5 February 1961 |
Blackpool, Lancashire, England
|Home town||Blackpool, Lancashire
|Playing darts since||1980s|
|Walk-on music||Don't Stop Me Now by Queen|
|Organisation (see split in darts)|
|Current world ranking||24|
|BDO majors - best performances|
|World Ch'ship||Runner up: 1999, 2000|
|World Masters||Runner up: 1997|
|World Darts Trophy||Semi-final: 2006|
|Int. Darts League||Last 16 group: 2006|
|Zuiderduin Masters||Semi-final: 2001|
|PDC premier events - best performances|
|World Ch'ship||Quarter-final: 2002, 2010|
|World Matchplay||Runner up: 1998|
|World Grand Prix||Semi-final: 2004|
|Grand Slam||Last 16: 2010|
|Premier League||5th: 2006, 2010|
|Ch'ship League||Winners group – 6th: 2012|
|Desert Classic||Runner up: 2002|
|European Ch'ship||Quarter-final: 2008, 2010|
|UK Open||Semi-final: 2009|
|US Open/WSoD||Semi-final: 2006|
|Players Ch'ship Finals||Semi-final: 2009|
|Other tournament wins|
Ronnie Baxter (born 5 February 1961 in Blackpool, Lancashire) is an English professional darts player. He uses the nickname The Rocket for his matches. Baxter is known for his fast robotic throwing action. He currently resides in his hometown Blackpool.
Baxter played on the North American circuit during the 1980s and when he participated in the British Darts Organisation he had a consistent record for reaching the final stages of their Open events. As well as winning the Welsh Open twice, German Open, Denmark, Swiss and Finnish Opens he also reached the final of the Opens in England, Wales, Finland, Denmark (twice) and the semi-finals of the Scottish Open four times, British Open three times, England Open twice and the British Classic in 2001.
He made his World Championship debut in 1991 - before the split in the game and lost in the second round to Jocky Wilson. A first round defeat in 1992 to Bob Anderson was followed by failure to qualify for the 1993 event. When the top players left the BDO to form the WDC after the 1993 World Championship, Baxter had risen in the rankings to be seeded number two for the 1994 World Championship, but he was beaten in the first round - this time by eventual champion John Part.
He missed out on the 1995 Championship, but then reached the quarter-finals for the first time in 1996 when he was beaten by Richie Burnett. Baxter was seeded seventh for the 1997 World Championship but lost in the second round to Mervyn King. However later that year he reached his first major final at the 1997 Winmau World Masters, losing in the final to Graham Hunt. In 1998 he had again risen in the rankings to be seeded number two - but just as in 1994 he failed to live up his ranking and went out in the first round to Scotland's Peter Johnstone.
In 1999, he finally showed some of the form that saw him ranked second in the world by reaching the World Final for the first time. He beat Burnett, Kevin Painter, Roland Scholten and Andy Fordham before losing 5-6 in the final to Raymond van Barneveld. Still ranked second in the world, he went back to the final in 2000 but lost 0-6 to Ted Hankey in just 46 minutes - the quickest final in the tournament's history.
Baxter moved to the PDC in 2002, and showed early glimpses of the form he showed in the BDO. On his World Championship debut in 2002 he reached the quarter-finals.
However, that remains his best performance to date, and since his early days in the PDC he has struggled to reproduce his best form on a consistent basis. In 2006 and 2007, Baxter surprisingly exited in the first round.
He did reach the final of 1998 World Matchplay whilst still a BDO player, beating Phil Taylor along the way before losing to Rod Harrington - and the final of the 2002 Las Vegas Desert Classic. His high world ranking saw him qualify for the Premier League Darts in 2006, where he finished fifth. He has also won a regional final of the UK Open and a PDPA Players Championship, but despite a career which has shown great potential he is yet to clinch a major televised tournament success.
Baxter has thrown four competitive nine-dart finishes in a qualifying round or tournament, the latest being in the 2008 Desert Classic. However, none of them have been televised.
In the 2009 PDC World Darts Championship, Baxter defeated Finland's Marko Kantele in the first round. He then beat Denis Ovens in the second round. However, in one of the matches of the tournament, he lost to world number two Raymond van Barneveld in a sudden-death leg in the seventh and final set. After hitting the bull to throw first in the deciding leg, Baxter missed two darts at double eight to win the match.
After winning the warm-up Players Tournament in Vegas, Baxter was defeated in the first round of the 2009 Las Vegas Desert Classic by Jelle Klaasen (6-2) in July 2009.
In July 2009 Baxter competed in the World Matchplay at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. As a native of the town, he received strong and vocal support. He narrowly defeated Jelle Klaasen and Alan Tabern in the first two rounds, before taking on James Wade in the quarter-finals. Wade was blown away by Baxter, who eventually won 16-10. However, the next day he was defeated 17-12 by Terry Jenkins in the semi-finals.
The World Grand Prix in Dublin in October 2009 saw Baxter's poor run in the competition continue as he was defeated by Steve Beaton in the opening round.
At the 2010 PDC World Darts Championship, Baxter saw off Haruki Muramatsu from Japan in round one, before beating Gary Anderson 4-0. Colin Lloyd, Baxter's third-round opponent, was swiftly despatched 4-1. He eventually lost 5-0 in the quarter-finals to van Barneveld. However, Baxter's performance was sufficient to lift him to sixth in the World Rankings, earning him automatic qualification into the 2010 Premier League.
Baxter was unfancied going into the tournament, but played surprisingly well, spending the majority of the season in the top four places of the table. However he narrowly missed out on a top-four spot, which would have earned him qualification for the semi-finals, following an 8-2 defeat to van Barneveld. Baxter ended the tournament in fifth place, level on points with the fourth-placed Mervyn King.
