Murphy Captures Gold at the Charlotte Open
Paula Murphy entered the Charlotte Open as defending champion and left the weekend with the title still in her possession, winning it for a fifth time overall thanks to a 5-2 final triumph over Heather Howard.
American international Murphy produced a string of steady performances en route to the final, dropping just five legs in victories over Jodi Koment, Lisa Brasel, Kimberly Hawthorne, Shea Cole and Sandy Hudson.
Tennessee’s Howard wasn’t able to find the same sort of scoring power as the experienced Murphy, but she got the right finishes at the right times and when legs got scrappy she tended to nick them.
That was very true in her semi-final against Sandy Haas, who’d beaten Cherry Bomb International champion Dani Warmack in the quarter-finals. Haas’ more consistent scoring had her 3-2 up but Howard punished her missed darts in the deciding legs, taking them out in 36 and 27 darts to edge it 4-3.
It was a similar story in the final. Murphy, throwing first, took out 109 to win the opening leg and had darts to win all of the first five, but they ended up going with throw as she unable to capitalise on the double opportunities.
That changed in leg six, scores of 171 and 133 helping her to a 16-dart break, and she secured a comfortable 5-2 win by holding in leg seven with a 23-darter.
The aforementioned Warmack didn’t leave the weekend empty-handed, partnering Sandy Hudson to success in the women’s pairs.
The next American event on the WDF calendar is the silver-graded Washington Area Open, set to take place in Virginia at the start of September.
Andrew Sinclair - Twitter @InsidetheWDF