The European Championship gets underway in Dortmund on Thursday. Ross Smith starts there as defending champion after being too strong for Michael Smith in last year’s final 11-8.
Smith won last year’s European Championship, immediately the first major of his career. And ‘Smudger’ did it in style, as he had a double-double percentage of no less than 48 percent.
Only one player ever did better. That was Michael van Gerwen in 2015, when he won 11-10 over Gary Anderson in the final, achieving a double-double percentage of 49 percent.
Smith takes on Ricardo Pietreczko in the first round as this year’s defending champion. Van Gerwen, who has already won the tournament four times, meets Madars Razma in the opening round.