Adrian Lewis secured victory in the first UK Open qualifier of 2016, thanks to an emphatic 6-2 victory over 16-time world champion Phil Taylor in the final. Lewis was in tremendous form throughout the day, to scoop the £10,000 winner’s cheque at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan.
Lewis kicked off his qualification campaign with emphatic 6-1 victories over Joey Palfreyman and Ted Evetts respectively, before easing into the last 16 with a whitewash victory against Mervyn King.
‘Jackpot’ edged through a deciding leg clash against World Championship quarter-finalist Alan Norris to reach the last eight, where he dismantled Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-1. Adrian then repeated the feat in the semi-finals, thrashing Peter Wright by the same scoreline to reach the final.
Taylor had dropped just seven legs throughout the entire day’s play, but he came up against an inspired Lewis, who recorded his six winning legs in 15,14, 12, 11, 13 and 14 darts respectively. This guarantees that Adrian will enter the UK Open at the third-round stage, when the tournament kicks off in March.
Whilst Taylor will be disappointed to fall at the final hurdle, he performed superbly well throughout the day, easing into the last 16 with successive 6-1 triumphs against Antonio Alcinas, Kirk Shepherd and Stephen Bunting.
Taylor then cruised to a semi-final spot with consecutive 6-2 victories over fellow Premier League star Robert Thornton, and emerging youngster David Pallett, to set up a last-four clash against John Henderson. Taylor whitewashed ‘Big John’ 6-0 to reach the final, to collect £5,000 on the UK Open Order of Merit.
However, the Scottish duo of John Henderson and Peter Wright will be mightily satisfied with their afternoon’s work. Henderson defeated Matthew Dennant, Christian Kist, Jeffrey de Zwaan, Jason Marriot and Michael Smith to reach the semis.
Meanwhile, Peter Wright followed up his impressive Premier League victory over Michael Smith with a productive day’s work in Wigan. Wright defeated the likes of Brendan Dolan, Terry Jenkins and Raymond van Barneveld, before his charge was ended by the eventual winner Lewis.
Michael Smith recovered from his chastening Premier League debut by reaching the quarter-finals today. ‘Bully-Boy’ was in fine form throughout the day, dropping just three legs in dispatching Paul Osmotherley and Jermaine Wattimena to reach the last 32.
Smith eased past Spanish star Cristo Reyes in the last 32, before clinching his last eight berth with a comprehensive 6-1 rout of Mensur Suljovic. Nevertheless, the St Helen’s star was beaten 6-2 by an inspired John Henderson in the next-round.
Elsewhere, David Pallett replicated his World Championship victory over Kim Huybrechts, by defeating the Belgian 6-4 in the last 128 stage today. Pallett essentially secured his UK Open spot by reaching the last eight today, where he was beaten by Taylor. However, Pallett also defeated world number 12 Ian White in reaching the quarter-finals.
Pallett’s fellow youngster Rowby-John Rodriguez also kicked off his 2016 season in fine style by reaching the quarter-finals in Wigan. The young Austrian claimed a number of notable scalps, beating Jamie Caven and Kevin Painter en route to the last 32.
Rodriguez would then face Dave Chisnall in the last 16, after Chizzy had just prevailed 6-4 against Michael van Gerwen. The St Helen’s star beat Rowby-John 3-0 in December’s World Championships, but ‘Little John’ exacted revenge, with a 6-3 victory over ‘The Yellow Peril’, before his fairytale run was ended by Lewis.
Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld also enjoyed a fine run, eventually losing in a deciding leg against Peter Wright in the quarter-finals.
Van Barneveld defeated his compatriot Jan Dekker, former world finalist Andy Hamilton and the veteran Steve Beaton en route to reaching the last eight, where he was edged out by Snakebite, who he faces in next week’s Betway Premier League.
However, it was a disappointing day for the majority of the Dutch contingent. World number one Michael van Gerwen, who was beaten 7-4 by James Wade in last night’s Premier League opener, was beaten 6-4 in the last 32 by fellow Premier League star Dave Chisnall.
Elsewhere, World Championship semi-finalist Jelle Klaasen was also beaten in the last 32, losing 6-4 to Robert Thornton, whilst Vincent van der Voort suffered a shock whitewash against ‘The Undertaker’ Kevin Thomas in the last 128 stage. It’s safe to say Vincent was dead and buried in that contest!
Eight-time major winner James Wade suffered a disappointing early exit against ‘Flash’ Mark Dudbridge. Wade, who defeated MvG in his Premier League opener last night, was beaten 6-5 by Dudbridge; a World Championship finalist back in 2005.
Dudbridge continued to roll back the years by posting an exquisite 9-darter during his emphatic 6-2 victory against fellow veteran Andy Jenkins, but Mark’s resistance was eventually broken in the last 32, where he suffered an agonising 6-5 defeat to Jason Marriot.
World champion Gary Anderson wasn’t present in Wigan, as he continues his recovery from a viral infection, which kept him out of last night’s Premier League opener in Leeds. However, the ‘Flying Scotsman’ will compete in the next three UK Open qualifiers in a fortnight’s time.
The full results from today’s opening UK Open qualifier can be found below.
