Raymond van Barneveld has returned to the world’s top ten on the PDC Order of Merit, following his phenomenal run to the semi-finals at last week’s William Hill World Championships.
The five-time world champion was 18th in the world prior to November’s Grand Slam of Darts, but his run to the semi-final there, where he defeated the likes of James Wade and Mark Webster, saw the Dutchman regain his top 16 spot.
As a consequence, Van Barneveld was seeded 16th for this year’s World Championship, but victories over Stephen Bunting, Michael Smith and world number one Michael van Gerwen, saw Barney reach the World Championship semis for the third time in the last-four years.
Raymond is now ranked 9th in the world, and his revival in the latter stages of the year has seen him secure a Premier League spot, for the 11th year in succession.
Gary Anderson has reduced the gap to Michael van Gerwen at the top of the Order of Merit, after the Scot retained his World Championship crown with a 7-5 victory over Adrian Lewis. Anderson trails MvG by around £150,000, and the ‘Green Machine’ has a sizeable chunk of prize money to defend in 2016.
Adrian Lewis’ run to the final saw him overtake Phil Taylor on the Order of Merit, as ‘The Power’ slips to a career low of 4th in the world. Taylor has not won a major since the 2014 Grand Slam, and has been overtaken by his former protege for the first time in his career.
Elsewhere, former World Champion Jelle Klaasen has risen 6 places up to 13th, following his run to the last-four. Klaasen defeated Phil Taylor in the last 16, and also defeated Mervyn King and Alan Norris, before suffering a 6-0 drubbing by Anderson in the semi-finals.
Dave Chisnall, who was edged out in a thrilling last 16 tie against Peter Wright, has reclaimed his top 10 spot, but Ian White’s shock first-round defeat,to Dimitri van den Bergh, has seen him slide three places down to 12th.
Alan Norris is on the verge of breaking into the world’s top 32 following his tremendous run to the quarter-finals. Norris has climbed twelve places to 37th, and with no prize money to defend in 2016, ‘Chuck’ has a fantastic opportunity to make further strides up the rankings.
Simon Whitlock has fallen out of the world’s elite top 16, following a miserable 2015, which culminated in a first-round exit against ‘Rapid’ Ricky Evans at the World Championships.
Whitlock was ranked 3rd in the world just two years ago, but he has suffered an alarming decline, reaching just two quarter-finals in the last 16 major TV tournaments.
Former World finalist Mervyn King has also dropped out of the top 16, after enduring a disappointing campaign. King was beaten in the second-round at Ally Pally by Jelle Klaasen, the man who has displaced him on the order of merit.
Stephen Bunting has moved into the world’s top 16, although the hard-work is just beginning for ‘The Bullet’; as up until now, the Lakeside Champion has not been defending any prize money on the two-year rolling order of merit, since joining the PDC in 2014.
Three-Time World Champion John Part is clinging on to his place in the top 64, after ‘Darth Maple’ failed to qualify for any major tournaments in 2015. Darting fans will be desperate to see Part enjoy a revival in 2016.
The Dutch trio of Dirk van Duijvenbode, Jeffrey De Zwaan and former Lakeside semi-finalist, Jan Dekker, have all broken in to the top 64, virtue of qualifying for the World Championships.
Elsewhere, Dimitri van den Bergh, Christian Kist, David Pallett and Ricky Evans have all climbed up the world rankings, following their respective second-round appearances.
PDC Order of Merit (as at January 3 2016)
|1||Gerwen, Michael van||£1,063,750|
|9||Barneveld, Raymond van||£261,000|
|15||Voort, Vincent van der||£222,500|
|22||Pas, Benito van de||£142,000|
|55||Duijvenbode, Dirk van||£29,750|
|56||Zwaan, Jeffrey de||£29,500|
|57||Bergh, Dimitri Van Den||£25,500|