The eight global invitations for next month’s World Series of Darts Finals have been confirmed and Kim Huybrechts heads the list of global prospects, along with the likes of Benito van de Pas, Gerwyn Price and Daryl Gurney.
The World Series of Darts Finals features the eight players who competed in the World Series events hosted across the globe this year, with 16 other competitors accompanying them at the Braehead Arena, Glasgow, on November 5th and 6th.
The 16 other participants are made up of four wildcards, eight global prospects, and four further qualifiers. The four wildcards via the PDC Order of Merit were Robert Thornton, Michael Smith, Jelle Klaasen and Mensur Suljovic.
Elsewhere, Simon Whitlock, Steve Beaton, Brendan Dolan & Joe Murnan were the quartet who came through the World Series of Darts Finals qualifier at the Barnsley Metrodome last Sunday.
However, the field of eight global prospects is headed by former Premier League star Kim Huybrechts. The Belgian, currently ranked 15th on the PDC Order of Merit, has enjoyed a strong year in both floor and televised tournaments, reaching the World Grand Prix quarter-finals earlier this month.
Huybrechts will be joined in Glasgow by another World Grand Prix quarter-finalist, Benito van de Pas. The talented Dutchman broke into the world’s top 16 following his run in Dublin and ‘Big Ben’ has clinched three Players Championship titles in 2016, beating Michael van Gerwen in one of the finals.
World Youth champion Max Hopp has received an invitation for the second year in succession. Hopp defeated young Belgian Dimitri van den Bergh in last year’s first-round, before succumbing to a second-round exit against Peter Wright. The German will be hoping to replicate that type of form this time around.
Further invitations have been awarded to talented youngsters Daryl Gurney and Joe Cullen, both of whom have broken into the world’s top 32 this year. Gurney reached the World Grand Prix quarter-finals this month and also reached a European Tour final in February, whilst Cullen appeared in his maiden PDC final earlier this year.
Gerwyn Price and Josh Payne have also been handed World Series debuts after winning their maiden PDC ranking titles this year. The Welshman has won two Players Championship titles in 2016, whilst Payne has fulfilled his potential on the Pro Tour stage and will be hoping to transfer this form to the TV arena.
The eighth and final global prospect is Spanish star Cristo Reyes. Reyes is perhaps a surprise inclusion, but ‘The Spartan’ has enjoyed decent success in 2016 and is on the verge of breaking into the world’s top 32, which would be an unprecedented moment in Spanish darting history.
“The concept of the World Series of Darts has been to show the sport’s leading talents on a global stage, and our field in Glasgow will represent both the established elite stars and the prospects who we hope will have long careers at the top level,” said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn.
“With the world’s top 12 players already confirmed, the announcement of the eight global invitations moves us a step closer to completing the field with some hugely exciting players.
“These eight players have a great opportunity now to challenge for this title in Glasgow during what promises to be a highly competitive weekend.”
2016 Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals
Eight Seeded Players
(1) Michael van Gerwen (Netherlands)
(2) Gary Anderson (Scotland)
(3) Phil Taylor (England)
(4) Dave Chisnall (England)
(5) Adrian Lewis (England)
(6) James Wade (England)
(7) Peter Wright (Scotland)
(8) Raymond van Barneveld (Netherlands)
PDC Order of Merit Qualifiers
Robert Thornton (Scotland)
Michael Smith (England)
Jelle Klaasen (Netherlands)
Mensur Suljovic (Austria)
Joe Cullen (England)
Daryl Gurney (Northern Ireland)
Max Hopp (Germany)
Kim Huybrechts (Belgium)
Josh Payne (England)
Gerwyn Price (Wales)
Cristo Reyes (Spain)
Benito van de Pas (Netherlands)
Simon Whitlock (Australia)
Steve Beaton (England)
Brendan Dolan (Northern Ireland)
Joe Murnan (England)