in stunning form throughout the tournament, averaged 107.5 and had a 72% checkout rate in the final, now considered one of darts' most dominant ever showings; Part only won three legs in the entire match as Taylor stormed to a 7-0 win. Taylor's performance, described as 'ludicrous' by The Guardian, while simply regarded by darts commentator Sid Waddell as a 'vicious example of near perfection' and an 'annihilation', could have seriously affected Part's confidence. But it would only provide the Canadian with further motivation to challenge the best. Over the next two years, Part won a string of minor titles, rose to number two in the world rankings and developed a rivalry with Taylor that would define this stage of his career.
But it was not without some more painful defeats at the hands of 'The Power'. In the 2002 PDC World Championship quarter-final, Part was again whitewashed by Taylor 6-0 as the world's greatest player went on to win his eighth consecutive world championship. However, Part gave Taylor a serious test in the 2002 World Matchplay final. Part, in superb form and with great belief, matched Taylor throughout the match. In a first to 18 legs contest, Part led 16-15. But Taylor stunned the Canadian by winning three legs in a row to emerge an 18-16 winner in what is now regarded as a classic final. Part's wait for a first PDC major went on while Taylor's dominance continued. In October 2002 Part again reached a major final at the 2002 World Grand Prix, but the result was a similar story. This time Taylor comfortably defeated Part 7-3 in sets. Taylor and Part were now considered the two best players in the world, but there were serious doubts over whether Part could beat 'The Power' having already suffered four televised defeats, including two whitewashes in the World Championship and the painfully close loss in the 2002 World Matchplay. Going into the 2003 PDC World Championship, Taylor was the heavy favourite. Indeed, he advanced comfortably to the final including a 6-1 defeat of Alan Warriner in the semi-finals. Part, as the number two seed, reached the final as well, though his semi-final was considerably more difficult. In a testing game, he defeated Essex-born Kevin Painter 6-4 in a match not unlike his 2001 semi-final with Rod Harrington.
Prior to the final, the odds seemed against Part. He had lost 13 straight world championship sets to Taylor in the two years prior; he had in fact never beaten Taylor in an official PDC game. Part had just come through a tiring semi-final against Painter, while Taylor had cruised through against Warriner. Finally, Taylor had won eight consecutive world championships and was on a 44-match winning streak in the tournament. There was little to suggest that the Canadian would avoid a similar fate to his 2001 trouncing. But Part announced his intentions immediately in the final; he checked out 121 on the bullseye in the first leg. Thereafter he stunned Taylor by racing to a 4-1 lead, but this only stirred the world number one into taking the next four sets and leading 5-4. This however didn't stop Part as he took the next two sets to lead 6-5 and was one set away from the world title. Taylor then took the next set to take the match into a deciding set. In the deciding set, Part broke Taylor's throw and held his nerve to win the title with his first match dart. He had become world champion for the second time and ended Taylor's eight-tournament winning streak.
The final is now regularly referred to as one of the greatest ever games of darts. Part has stated this win was the most special of all of his victories. Similar to his BDO World Championship achievement, Part was the first non-British player to win the PDC World Championship. He is also one of only four men to have won both versions of the darts world championship. With his victory, Part also ascended to world number one in the PDC world rankings.
2003-2005 - Triumphs and regrets
The immediate period following Part's second world championship victory was one of conflicting emotions. These three years were marked by two distinct and contrasting fortunes; first, Part enjoyed some success over his rival Taylor, securing a number of televised victories over his nemesis. However, he was unable to consolidate these victories in the major events, and in fact failed to add a single major title to his name from February 2003 through 2005. There were minor successes; Part won the first event he entered - the UK Open Southwest Regional Final - after his world championship triumph, beating Taylor along the way, and later in 2003 added the Windy City Open and two Vauxhall Opens to his silverware collection. But the major titles were not forthcoming. Part recorded his third consecutive victory over Taylor in the 2003 Las Vegas Desert Classic semi-final, but lost in the final 16-12 in legs as Peter Manley took the crown. There were disappointing exits in the last sixteen of the 2003 UK Open and the 2003 World Matchplay, though Part made a second consecutive appearance in the World Grand Prix final. However, Taylor again comfortably defeated Part in this event, winning the final 7-2. At this point, Taylor had also retaken the world number one ranking from Part.
