Lerenco Adams, aka “The Griffin”, scaled the heights of fame and fortune after landing the biggest prize in SA Darts history on Sunday when he won the inaugural Royal Falcon Darts Invitational at the Signature Lux Hotel at the Waterfront.
In an all-Mitchells Plain final, Adams, a member of the U-Nix Dart Club, dispatched Vernon “The Terminator” Bouwers, who plays under the banner of the Young Eagles DC, 6-5 in the championship round.
At the start, Adams took the final by the scruff of the neck to run up a commanding 4-1 lead.
Bouwers staged a strong comeback and the final outcome remained a lottery until the end after his sterling comeback made for a 5-all stalemate and nail-biting finish. Adams held his nerve to edge Bouwers in the end as he tightened the screws with steady scoring to lift the whopping R50K prize with a 6-5 margin.
After landing the winning dart, Adams slumped to the ground as he was overwhelmed by his accomplishment. It sparked a great round of applause as Andy Daniel, the MC, announced that Adams had written his name into the annals of national darts history.
Graham Stark, the president of Darts South Africa, said the event will awaken national sport’s “sleeping giant” after the pandemic led to many months of inactivity. Before the coronavirus outbreak, several SA players were campaigning in international events and World Cup tournaments over the last decade.
“Today was a watershed moment for darts in this country,” said Stark. “The hope, possibility and excitement in the darts community have been significantly boosted.”
The event was held under the auspices of Darts South Africa, an affiliate of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc).
Daniel said the television broadcast and live-streaming of the event attracted a global audience, and he was pleased that the standard of darts was right up there with the rest of the world.
“The future of this event is bright and in future, there will be a greater prize pot plus more regional qualifiers across the nation,” said Daniel. “This will enhance the attraction of the competition’s draw and give hope to the darts players nationwide that the sport is finally being taken seriously in the country.”
The event started out with 90 players participating in the qualifying rounds in Grassy Park.