Debate rages to this day regarding the two old disciplines of darts. There were two organisations that represented the sport, the British Darts Organisation (BDO) and the Professional Corporation (PDC). Both organisations had their own tournaments and feature a number of quality players, although the competitors were able to flip between the two disciplines in an attempt to win major titles. However, there has been a difference between success in one format than the other, which has seen the PDC become the only organisation to represent the sport after the collapse of BDO.
Players such as Raymond van Barneveld and Phil Taylor dominated across the board, highlighting their quality with darts in hand. However, in the modern day, players such as Glen Durrant failed to turn success in the BDO into titles at the PDC World Championship. Gerywn Price operated solely on the PDC from the outset of his career, and has developed into the dominant player on the circuit and is backed to win the World Championship for the second time in a row in 2022 in the World Darts Championship betting odds at 4/1. Durrant has now switched on a full-time basis to the PDC, but has not been able to transfer his success to the grand stage, highlighted by the fact that he is backed at 250/1 in the darts tips from Betfair to win the crown. The discrepancy between talent prompted the fall of BDO, and a case of a Swindon native highlighted that the problems were longstanding and not just isolated to recent history.
Bob Anderson was a fine competitor in the BDO and PDC. After making his debut in 1978, he rose through the rankings and found his form in leading competitions. Anderson made is breakthrough on the BDO Tour in 1986 when he triumphed at the World Masters. It was the start of a three-year run of success for the Swindonian, who defended his crown in 1987 and added the World Matchplay title to his collection. The elusive prize of the BDO World Championship was targeted by Anderson and he was named the top seed for the event in 1988. He brushed aside Bert Vlaardingerbroek, Russell Stewart, Peter Evison and Rick Ney to reach the final, dropping only one set in the process. Anderson faced off against John Lowe in the final and just had enough to edge out his rival to secure the title.
It was the high point of his career, but he did have the opportunity to transfer that form into the PDC. He qualified 15 times for the PDC World Championship, but was knocked out by Taylor in 1994 and 1995 in the last eight of the competition. He endured three round-robin exits in a row before coming across Taylor once more in the quarter-finals in 1999, where he suffered yet another hammering at the hands of The Power. A breakthrough came in 2004 when Anderson avoided Taylor in the draw for the last eight and overcame third seed Peter Manley with a fine performance, only to lose 6-0 at the hands of Kevin Painter in the semis. Anderson enjoyed one last ride in 2005, but the face of Taylor emerged in the last four to end his hopes once again, suffering a 6-2 defeat.
Anderson’s experience of success in the BDO and failure in PDC was shared by a lot of players who made the transition, and that is perhaps why the BDO eventually collapsed, due to the feeling of inferiority. There will be a feeling in some quarters that it should have remained, but the proof is there regarding Anderson and other players who did not make the grade against PDC opponents.