Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor and amateur qualifier Barry Lynn made it through to the quarter-finals of the 2016 UK Open, whilst former champion Adrian Lewis was dumped out by Jelle Klaasen on an eventful Saturday evening at Butlins, Minehead.
Van Gerwen will now face Riley’s qualifier Lynn in the last eight, after MvG secured an emphatic 9-2 victory over Kim Huybrechts, winning nine legs in succession to sweep aside ‘The Hurricane’.
Huybrechts capitalised on some uncharacteristic fragility from van Gerwen in the opening leg after the Dutchman missed four darts at double to hold. The Belgian then doubled his lead moments later with a clinical 72 checkout. Nevertheless, this would be the final leg Huybrechts won, as MvG reeled off 9 legs within a fifteen minute period to ease through.
Huybrechts’ scoring was considerably below par; reflected in his miserly 86 average. Van Gerwen wasn’t at his explosive best, but he still posted an average in excess of 102, hitting five maximums in the process. The fact that this is considered to be almost underwhelming just illustrates the level ‘The Green Machine’ is operating at currently.
Phil Taylor continued his assault for a seventh UK Open crown as he survived a scare to edge past Vincent van der Voort 9-7. Taylor couldn’t quite replicate the performance he produced against Raymond van Barneveld, but ‘The Power’ produced the goods when it mattered to reach the last eight, averaging 103.6 to Vincent’s 101.
The first four legs were shared, before Taylor established a commanding 5-2 cushion. However, van der Voort reduced the arrears to 5-4 with sensational 82 and 121 finishes, before narrowly missing D20 for a 101 to restore parity.
Taylor regained his three-leg cushion to move 7-4 ahead, but the 16-time world champion momentarily lost his focus and van der Voort exploited this surprising lapse, reeling off three successive legs to level up proceedings at 7-7 to essentially provoke a best of three scenario.
However, when the situation demanded, ‘The Power’ delivered. He produced a fine 13-darter to move within a leg of victory, before a high-quality sixteenth leg ensued. van der Voort left 58 after just 9 darts, but ‘The Dutch Destroyer’ spurned two darts at tops which would have forced a decider, enabling Taylor to take out 81 on the bullseye to prevail.
Jelle Klaasen reached his first ever UK Open quarter-final thanks to a fine 9-7 victory against 2014 champion, and two-time world champion Adrian Lewis. Klaasen led for the duration of the contest, but he had to withstand a valiant comeback from Jackpot.
Klaasen claimed the opening two legs with relative ease, before securing a double-break by virtue of a magnificent 10-darter. ‘The Cobra’ then converted a clinical two-dart 70 checkout on D14 for a 4-0 lead, before Lewis opened his account heading into the interval.
Klaasen led 6-2 at one stage, but the Dutchman’s scoring power evaded him at a critical juncture and Lewis reduced the deficit to 6-5. However, Klaasen regained his composure admirably and produced some commanding legs on throw. Despite missing eight match darts, Jelle eventually closed out victory on D10 at the ninth attempt.
The fairytale continues for amateur qualifier Barry Lynn, who reeled off five successive legs to defeat Stuart Kellett and reach the last eight. Lynn, who dismantled world champion Gary Anderson earlier in the day, produced an inspired comeback from 5-4 down against the Cheshire ace, sealing victory with a stunning bull, 25 and bull checkout.
Last year’s finalist Peter Wright reached the last eight with a comfortable 9-5 victory over the tenacious Darren Webster. Snakebite was solid if unspectacular, hitting six maximums and averaging 96.7 to seal victory. Mark Webster also secured a quarter-final berth by virtue of a 9-5 scoreline, as he defeated Austria’s Mensur Suljovic in an attritional tussle.
Elsewhere, Joe Cullen sealed a place in his maiden TV major quarter-final as he overcame 2014 Lakeside world champion Stephen Bunting. It was an inconsistent start from both men, but the turning point came in the seventh leg, when Cullen converted a fine 115 checkout for a double-break of throw.
‘The Bullet’ battled back valiantly and reduced the arrears from 8-5 to 8-7, but ‘The Rockstar’ held his nerve admirably to close out a hard-fought 9-7 win. Bunting posted six maximums, but his profligacy on the doubles, reflected by his 24% checkout ratio, proved very expensive.
Like Cullen, Kyle Anderson is another man through to his maiden major quarter-final after earning a comprehensive 9-2 victory over Benito van de Pas. This is Anderson’s third successive 9-2 victory in this event, with the Aussie having beaten Andy Hamilton and James Wilson by the same scoreline.
‘The Original’ has only dropped six legs in the entire tournament and he enjoyed an imperious run of form against the Dutchman. After the opening four legs were shared, Kyle reeled off seven consecutive legs to secure a coveted quarter-final berth.
2016 Coral UK Open
Saturday March 5
Joe Cullen 9-7 Stephen Bunting
Phil Taylor 9-7 Vincent van der Voort
Jelle Klaasen 9-7 Adrian Lewis
Michael van Gerwen 9-2 Kim Huybrechts
Mark Webster 9-5 Mensur Suljovic
Barry Lynn 9-5 Stuart Kellett
Peter Wright 9-5 Darren Webster
Kyle Anderson 9-5 Benito van de Pas
UK Open Quarter-Final Draw
Peter Wright v Joe Cullen
Phil Taylor v Mark Webster
Michael van Gerwen v Barry Lynn
Kyle Anderson v Jelle Klaasen