Canadian Jeff (The Silencer) Smith hangs on to win German Open darts match

HILDESHEIM, Germany — Canadian Jeff (The Silencer) Smith staved off a comeback to beat Germany's Franz Roetzsch 6-5 in first-round action Friday at the 140,000-pound ($238,325) German Darts Championship.

It's the second European Tour event of the year, coming six months after the Belgian Darts Championship. The German event, which features a field of 48, runs through Sunday.

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The tournament marks Smith's European Tour debut.

The 44-year-old from Hampton, N.B., who led 4-1 Friday, will next face eighth seed Mensur Suljovic, a Serbian-born Austraian-based player.

The field includes the world's top three players: Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright and Gerwyn Price. Roetzsch earned his spot through a qualifying event.

Play took place before a physically distanced crowd at Halle 39.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 25, 2020.

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