Michael van Gerwen heads the European Tour Order of Merit by exactly £100,000 after the European Tour concluded for 2016 in Hildesheim last weekend. Van Gerwen has accumulated £160,500 in prize money on the European Tour, having won six of the ten events held throughout the year.
The world number one faces Simon Whitlock in the first-round of the European Championship and ‘The Wizard’ sits in 16th position following some consistent performances throughout the events.
Mensur Suljovic is placed second on the European Tour Order of Merit following a series of magnificent displays during the latter stages of the year. Suljovic clinched his maiden PDC title at the International Darts Open in September, before losing out to Michael van Gerwen in the final of the European Darts Trophy just a week later.
The Austrian has also appeared in two semi-finals and three quarter-finals, accruing £60,500 on the European Tour Order of Merit which has seen him to rise to a career high of twelfth in the world.
Peter Wright is ranked third after reaching three finals this year; all of which resulted in defeat to Michael van Gerwen, whilst European Darts Matchplay winner James Wade is the fourth seed on the European Tour Order of Merit.
Kim Huybrechts and Dave Chisnall are fifth and sixth respectively having both reached European finals this year, whilst Alan Norris has climbed up to 7th after tasting victory at the German Darts Championship last weekend.
Jelle Klaasen, who lost in a last-leg shootout to Norris in Sunday’s final, sits in eighth position, narrowly ahead of Michael Smith and Benito van de Pas. Austrian Darts Open champion Phil Taylor is 11th on the Order of Merit, despite appearing in just the one European Tour event this year.
Terry Jenkins and Ian White, who will clash in the first-round of the European Championship are both joint 12th; just ahead of former world champion Stephen Bunting. Meanwhile, Dutch Darts Masters finalist Daryl Gurney is 15th, having made a successful return to European Tour action in Hildesheim.
Gerwyn Price and Joe Cullen are both 17th having performed with impressive consistency throughout the year, whilst world champion Gary Anderson sits in 19th position, having not competed on the European Tour since May.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ appeared in the opening four events of the year; reaching the quarter-finals in both the German Darts Masters and the Gibraltar Darts Trophy, which was sufficient to seal his spot in Hasselt.
Other high-profile names to finish inside the top 32 and subsequently secure qualification for the European Championship include former World Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton, Australian ace Kyle Anderson and former major finalist Mervyn King.
Max Hopp and Cristo Reyes, who clashed in the opening game of last year’s European Championship, will both be present in Belgium, and they’ll be joined by the exuberant South African star Devon Petersen, who sits in 24th position on the Order of Merit.
The in-form duo of Steve West and James Wilson will make their European Championship debuts having finished in 23rd and 24th position respectively, whilst two further debutants include Chris Dobey and James Richardson, who both occupy 30th position on the Order of Merit, having accumulated £9,000 in prize money.
Quick-fire Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena will be another debutant in Hasselt this year, whilst seasoned veterans Justin Pipe and Jamie Caven have also secured their qualification. Pipe finished in 28th position following his run to the last 16 of the German Darts Championship, whilst Caven occupied the 32nd and final qualification spot.
Despite this, there are a number of high-profile stars who finished outside of the top 32. Adrian Lewis finished in 35th position having only contested three European Tour events in 2016, whilst five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld is 49th, having reached the semi-finals in his solitary European Tour appearance this year.
Robbie Green and Kevin Painter agonisingly missed out on European Championship qualification by £500, whilst former Grand Prix finalist Brendan Dolan was £1,000 below the cut off in 35th position.
Former world champions Mark Webster and Steve Beaton are 41st, whilst the Dutch trio of Vincent van der Voort, Christian Kist and Jeffrey de Graaf were 45th, having each accumulated £4,500 in prize money on the European Tour. Elsewhere, former Premier League stars Andy Hamilton and Wes Newton were well adrift in 68th position.
The full European Tour Order of Merit table can be viewed below:
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
|Position||Name||Total Prize Money|
|1||Gerwen, Michael van||£160,500|
|10||Pas, Benito van de||£26,500|
|39||Bergh, Dimitri Van Den||£6,500|
|45||Voort, Vincent van der||£5,500|
|45||Graaf, Jeffrey de||£5,500|
|49||Barneveld, Raymond van||£5,000|
|68||Eijden, Remco van||£3,000|
|76||Decker, Mike De||£2,500|
|88||Zwaan, Jeffrey de||£2,000|
|88||Duijvenbode, Dirk van||£2,000|
|113||Horst, Michel van der||£1,000|