The PDC’s top twelve players will all be competing at the World Series of Darts Finals next month, after it was confirmed that Robert Thornton, Michael Smith, Jelle Klaasen and Mensur Suljovic have all received invitations to compete in the second staging of the invitational event at the Braehead Arena, Glasgow.
The inaugural staging of the World Series took place in 2015 and the field comprises 24 of the world’s biggest stars. The eight players who competed in all of the International World Series events throughout the year are automatically entered into the second-round, and they take on a series of invited players and global prospects.
The first-round features 16 players, containing eight global prospects, four PDC qualifiers, and four of the highest ranked players on the PDC Order of Merit. Former World Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton is the highest ranked player not to be an automatic seed, therefore he has received an invitation from the PDC.
The Scot, ranked seventh in the world, will also be joined by world number nine Michael Smith, who recently fell outside the world’s top eight after suffering a first-round defeat at the World Grand Prix against Alan Norris.
Thornton and Smith both competed in the inaugural staging of last year’s World Series, where they were beaten in the opening round by Michael van Gerwen and Mark Webster respectively, so they’ll be hoping for an improved showing this time around.
Elsewhere, Jelle Klaasen and Mensur Suljovic will be making their World Series debuts after also qualifying via the PDC Order of Merit. Klaasen broke into the world’s top ten after reaching last year’s World Championship semi-finals and ‘The Cobra’ has maintained that status after producing fine Pro Tour performances in 2016.
Mensur Suljovic will also feature in Braehead, with ‘The Gentle’ having recently reached a career high of 12th in the world after winning his maiden PDC title at the International Darts Open. Suljovic has also reached a further two Pro Tour finals in September, as he sets his sights on breaking into the top ten by the end of the year.
Nevertheless, whilst the invited quartet will fight it out in round-one, the eight seeded PDC players going straight through to round-two are: Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis, Phil Taylor, Peter Wright, James Wade, Dave Chisnall and Raymond van Barneveld.
The eight global prospects are set to be announced in due course, whilst a further four World Series spots will be available at a qualifying event in Barnsley on Sunday October 23rd, which is open to all PDC tour card holders.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC