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Joe Cullen
Cullen in 2019
Personal information
Nickname"The RockStar”
Born (1989-07-13) 13 July 1989 (age 32)
Bradford, England
Home townBradford, England
Darts information
Playing darts since2006
Darts21g Winmau Joe Cullen
LateralityRight-handed
Walk-on music"Don't Look Back in Anger" by Oasis
Organisation (see split in darts)
PDC2008–
Current world ranking13 Increase 2 (25 July 2021)[1]
PDC premier events – best performances
World Ch'shipLast 16: 2021
World MatchplayQuarter Final: 2018
World Grand PrixQuarter Final: 2020
Grand SlamGroup Stage: 2020
European Ch'shipSemi Final: 2018
UK OpenQuarter Final: 2016
Players Ch'ship FinalsQuarter Final: 2020
MastersQuarter Final: 2019
World Series FinalsQuarter Final: 2016
Other tournament wins
Youth Tour (AUT) 2011
Youth Tour (NED) 2011
Youth Tour (IRL) 2011

European Tour Events

European Darts Matchplay 2019
International Darts Open 2020

Players Championships

Players Championship (BAR) 2017 (x2)
Players Championship (BOL) 2021
Players Championship (COV) 2020
Players Championship (MK) 2021

Joe Cullen (born 13 July 1989) is an English professional darts player who plays in Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) events. He won three Youth Tour tournaments in his early career and has qualified for the PDC World Championship nine times, winning only twice in the first round. Cullen reached his first major quarter-final at the 2016 UK Open and won his first PDC Pro Tour title in 2017.

Career

Early career

He first came to prominence in 2008 when he qualified for the UK Open.[2] He defeated Mark Stapleton and Dennis Smith before Chris Mason defeated him in the last 64. Following his performances at Bolton, he joined the PDC circuit. He also reached the final of the New Kids on the Oche tournament, losing to Arron Monk.

In 2009, Cullen decided to leave his job as a postman to concentrate on a career in darts.[3]

Cullen had another decent run at the 2010 UK Open. He knocked out Darren Latham and Mike Nott before losing to Mervyn King, again in the last 64. Later that year, he defeated Phil Taylor in the last 16 of the John McEvoy Gold Dart Classic in Killarney, eventually losing in the quarter-finals to Colin Osborne.[4]

Cullen qualified for his first PDC World Darts Championship in 2011. He lost narrowly to Terry Jenkins by 3 sets to 2 in the first round. In April, Cullen reached his first PDC Pro Tour final at the sixth UK Open Qualifier in Barnsley, losing 6–1 to Taylor.[5]

2012

He reached the final of the PDPA World Championship Qualifier, where he was beaten 5–3 by Arron Monk.[6] The result meant that he qualified for the preliminary round of the 2012 World Championship, where he beat Oliver Ferenc of Serbia by 4 legs to 2.[7] He played number 10 seed Terry Jenkins in the first round for the second successive year and was beaten 3–0, winning just three legs in the match.[8] In April, he earned a place in the Austrian Darts Open by defeating Sam Hill and John Bowles in the UK qualifier.[9] He played Brendan Dolan in the first round and won 6–4,[10] and then continued his run by beating Simon Whitlock 6–4, despite his opponent hitting a nine darter.[11] Cullen defeated Mark Walsh to make the quarter-finals, where he was this time on the wrong end of a 6–4 scoreline as he lost to eventual winner Justin Pipe.[12] Cullen's best result of the season came a week after this as he won through to the semi-finals of the final UK Open Qualifier, but was then whitewashed 6–0 by Pipe.[13][14] He also qualified for the third European Tour event, the European Darts Open and beat Jenkins 6–1 in the first round in Düsseldorf, before losing to Johnny Haines 6–5 in round two.[15]

Cullen reached the last 16 of the UK Open with victories over Jim Walker (9–4) and Colin Lloyd (9–8),[16] but then let a 4–0 and 5–1 lead against Jamie Caven slip to lose 9–8.[17] He qualified for the World Matchplay for the first time and lost to Pipe 10–4 in the first round.[18]

2013

Cullen qualified for the 2013 World Championship by finishing 36th on the 2012 ProTour Order of Merit,[19] claiming the fifth of sixteen spots that were available for the highest non-qualified players.[20] He lost 3–0 to John Part in the first round, with the Canadian's superior finishing being the difference between the players.[21] Cullen was ranked world number 41 after the tournament.[22] He lost 9–5 to Lee Palfreyman in the third round of the UK Open.[23] At the Austrian Darts Open Cullen beat Kim Huybrechts 6–4 and then averaged a stunning 111.84 average in seeing off Stuart Kellett 6–1.[24] He reached the quarter-finals of this event for the second year running by surviving one match from Raymond van Barneveld to win 6–5, but was then beaten 6–0 by Mervyn King.[25] Cullen reached three other quarter-finals in floor events during the year but lost in each one.[26]

2014

Cullen qualified for the 2014 World Championship through the ProTour Order of Merit once again and faced Peter Wright in the first round.[27][28] Cullen took out a 147 finish to level the opening set with Wright on 12 but lost the decider and also lost the final leg in the second set and was beaten 3–0.[29] He missed out on playing in the UK Open for the first time in his career as he failed to advance beyond the last 128 in any of the six qualifiers.[30] At the 11th Players Championship of the year he reached the semi-finals of a ranking PDC event for the first in over two years, where he was defeated 6–3 by Gary Anderson.[31] Cullen won through to the same stage of the 16th event with impressive victories over Dave Chisnall, Andy Hamilton and Michael van Gerwen, but this time lost 6–3 to Brendan Dolan.[32]

