Ronnie Baxter

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Ronnie Baxter
Ronnie Baxter Zwaantje Masters 2019.jpg
Baxter in 2019
Personal information
NicknameThe Rocket
Born (1961-02-05) 5 February 1961 (age 58)
Blackpool, Lancashire, England
Darts information
Playing darts since1980s
Darts23 Gram[1]
LateralityRight-handed
Walk-on music"Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen
Organisation (see split in darts)
BDO1987–2001
PDC2001–2018
BDO majors - best performances
World Ch'shipRunner Up: 1999, 2000
World MastersRunner Up: 1997
World Darts TrophySemi Final: 2006
Int. Darts LeagueLast 16 Group: 2006
Finder MastersSemi Final: 2001
PDC premier events - best performances
World Ch'shipQuarter Final: 2002, 2010
World MatchplayRunner Up: 1998
World Grand PrixSemi Final: 2004
Grand SlamLast 16: 2010
Premier League5th: 2006, 2010
Ch'ship LeagueWinners Group – 6th: 2012
Desert ClassicRunner Up: 2002
European Ch'shipQuarter Final: 2008, 2010
UK OpenSemi Final: 2009
US Open/WSoDSemi Final: 2006
Players Ch'ship FinalsSemi Final: 2009
Other tournament wins
British Matchplay 1992, 1998
British Pentathlon 1997
Denmark Open 1996
Eastbourne Pro 2005, 2006
England GP of Darts Blackpool 2012
Finnish Open 1998
German Open 1995
Hampshire Open 2001
Irish Masters 2003
Isle of Man Open 1996, 1997, 2000
Jersey Festival of Darts 1989
Shoalhaven Classic 2008, 2008
Swiss Open 1997
Syracuse Open 1987
Vauxhall Autumn Open 2001
Welsh Open 1991, 1993
Windy City Open 2007
Winmau Darts Dazzler Batley 2009

Players Championships

Players Championship (BAR) 2010
Players Championship (BIR) 2012
Players Championship (CAN) 2011
Players Championship (GER) 2011
Players Championship (NED) 2004
Players Championship (IOW) 2005
Players Championship (VEG) 2009
Players Championship (WAL) 2008

UK Open Regionals/Qualifiers

Regional Final (IRL) 2003

Ronnie Baxter (born 5 February 1961 in Blackpool, Lancashire)[2] is a former World No. 1 English professional darts player. He used the nickname The Rocket for his matches. Baxter was known for his fast robotic throwing action. He currently resides in his hometown Blackpool.[1] Baxter is widely regarded as one of the best players never to win a major tv title. He is still active on the exhibition circuit.

BDO[edit]

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 Isle of Man Open three times, the Welsh Open twice, and the Syracuse Open, German Open, Denmark Open, Swiss Open ,Finnish Open and the Welsh Classic once.[3]

He made his World Championship debut in 1991 and won his debut match against Bruno Raes, but lost in the second round to Jocky Wilson.[4] Despite hitting the second highest average of the first round at the 1992, Baxter lost 1-3 to Bob Anderson.[5] After failing to qualify for the 1993 event Baxter was seeded second for the 1994 World Championship after the top player left the BDO and to form the WDC. Baxter lost in the first round to the eventual champion John Part.[6]

After missing out again in 1995 he reached the quarter-finals for the first time in 1996 when he was beaten by Richie Burnett.[7] Baxter was seeded seventh for the 1997 World Championship but lost in the second round to Mervyn King.[8] 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.[9]

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, despite having been 3-1 and 5-4 up.[10] 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.[11] Baxter made his final appearance at the Lakeside Country Club in 2001 when he lost in the quarter-final against Wayne Mardle.[12]

Baxter made many appearances as an England international, winning five WDF World Cups and five WDF Europe Cups.[13] Baxter also played in ten British Internationals, winning all ten of them.[13]

PDC[edit]

Baxter moved to the PDC in 2001, 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.

Baxter did reach the final of 1998 World Matchplay whilst still a BDO player. The event was Baxter's first serious breakthrough tournament on television, with Baxter causing a big upset in coming from 6–9 down to defeat defending champion, Phil Taylor, 13–10 in the quarter finals. Baxter went on to reach the final, but lost 17–19 in an epic against Rod Harrington, despite Baxter having led for most of the match and having had 1 championship dart at double 20. Baxter also reached the final of the 2002 Las Vegas Desert Classic, losing to Phil Taylor. Baxter's 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.[14] 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.[15] These results ensured his place in the World Matchplay through the PDC ProTour Order of Merit,[16] as Baxter has dropped out of the top 16 in the world rankings and therefore lost his automatic entry into the major events.[14][17] 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.[18] There he faced Phil Taylor and, despite rallying from 0–6 down to trail just 6–8, was beaten 10–17.[19] 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.[20] 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.[21] 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.[22] He edged out Paul Nicholson 6–5 in the first round,[23] but was then outplayed by Simon Whitlock in a 10–1 defeat, with the Australian averaging 110.[24]

