World Darts Championship: Van Barneveld eases into round two

Raymond van Barneveld
Raymond van Barneveld has won the BDO Darts Championship four times and the PDC title once

Raymond van Barneveld secured a comfortable 3-0 first-round win over Rowby-John Rodriguez at the PDC World Championships.

The 2007 champion, 47, posted a three-dart average of 99.94 against the Austrian at Alexandra Palace.

Dutchman Van Barneveld, the 14th seed, sealed victory with a 170 checkout.

He faces England's Jamie Caven in the second round on 29 December, after the 19th seed beat Scotland's Jason Hogg 3-2 despite missing 35 doubles.

Van Barneveld, playing without glasses, said: "I tried to play in three tournaments in glasses and I never ever felt comfortable.

"The view is fantastic, it's like playing in HD, but tonight I've hit a 167 and 170 without glasses and I feel brilliant after that," the Dutchman added.

Former world youth champion, Michael Smith, who memorably defeated Phil Taylor in last year's tournament, hit nine 180's on his way to wrapping up a 3-1 victory over Mensur Suljovic.

"Two years ago I wouldn't have won that match, but I just had my head focused on the game, I wasn't distracted and I just stuck to my game," said the St Helens-based Smith.

Northern Irishman Brendan Dolan recorded the first whitewash of the World Darts Championship, as he won nine straight legs to defeat South African qualifier Nolan Arendse 3-0.

Dolan will face a post-Christmas second round match against Smith.

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