Raymond van Barneveld was amongst tonight’s qualifiers for tomorrow’s European Darts Grand Prix in Sindelifingen.
Van Barneveld defeated Ron Meulenkamp 6-4, before coming from 5-3 down against Joey Ten Berge to secure his place in the final European Tour event of 2015.
The 5-time World Champion will face Johnny Haines in the first-round tomorrow afternoon and will be desperate for an excellent run on German soil.
World Grand-Prix semi-finalist Mensur Suljovic was another high-profile qualifier. He overcame one of van Barneveld’s young protégés Mike Zuydwijk to seal his spot in the event.
The Austrian will face Mark Barilli in the opening round, with an enthralling last 32 clash against Michael van Gerwen in prospect.
Elsewhere, Jeffrey De Zwaan, also mentored by van Barneveld, is on course to appear in his first TV major as he eased through qualification tonight;thrashing Jan Dekker 6-1 in the opening qualification round.
Ronny Huybrechts’ failure to qualify means De Zwaan is virtually a certainty to appear in the European Championships at the end of this month. The Dutch ace will take on fellow youngster Rowby-John Rodriguez in the last 48 tomorrow, with Mervyn King awaiting the winner.
Nevertheless, the standout tie of the opening round is without doubt a repeat of the 2014 Lakeside World Championship final, as Stephen Bunting takes on Alan Norris. Norris won his first PDC title at a Pro Tour event in Barnsley a fortnight ago, so he’ll be confident of upsetting the Bullet.
David Pallett and Ricky Evans, two of the most talented youngsters in the PDC, will also lock horns in Sindelfingen, whilst dancing Devon Petersen will meet former Lakeside finalist Dean Winstanley.
The full draw and order of play for Friday can be found below:
Schedule of Play
Friday October 16
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Robbie Green v Mickey Mansell
Mark Webster v Stephen Willard
Johnny Haines v Raymond van Barneveld
Jyhan Artut v Lee Evans
Mensur Suljovic v Mark Barilli
Dave Ladley v Magnus Caris
Rowby-John Rodriguez v Jeffrey De Zwaan
Joe Cullen v Antonio Alcinas
Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Steve Beaton v Mark Walsh
Robert Marijanovic v Jermaine Wattimena
Max Hopp v Gerwyn Price
Ricky Evans v David Pallett
Devon Petersen v Dean Winstanley
Stefan Stoyke v Jamie Caven
Stephen Bunting v Alan Norris
Kevin Munch v Jonny Claydon