But the disappointment was nothing compared to what would occur in the new year, as 2004 began with one of Part's most disastrous defeats of all. The Canadian entered the 2004 PDC World Championship as the reigning champion, but was unable to win even a single match in the defence of his title. In the first round he came up against debutant Mark Dudbridge but was stunned in a 4-3 defeat. Phil Taylor would go on to retake his title from Part with a thrilling 7-6 victory of his own, over Kevin Painter in the final. Despite losing his world championship and world number one status to Taylor, he once again defeated 'The Power' in the 2004 UK Open quarter-final. Part would then go on to reach his only major final of 2004, but would once again fail to consolidate as he was beaten soundly by Roland Scholten. Part's only significant triumphs in 2004 came in North America, where he again won the Canadian Open and Canadian National Championships as well as the Golden Harvest North American Cup.
Part endured a barren 2005. In the 2005 PDC World Championship he reached the last sixteen but came up against Dudbridge again. The Bristolian had become something of a bête noire to Part's world championship attempts, and the Canadian lost again, by a 4-2 scoreline (Taylor then defeated Dudbridge in the final). Following the world championship, Part was invited into the inaugural Premier League of Darts, but it was not a happy campaign. Despite a promising start, Part lost five successive matches towards the latter end of the league and finished sixth of out of the seven participants. For Part, the highlights of 2005 were two of his most renowned televised clashes against Taylor. While 'The Power' was dominating the televised events, Part was sliding down the rankings somewhat. Nevertheless, Part proved to be Taylor's only consistent challenger during this time. In May, he outplayed Taylor to lead 10-6 in legs in the 2005 UK Open, but the world number one produced a remarkable comeback to win 11-10 and went on to win the tournament. Part avenged this defeat two months later with an all-time classic quarter-final in the 2005 World Matchplay. Though Taylor led 4-1 in the early stages, Part hit back to lead 5-4 and thereafter the two traded legs until they were matched 11-11. Part then won five straight legs to run out a 16-11 victor over 'The Power', ending Taylor's five-tournament, 26-match winning streak in the World Matchplay. Part, however, was yet again a runner-up as he succumbed to Colin Lloyd 18-12 in the final.
Overall throughout this period, Part defeated Taylor four times on television - more than anyone else at the time - but went on to lose in the final of three TV events out of four. This statistic combined with the failed Premier League campaign and the two world championship losses to Dudbridge made this ultimately a disappointing period for Part, reflected by his slide in the rankings.
2006-2008 - Las Vegas Champion and Third World Championship
The year 2006 was seminal to both the Professional Darts Corporation, and Part's career. Concerning the former, it heralded the arrival of four-times BDO World Champion Raymond van Barneveld to the PDC. With van Barneveld's arrival and his immediate impact in the 2006 Premier League, Part was no longer perceived as Taylor's main rival (indeed, Part has not beaten Taylor in a televised match since his 2005 World Matchplay victory). Part's shaken status was not helped by a defeat in the third round of the 2006 PDC World Championship to Wayne Mardle. Despite these setbacks, Part's career experienced a somewhat fitful renewal in the three years that followed. In July he won his first major title since the 2003 World Championship with victory in the 2006 Las Vegas Desert Classic. The Desert Classic had long been a fruitful tournament for Part; in its eight-year history he reached six semi-finals, but it was only in 2006 that he won the trophy. In 2003 he had lost out in the final to Peter Manley having beaten Phil Taylor in the semi-final; this time it was van Barneveld's turn to suffer the same fate. The Dutchman had beaten Taylor in the semi-final, and in a tense final initially matched Part 3-3. However, the Canadian won nine of the next eleven legs to secure a 6-3 victory and his second major title in the PDC.