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.[25] 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.[26] 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.[27] 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.[28] 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).[29][30] At the World Grand Prix Baxter beat Colin Lloyd 2–0 in sets before losing 3–0 to Simon Whitlock.[31]

Baxter was defeated 3–0 by newcomer Ricky Evans in the first round of the 2014 World Championship.[32] 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.[33] Baxter lost 9–5 against Adrian Lewis in the third round of the UK Open.[34] 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.[35]

At the 2015 World Championship, Baxter won his first televised match since the 2013 World Grand Prix by eliminating Daryl Gurney 3–1.[36] He could only take out 17% of his doubles during his second round match with Robert Thornton in a 4–0 defeat.[37] Baxter lost 9–4 to Jan Dekker in the fourth round of the UK Open.[38] He failed to qualify for the World Matchplay this year ending a run of 17 straight appearances in the event.[39] Baxter's sole quarter-final appearance of 2015 was at the 11th Players Championship by defeating Phil Taylor 6–2, but he lost 6–3 to Dave Chisnall.[40] Baxter dropped out of the top 32 on the Order of Merit in 2015 which meant he failed to qualify for the 2016 World Championship. It was the first World Championship either PDC or BDO to not feature Baxter's name since 1995.[41]

Baxter's run of missed major events continued as he failed to qualify for the UK Open for the first time after he had played in every other edition since it started in 2003.[42] He did though reach the semi-finals of the eighth Players Championship by beating the likes of Kim Huybrechts and Simon Whitlock, but he lost 6–4 to Gerwyn Price.[43] This result ensured that he would play in one major event this year as it qualified him for the Players Championship Finals, where he was defeated 6–3 by Daryl Gurney in the first round.[44] Baxter was placed 73rd on the Order of Merit after 2017 World Championship and played in Q School in an attempt to win his spot back on tour.[45][46] After losing in the final round on the last day 5–0 to Kirk Shepherd, Baxter had done enough to secure a two-year Tour Card by finishing third on the Q School Order of Merit.[47]

Baxter struggled in 2017 and a Last 32 at the UK Open and qualifying for the German Darts Masters were scarce highlights.[48][49] Baxter scaled down in 2018 and only entered twelve of the twenty-two Player Championships events. He was ranked well outside the top 64 at the end of 2018 and lost his Tour Card ahead of the World Championship.[50] After taking a sabbatical in 2019 Baxter announced his intention to make a comeback in 2020.[51]

World Championship performances[edit]

BDO[edit]

PDC[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Prel. DNQ DNP NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Prel.) Preliminary round; (DNQ) Did not qualify; (DNP) Did not participate; (NH) Not held

Performance timeline[edit]

Tournament 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
BDO World Championship DNQ 2R 1R DNQ 1R DNQ QF 2R 1R F F QF No longer a BDO Member
Winmau World Masters QF DNQ QF 2R Prel. 1R 2R QF 2R F QF 3R 4R 3R 4R No longer a BDO Member
European Masters Not held 1R Not held
Zuiderduin Masters Not held DNP SF No longer a BDO Member
PDC World Championship NYF Non-PDC QF 3R 4R 4R 1R 1R 2R 3R QF 2R 1R 2R 1R 2R DNQ
World Matchplay Not held DNP F 1R SF 2R QF 1R SF SF QF QF 2R SF 2R 1R SF 1R 1R DNQ
World Grand Prix Not held DNP 2R 1R QF 1R SF 2R 2R 1R 1R 1R 1R 1R 1R 2R 1R DNQ
Las Vegas Desert Classic Not held F RR QF 1R 1R DNQ 1R Not held
UK Open Not held 3R 5R 4R 5R 3R 5R SF 5R 4R 5R QF 3R 4R DNQ 4R
Premier League Darts Not held DNP 5th DNP 5th DNP
Grand Slam of Darts Not held RR DNQ 2R DNQ
European Championship Not held QF 2R QF 2R 2R 1R DNQ
Players Championship Finals Not held SF 2R 1R 1R 2R 1R 1R DNQ 1R DNQ
News of the World QF DNP Not held DNP Not held
International Darts League Not held DNP RR RR Not held
World Darts Trophy Not held DNP SF RR Not held

BDO major finals: 3 (3 runners-up)[edit]

Legend
World Championship (0–2)
Winmau World Masters (0–1)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score[N 1]
Runner-up 1. 1997 Winmau World Masters Australia Graham Hunt 2–3 (s)
Runner-up 2. 1999 World Championship Netherlands Raymond van Barneveld 5–6 (s)
Runner-up 3. 2000 World Championship England Ted Hankey 0–6 (s)
  1. ^ (l) = score in legs, (s) = score in sets.

