SINGAPORE - Singaporean darter Paul Lim's hopes of delivering another giant-slaying feat in the second round of the PDC World Championship were dashed on Wednesday (Dec 23), when the veteran was beaten 3-0 (3-0, 3-1, 3-1) by Belgium's world No. 9 Dimitri Van den Bergh.
The 66-year-old had produced a first-round shock when he fought back from 2-0 down to beat world No. 34 Englishman Luke Humphries 3-2 on Friday, but a repeat comeback win against another former world youth champion proved a bridge too far.
While he improved on his checkout percentage like he wanted to - from 30 per cent in the first round to 100 per cent - the unranked Singaporean had just two looks at the outshot double, and could not keep up with his opponent's red-hot scoring. Van den Bergh, the 26-year-old reigning World Matchplay champion averaged over 105 against Lim's 89, and barely gave the tournament's oldest player a sniff at another upset.
Lim told The Straits Times: "Congratulations to Dimitri. He was solid and I felt like I was running into a rock."
Van den Bergh paid tribute to Lim, saying: "I knew I couldn't give Paul a chance and I didn't.
"I think I showed what I am capable of and I'm happy I was able to be at the top of my game. I feel like I am coming here as one of the best players in the world after winning in the World Matchplay and I think my performance proved that I am."
Lim pocketed £15,000 ($26,800) for his efforts and is currently awaiting the lockdown to be lifted as flights from London to Hong Kong, where he resides and works as a consultant, are cancelled.
Van den Bergh will face either Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena or Wales' Nick Kenny in the third round.
Up to 1,000 fans were allowed into Alexandra Palace for the event on the opening night on Dec 15, but the doors were closed the following day with London going into Tier 3 restrictions.
While Lim missed the atmosphere, he said: "It can boost or destroy one's game, depending on the player's mental strength and condition. But the boisterous crowd and their fancy dresses are part of the tradition, and I hope things will clear up and we can all be back next year."