Part's other major results in 2006 were indifferent however, and he had another disappointing World Championship in 2007. This time he was eliminated tamely in the second round by Chris Mason. The defeat meant that Part had not reached the quarter-finals of the event since his epic victory in 2003, while van Barneveld went on to defeat Phil Taylor 7-6 in a similarly momentous final. But for the rest of 2007, Part returned to some of his best form. He reached three semi-finals of televised majors: US Open; the World Grand Prix, and the Las Vegas Desert Classic (though he could not defend his title in the latter). These consistent performances meant he entered the 2008 PDC World Championship as the 11th seed, though he was not considered one of the favourites for the event. Nevertheless Part advanced steadily through the tournament, setting the tournament's highest average in the second round against Mensur Suljovic. He then came through a tight quarter-final against the 2007 PDC Player of the Year and third seed James Wade, winning in a deciding set 5-4. In the semi-final he faced Kevin Painter, reminiscent of his 2003 triumph; Part once again emerged victorious, 6-2 this time, and found himself in his fourth world championship final.
In a tournament where the contemporary superpowers of the game had faltered - Taylor had lost 5-4 to Wayne Mardle in the quarter-finals and reigning champion van Barneveld had been eliminated by Painter in the third round - it was perhaps not such a great surprise to see a 500-1 rank outsider facing Part in the final. Debutant Kirk Shepherd, a 21 year-old qualifier and the sport's youngest ever world-finalist, was Part's opponent. In a sense, Part's career had come full circle; the matchup recalled his 1994 final, though Part had moved from novice to established veteran and Shepherd, this time, was the young debutant. But Part was not to suffer the same fate as Bobby George had. While Shepherd had shown remarkable guile, moxie and perhaps good fortune in defeating stalwarts of the PDC's top 10, including Mardle, Peter Manley, and Terry Jenkins, the experience of Part proved a step too far. The Canadian raced into a 4-0 lead and though Shepherd brought the match back to 5-2, Part closed out the match before the comeback could become troubling, winning the final two sets for a 7–2 victory and a third world championship. Victory ensured he joined Taylor, van Barneveld, Eric Bristow and John Lowe as the fifth player to have won more than two world championships. With this win he also became the second player to have won the PDC World Championship more than once, after Taylor. Part also set a new record in becoming the first player to win the world championship in three different venues – having won the 1994 BDO World Championship at the Lakeside, the 2003 PDC title at the Circus Tavern and in 2008 at Alexandra Palace.
However, Part had registered disappointing years following world championship wins in 1994 and 2003, and 2008 followed the same trend. Initially, Part enjoyed some success; just as in 2003, he won the first tournament he entered as world champion with a victory in the Gibraltar Players Championship. But it was to be his only PDC victory for the next two years. Invited into the Premier League for the second time, Part was in poor form throughout the tournament and finished bottom of the league. The results hardly improved, as Part's year was marked by early defeats in most televised tournaments despite his high seeding, most pointedly in the first round of the 2008 Las Vegas Desert Classic, a tournament that Part had thrived in for many years. To round off a terrible year, Part's world championship defence ended as disastrously as it had in 2004. In the 2009 PDC World Championship, he was drawn against American qualifier Bill Davis, but failed to win a set as his third world championship reign ended with a 3-0 defeat in the first round.
Part was defeated in the first round of the 2009 World Championship, losing 3-0 to American Bill Davis - the second time in which Part has lost his first match in the World Championship, having won the title the previous year (he was knocked out by Mark Dudbridge in 2004 having won the title in 2003). Part was defeated by Kirk Shepherd in the second round of the 2010 World Championship in a repeat of the 2008 final, only recording a 76 average in a 4-1 loss. This result meant Part dropped down the rankings and did not appear in the 2010 Premier League.
In June 2010, Part came through a large field of players to win the PDC North American Darts Championship in Las Vegas. However, he was whitewashed 0–3 by Danish qualifier Per Laursen in the 2011 World Championship and almost went out of the top 32.
He won his first players championship since 2007 in February 2011 in Derby convincingly beating Mark Walsh 6-0 with 104.86 average. On the previous day he narrowly missed double 12 for a 9 dart finish. Part stated "he had nothing to lose" and that illness had stopped him reaching where he wanted to be at the World Championships. Part's form continued when he won another players championship in May 2011 in Austria by thrashing Denis Ovens 6-0 in the final, having earlier overcoming Phil Taylor 6-2. The win granted him qualification for all the major televised tournaments in 2011, something which he failed to do in 2010 except for the UK Open.
During the first round of the 2011 World Matchplay, John hit a 9 Darter against Mark Webster and came from 7-1 down to within one leg at 9-8. He subsequently lost the match but hit a milestone in his darting career with his first ever televised perfect game.