2015

Cullen lost 3–1 to reigning champion Michael van Gerwen in the first round of the 2015 World Championship, after every set had gone to a deciding leg which included Cullen missing two darts for the second set.[33] He was knocked out in the third round of the UK Open 9–6 by Eddie Dootson.[34] Cullen lost in the quarter-finals of the first Players Championship 6–0 to Dave Chisnall and had to wait until October for another one. It came at the European Darts Grand Prix after he saw off Antonio Alcinas 6–3, Chisnall 6–2 (with an average of 103.58) and then averaged an outstanding 110.16 in defeating Raymond van Barneveld 6–2.[35] However, in the quarters he averaged just over 20 points less during a 6–4 loss to Mensur Suljović.[36] Cullen's third and final quarter-final of 2015 was at the 19th Players Championship after he ousted Ronnie Baxter, Ian White, Jamie Caven and Steve West, before losing 6–4 to Stephen Bunting.[37]

2016

He took the final qualifying spot from the Pro Tour Order of Merit for the 2016 World Championship, but lost in the opening round for the sixth year in a row as he won just two legs during a 3–0 defeat to Jelle Klaasen.[38][39] At the UK Open Cullen beat Mark Frost 9–1, Alan Norris 9–6 and Stephen Bunting 9–7 to play in his first major quarter-final.[40] He produced a fightback from 9–3 down to Peter Wright, but would lose 10–7 with an average of 101.83, his highest in a televised match to date.[41][42] This began a rich vein in form for Cullen as he reached the semi-finals of the first Players Championship event (lost 6–3 to Wright) and the same stage of the German Darts Masters (lost 6–1 to Michael van Gerwen after whitewashing reigning world champion Gary Anderson 6–0 in the quarters).[43][44]

Cullen's second ever PDC final came at the ninth Players Championship, but he was thrashed 6–0 by Benito van de Pas.[45] Another came at the 11th event and he was left waiting for his first professional title as Ian White won 6–3.[46] Cullen qualified for the World Matchplay for the first time in four years and lost 10–5 to Wright in the opening round.[47] Cullen made his debut at the World Grand Prix and he won the first set against Simon Whitlock, before losing six of the next seven legs to bow out.[48] After seeing off Chris Dobey 6–2 at the European Championship he was heavily beaten 10–3 by Phil Taylor in the second round.[49] A 13 dart leg from Cullen saw him squeeze past Anderson in to the quarter-finals of the non-ranking World Series of Darts Finals, where he lost to Wright in a televised match for the third time in 2016, this time 10–7.[50] Cullen eased past Steve Brown 6–1 and Rowby-John Rodriguez 6–0 at the Players Championship Finals, but then averaged 71.13 as Raymond van Barneveld knocked him out 10–2 in the third round.[51]

2017

After breaking into the top 32 on the Order of Merit during 2016, it meant Cullen was a seeded player at the World Championship for the first time in his career. He beat Corey Cadby 3–1 in the first round to pick up his first-ever win at the tournament at the seventh time of asking. Cullen averaged 100.88, but went on to lose 4–0 to two-time winner of the event Adrian Lewis in the next round.[52][53][54]

Cullen claimed his first PDC title in April at the eighth Players Championship. He was 4–1 up in the final, before Daryl Gurney squared the match at 5–5. Gurney missed one match dart and Cullen won on double four and said afterwards that he had relied on his natural talent in the past, but in the last year he had also been working very hard on his game.[55]

World Championship record

PDC

Performance timeline

Tournament 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
PDC World Championship Did not qualify 1R 1R 1R 1R 1R 1R 2R 1R 2R 2R 4R
The Masters Not held Did not qualify QF 1R 2R
UK Open 3R 1R 3R 4R 5R 3R DNQ 3R QF 5R 3R 4R 5R 4R
World Matchplay Did not qualify 1R Did not qualify 1R 1R QF 1R 2R 2R
World Grand Prix Did not qualify 1R 2R 1R 1R QF
European Championship Did not qualify 2R 1R SF 2R 1R
Grand Slam of Darts Did not qualify RR
Players Championship Finals Did not qualify 3R 1R 3R 2R QF
Performance Table Legend
W won the tournament RU runner-up SF lost in the semi-finals QF lost in the quarter-finals #R
RR
L#
lost in # round
round robin
last # stage
DNP Did not participate DNQ Did not qualify NH Tournament not held NYF Not yet founded

References

  1. ^ "PDC Order of Merit". PDC. 25 July 2021. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Joe Cullen - Winmau Players and Other Top Tour Pros - Players". www.reddragondarts.com. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  3. ^ "Joe Cullen profile". Retrieved 16 December 2010.
  4. ^ Anderson Takes Killarney Glory Archived 19 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine PDC.tv
  5. ^ Taylor Takes Qualifier Six Win Archived 20 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine PDC.tv
  6. ^ "PDPA World Championship Qualifier". PDC. Archived from the original on 31 December 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  7. ^ "World Championship - Night Six". PDC. 20 December 2011. Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
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