There are a few contenders for what was arguably the worst leg in the history of professional darts and, weirdly, all of them involve an Australian. New South Walean Simon ‘The Wizard’ Whitlock has twice staked his claim at the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) World Championship at Alexandra Palace, London. In December, 2018, he and opponent Martin Schindler missed 22 darts at a double between them in the third leg of their first round match, although Whitlock did average 87.42 and eventually won the match 3-1. In December, 2022, Whitlock and Christian Perez again missed nine darts apiece at a double in the third leg of the deciding set in their first round match, which Whitlock won on double 1 after 30 darts.
However, the player generally considered to be responsible for worst leg in the history of professional darts was Australian former professional Anthony ‘Fleety’ Fleet, who did so on his one and only appearance at the British Darts Organisation (BDO) World Championship at Lakeside Country Club in Frimley Green, Surrey. Drawn against former BDO World Champion Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams in the first round, Fleet was clearly overcome by nerves, to the extent that he not only had problems throwing his darts accurately, but also passing them from hand to hand and, at one point, even standing steadily at the oche.
His first twelve darts yielded 26, 41, 60 and 60, followed by an excrutiating passage of play in which he hit single 1, single 1, dropped his third dart on the floor and, having taken a moment to compose himself, hit treble 1 for a total of 5. At that point, commentator David Croft remarked, ‘A long way to go yet, but one of the worst starts I’ve ever seen a player make to a match here’. He wasn’t kidding; Fleet threw his next dart into double one.
Further haphazard throws of 22, 80 and 11 followed, before Adams finally put him out of his misery, although he needed 26 darts to do so, having missed three darts at double 12 and another at double 6. Fleet never recovered, losing the match 3-0 without winning a leg and recording a paltry three-dart average of 65.34.