At the 2012 World Championship he made it to the quarter-finals for the first time since his 2008 title. He dropped just three sets on his way to the last 8 by defeating John Henderson, Richie Burnett and Kevin Painter. He was involved in one of the greatest matches ever seen at the World Championships against James Wade. Wade opened up a 3-1 set lead, before his form started to dip to coincide with Part scoring heavier and hitting more doubles to win 3 sets in a row. The players broke each other's throws twice in the deciding set to require a sudden-death leg, which Wade managed to win. Part said afterwards that it was "the greatest game I've ever lost!".
Part won the first PDC North American pro tour event in July 2012, beating top American player Darin Young 6 legs to 1 in the final in Chicago.
Part nevertheless had one of the quietest seasons of his career, as he didn't qualify in any of the majors tournaments. However, he was invited to play at the Grand Slam of Darts in which he managed to win 2 out of 3 matches to qualify for the second round (despite a meagre average of 81 for his three round robin matches). He eventually reached the Quarter-Finals stages. Defeating Brendan Dolan 10-6 in the last 16 before losing to Andy Hamilton 12-16.
Part again represented Canada in the 2013 PDC World Cup of Darts, this time with Jeff Smith. With a win over Sweden and a loss over Scotland, they progressed to the second round in which they were beaten 5–2 by Mark Webster and Richie Burnett. However, bigger success came soon, as Part won the first European Tour event of 2013, the UK Masters. Wins over Kim Huybrechts, Gary Anderson, Mensur Suljović, Simon Whitlock and Adrian Lewis saw Part progress to the final where opponent Stuart Kellett was waiting. With a 6–4 win Part claimed his first PDC ranking title since 2011.
At the European Darts Trophy in Sindelfingen (Germany) Part reached the quarter finals after defeating Vincent van der Voort, Robert Thornton and Ronnie Baxter. Dutchman Michael van Gerwen ended his chance to win a second successive European Tour event. At the seventh UK Open Qualifier in April, Part won seven games to reach the final which he lost 2–6 to Kim Huybrechts. He was beaten 4–9 in the fourth round of the 2013 UK Open by Andy Hamilton, having led 3–0.
He qualified for the European Championship and lost in the first round 4-6 to Kevin Painter, despite hitting a 170 checkout and having a dart at the bullseye for a second one to lead 5-4. He then qualified for the World Matchplay for the first time in two years. He faced James Wade in his first round match and, despite establishing a lead in the early stages, he lost 8-10.
He qualified for the World Grand Prix, but was unable to win his first round match, as he was facing Michael van Gerwen who managed to win the match with a tremendous 104 average.
His next televised championship was the Players Championship Finals. He earned enough money to be in the top 32 on the PDC Tour and played his first round match against Andy Hamilton. It was the first match where Part wore glasses. It worked for his scoring as he hit seventeen 100+ and three 180s, and he established a 5-1 lead against Hamilton, who wasn't at his best form, averaging under 70 in the five first legs. But Part's finishing was the last word of his defeat, as he hit only 13% of his doubles in the five legs he won and missed a total of 18 darts for the match when his opponent found form again to win the match 6-5 with a 158 checkout in the deciding leg.
He entered the 2014 World Championship as the 25th seed and played Mareno Michels in the first round, he won the first two sets of the match and then started to struggle with scoring and finishing. His opponent won the two next sets to force Part playing a deciding set. He won it 3-1 in legs and won the match with an 82 average. He then sufferd a 0-4 against Wes Newton in the last 32. At the end of the season, he finished ranked 28th.
The 2014 got off to a good start, as he reached the quarter finals of the German Masters.
In June 1994, BBC commentator Sid Waddell decided to leave the BBC to join Sky Television. This left just Tony Green as the only commentator on the event. Part is considered to be one of the games's best "counters" or "spotters" (the ability to work out scoring shots or where the next dart may be thrown). This knowledge is essential to a darts commentator and contributed to Part being chosen by the BBC to join Green in the commentary box during the latter stages of the 1995 Embassy World Championships. He commentated on the BDO World Championships for the BBC from 1995 to 2007.
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (January 2012)|
PDC premier event finals: 10 (3 titles, 7 runner-ups)
World Championship Performances