PDC major finals: 2 (2 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score[N 1]
Runner-up 1. 1998 World Matchplay England Rod Harrington 17–19 (l)
Runner-up 2. 2002 Las Vegas Desert Classic England Phil Taylor 0–3 (s)
  1. ^ (l) = score in legs, (s) = score in sets.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Players – Ronnie Baxter". mastercaller.com. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Biography". Ronnie Baxter. 5 February 1961. Archived from the original on 19 November 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  3. ^ "Titles won by Ronnie Baxter – Mastercaller". Mastercaller.com. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Match results of the BDO World Championship Men 1991". Mastercaller.com. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Match results of the BDO World Championship Men 1992". Mastercaller.com. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Match results of the BDO World Championship Men 1994". Mastercaller.com. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Match results of the BDO World Championship Men 1996". Mastercaller.com. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Match results of the BDO World Championship Men 1997". Mastercaller.com. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Match results of the BDO World Championship Men 1998". Mastercaller.com. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Match results of the BDO World Championship Men 1999". Mastercaller.com. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Match results of the BDO World Championship Men 2000". Mastercaller.com. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Match results of the BDO World Championship Men 2001". Mastercaller.com. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Titles won by Ronnie Baxter". Mastercaller.com. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Brilliant Baxter's Birmingham Win". PDC. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  15. ^ "Chisnall Rockets To Crawley Treble". PDC. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  16. ^ "Betfair World Matchplay Field". PDC. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  17. ^ "2012 World Matchplay Qualifiers". Darts Database. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  18. ^ "2012 PDC World Championship Results". Darts Database. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  19. ^ "Betfair World Matchplay Semi-Finals". PDC. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  20. ^ "2012 Championship of Darts Results". Darts Database. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  21. ^ "Taylor Retains CLD Title In Style". PDC. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  22. ^ "Minehead Qualifiers Confirmed". PDC. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  23. ^ "Cash Converters PCF Day One". PDC. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  24. ^ "Cash Converters PCF Day Two". PDC. Archived from the original on 4 December 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  25. ^ "Ladbrokes WDC Day Nine". PDC. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  26. ^ "2013 UK Open Order Of Merit". PDC. Archived from the original on 9 June 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  27. ^ "2013 UK Open Results". Darts Database. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  28. ^ "Speedy Services UK Open Quarter-Finals". PDC. Archived from the original on 13 June 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  29. ^ "partypoker.net Euro Champs - Day Two". PDC. Archived from the original on 23 September 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  30. ^ "BetVictor World Matchplay Night Three". PDC. Archived from the original on 25 July 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  31. ^ "2013 World Grand Prix Results". Darts Database. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  32. ^ "Ladbrokes World Championship Day Four". PDC. 16 December 2013. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013.
  33. ^ "2014 PDC German Darts Championship Results". Darts Database. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  34. ^ "Coral UK Open - Friday Evening". PDC. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  35. ^ "Ronnie Baxter 2014". Darts Database. Archived from the original on 8 December 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  36. ^ "William Hill World Championship Day Three". PDC. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  37. ^ "William Hill World Championship Day Seven". PDC. Archived from the original on 29 December 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  38. ^ "2015 UK Open Results". Darts Database. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  39. ^ "Huge Weekend For Blackpool Hopefuls". PDC. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  40. ^ "Jubilant Chisnall Claims Barnsley Victory". PDC. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  41. ^ "Ronnie Baxter World Championship Results". Darts Database. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  42. ^ "Ronnie Baxter 2016". Darts Database. Archived from the original on 12 November 2016. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  43. ^ "Coventry Win Seals Price's Second Title". PDC. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  44. ^ "2016 Players Championship Finals Results". Darts Database. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  45. ^ "Order of Merit on 3 January 2017". PDC. Archived from the original on 3 January 2017. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  46. ^ "PDC Q-School 2017". PDPA. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  47. ^ "2017 PDC Qualifying School Day Four". PDC. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  48. ^ "Coral UK Open Day One". PDC. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  49. ^ "HappyBet German Darts Masters Entries". PDC. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  50. ^ "Nearly 30 player Lose their PDC Tour Card ahead of World Championship". dartsnews.com. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  51. ^ "Ronnie Baxter promises comeback while at World Matchplay". dartsnews.com. Retrieved 21 August 2019.

External links[edit]