In June 2012, Baxter won the seventh Players Championship of the season, beating world number two and reigning world champion Adrian Lewis 6–3 in the final. It was Baxter's first ranking title for ten months. He continued his form by reaching the final of the ninth Players Championship after beating Simon Whitlock in the quarter-finals and Lewis in the semis. He faced Dave Chisnall and lost 4–6. These results ensured his place in the World Matchplay through the PDC ProTour Order of Merit, as Baxter has dropped out of the top 16 in the world rankings and therefore lost his automatic entry into the major events. He beat Chisnall in the first round, PDC newcomer Dean Winstanley in the second round and Justin Pipe in the quarter-final to reach his first hometown championship semi-final since 2009. There he faced Phil Taylor and, despite rallying from 0–6 down to trail just 6–8, was beaten 10–17. His good performance in the tournament gave him a boost in the Order of Merit, seeing him rise six places to world number 14. Baxter qualified from Group 3 of the Championship League with a 6–5 victory against Dave Chisnall. He finished 6th in the Winners Group, as he won three of his seven league matches, missing out on the play-offs by way of leg difference. After all 33 ProTour events of 2012 had been played, Baxter was 15th on the Order of Merit, which qualified him for the Players Championship Finals. He edged out Paul Nicholson 6–5 in the first round, but was then outplayed by Simon Whitlock in a 10–3 defeat, with the Australian averaging 110.
Baxter fought back from 1–3 down in sets in the second round of the 2013 World Championship against Kevin Painter to level the match at 3–3. He won the first two legs of the deciding set to be one leg away from the last 16, however, Painter won four straight legs to send Baxter out. Baxter's consistent play in the eight UK Open Qualifiers in the early part of 2013, where he was a losing quarter-finalist three times and a losing semi-finalist once, saw him placed ninth on the UK Open Order of Merit. At the tournament he beat Ken MacNeil 9–8, Lee Palfreyman 9–6 and Jelle Klaasen 9–7 to face Raymond van Barneveld in the quarter-finals. Baxter came from 0–3 to lead 7–4, before van Barneveld responded to move 9–8 ahead. Baxter forced a last leg decider and missed one dart for the match to allow the Dutchman in to hit double eight for the win. Two successive first round losses in premier events followed at the European Championship (6–5 against Mervyn King) and the World Matchplay (10–1 against Andy Hamilton). At the World Grand Prix Baxter beat Colin Lloyd 2–0 in sets before losing 3–0 to Simon Whitlock.
Baxter was defeated 3–0 by newcomer Ricky Evans in the first round of the 2014 World Championship. At the German Darts Championship he won four games to reach the semi-finals, where he lost 6–4 to Gary Anderson in the semi-finals. Baxter lost 9–5 against Adrian Lewis in the third round of the UK Open. He was knocked out in the first round of the three remaining major events he qualified for during the rest of 2014 and reached the quarter-finals of five Players Championship events, but could never advance beyond that stage.
Baxter has two sons with his ex-wife Carol, Terrence (born 1989) and Timothy (born 1991).
BDO major finals: 3 (3 runner-up)
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score[N 1]|
|Runner-up||1.||1997||Winmau World Masters||Graham Hunt||2–3 (s)|
|Runner-up||2.||1999||World Championship||Raymond van Barneveld||5–6 (s)|
|Runner-up||3.||2000||World Championship||Ted Hankey||0–6 (s)|
- (l) = score in legs, (s) = score in sets.
PDC major finals: 2 (2 runner-up)
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score[N 1]|
|Runner-up||1.||1998||World Matchplay||Rod Harrington||17–19 (l)|
|Runner-up||2.||2002||Las Vegas Desert Classic||Phil Taylor||0–3 (s)|
- (l) = score in legs, (s) = score in sets.
World Championship performances
- 1991: 2nd round (lost to Jocky Wilson 1–3)
- 1992: 1st round (lost to Bob Anderson 1–3)
- 1994: 1st round (lost to John Part 0–3)
- 1996: Quarter-finals (lost to Richie Burnett 2–4)
- 1997: 2nd round (lost to Mervyn King 2–3)
- 1998: 1st round (lost to Peter Johnstone 2–3)
- 1999: Runner-up (lost to Raymond Van Barneveld 5–6)
- 2000: Runner-up (lost to Ted Hankey 0–6)
- 2001: Quarter-finals (lost to Wayne Mardle 3–5)
- 2002: Quarter-finals (lost to Peter Manley 2–6)
- 2003: 3rd round (lost to Kevin Painter 3–5)
- 2004: 4th round (lost to Kevin Painter 2–4)
- 2005: 4th round (lost to Bob Anderson 2–4)
- 2006: 1st round (lost to Ray Carver 2–3)
- 2007: 1st round (lost to Adrian Gray 2–3)
- 2008: 2nd round (lost to Mark Dudbridge 2–4)
- 2009: 3rd round (lost to Raymond Van Barneveld 3–4)
- 2010: Quarter-finals (lost to Raymond Van Barneveld 0–5)
- 2011: 2nd round (lost to Mark Webster 0–4)
- 2012: 1st round (lost to Steve Farmer 2–3)
- 2013: 2nd round (lost to Kevin Painter 3–4)
- 2014: 1st round (lost to Ricky Evans 0–3)
- "Biography". Ronnie Baxter. 1961-02-05. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
- "Brilliant Baxter's Birmingham Win". PDC. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
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- "2014 PDC German Darts Championship Results". Darts Database. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
- "Coral UK Open - Friday Evening". PDC. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
- "Ronnie Baxter 2014". Darts Database. Archived from the original on 7 December 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014.