Friday February 5, Robin Park Tennis Centre, WiganSecond Round
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Prakash Jiwa
Michael Barnard 6-5 Scott Taylor
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Brett Claydon
Arron Monk 6-5 Alan Tabern
Kevin Painter 6-3 Sam Head
Magnus Caris 6-4 Ron Meulenkamp
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-3 Jamie Caven
Ryan Meikle 6-3 Tomas Seyler
Alan Norris 6-5 Andrew Gidling
Jason Wilson 6-2 Mike Zuydwijk
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Curtis Hammond
Nathan Derry 6-0 Ben Adams
Adrian Lewis 6-1 Joey Palfreyman
Ted Evetts 6-5 Jim Walker
Mervyn King 6-4 Joe Cullen
Jonny Clayton 6-1 Mark Walsh
Steve Beaton 6-4 Simon Stevenson
Ben Davies 6-3 Adam Hunt
Jamie Lewis 6-2 Scott Dale
Gary Stone 6-4 Mick Todd
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Jan Dekker
Andrew Johnson 6-5 Kyle Anderson
Andy Hamilton 6-5 Mick McGowan
James Richardson 6-3 Jyhan Artut
Mark Frost 6-2 Mark Webster
Michael Rasztovits 6-1 Nigel Daniels
Terry Jenkins 6-2 Par Riihonen
Keegan Brown 6-3 Michael Dawson
Peter Wright 6-3 Mareno Michels
Richard Corner 6-2 Shaun Griffiths
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Jonathan Worsley
Johnny Haines 6-1 Stephen Willard
Jelle Klaasen 6-3 Steven Smith
Steve Hine 6-1 Berry van Peer
Robert Thornton 6-4 Nick Fullwell
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-2 Devon Petersen
Stephen Bunting 6-1 Darren Latham
Ashley Hykin 6-5 John Part
Phil Taylor 6-1 Antonio Alcinas
Kirk Shepherd 6-5 Chris Dobey
Ritchie Edhouse 6-5 Benito van de Pas
Robert Marijanovic 6-2 Luke Woodhouse
Ian White 6-3 Ricky Evans
Craig Lewis 6-3 Barrie Bates
Mark Barilli 6-1 Justin Pipe
Terry Temple 6-4 Yordi Meeuwisse
David Pallett 6-4 Kim Huybrechts
Ryan Palmer 6-4 Simon Preston
John Henderson 6-1 Matthew Dennant
Christian Kist 6-5 Ricky Sudale
Jay Foreman 6-1 Wes Newton
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-2 Josh Payne
Mark Dudbridge 6-5 James Wade
Andy Jenkins 6-4 Mark Hylton
Jason Marriott 6-3 Dean Winstanley
William O’Connor 6-4 John Bowles
Kevin Thomas 6-0 Vincent van der Voort
Cristo Reyes 6-4 Ken Macneil
Michael Smith 6-2 Paul Osmotherley
Jermaine Wattimena 6-3 Jeffrey de Graff
Mensur Suljovic 6-0 Rene Eidams
Robbie Green 6-2 Ryan Short
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Peter Hudson
Tony Newell 6-2 Paul Milford
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Michael Barnard
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Arron Monk
Kevin Painter 6-5 Magnus Caris
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-4 Ryan Meikle
Alan Norris 6-4 Jason Wilson
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Nathan Derry
Adrian Lewis 6-1 Ted Evetts
Mervyn King 6-3 Jonny Clayton
Steve Beaton 6-0 Ben Davies
Jamie Lewis 6-3 Gary Stone
Raymond van Barneveld 6-2 Andrew Johnson
Andy Hamilton 6-4 James Richardson
Mark Frost 6-2 Michael Rasztovits
Terry Jenkins 6-4 Keegan Brown
Peter Wright 6-2 Richard Corner
Brendan Dolan 6-5 Johnny Haines
Jelle Klaasen 6-3 Steve Hine
Robert Thornton 6-1 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Stephen Bunting 6-2 Ashley Hykin
Phil Taylor 6-1 Kirk Shepherd
Ritchie Edhouse 6-3 Robert Marijanovic
Ian White 6-1 Craig Lewis
Mark Barilli 6-0 Terry Temple
David Pallett 6-2 Ryan Palmer
John Henderson 6-3 Christian Kist
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-4 Jay Foreman
Mark Dudbridge 6-2 Andy Jenkins – Mark Dudbridge hits a nine-dart finish
Jason Marriott 6-5 William O’Connoer
Cristo Reyes 6-5 Kevin Thomas
Michael Smith 6-1 Jermaine Wattimena
Mensur Suljovic 6-4 Robbie Green
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Tony Newell
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Michael van Gerwen
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-2 Kevin Painter
Alan Norris 6-4 Gerwyn Price
Adrian Lewis 6-0 Mervyn King
Steve Beaton 6-4 Jamie Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Andy Hamilton
Terry Jenkins 6-3 Mark Frost
Peter Wright 6-2 Brendan Dolan
Robert Thornton 6-4 Jelle Klaasen
Phil Taylor 6-1 Stephen Bunting
Ian White 6-2 Ritchie Edhouse
David Pallett 6-4 Mark Barilli
John Henderson 6-3 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Jason Marriott 6-5 Mark Dudbridge
Michael Smith 6-2 Cristo Reyes
Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Simon Whitlock
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-3 Dave Chisnall
Adrian Lewis 6-5 Alan Norris
Raymond van Barneveld 6-5 Steve Beaton
Peter Wright 6-3 Terry Jenkins
Phil Taylor 6-2 Robert Thornton
David Pallett 6-2 Ian White
John Henderson 6-2 Jason Marriott
Michael Smith 6-1 Mensur Suljovic
Adrian Lewis 6-1 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Peter Wright 6-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor 6-2 David Pallett
John Henderson 6-2 Michael Smith
Adrian Lewis 6-1 Peter Wright
Phil Taylor 6-0 John Henderson
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Phil Taylor
Last 16 £1,500
Last 32 £750
Last 64 £250