Mensur Suljovic has climbed to a career high of seventh on the PDC Order of Merit after reaching his maiden major TV final at the European Championship, whilst world number one Michael van Gerwen extended his lead at the summit by clinching his third successive European Championship crown in Hasselt.
Suljovic was 11th prior to this weekend’s event in Hasselt but the darts-control ace performed magnificently to reach the final, beating Jermaine Wattimena, Ian White, Phil Taylor and Peter Wright, before succumbing to the brilliance of ‘The Green Machine’ in the final.
Van Gerwen scooped the £100,000 winner’s cheque with a stunning 11-1 victory over Suljovic to take his ranking prize money to an astonishing £1, 371,000; almost £500,000 ahead of world number two and current world champion Gary Anderson.
Peter Wright is closing in on a spot in the world’s top four after his run to the semi-finals in Hasselt. Snakebite would have leapfrogged Phil Taylor on the Order of Merit if he’d have beaten Mensur Suljovic, but his 11-8 defeat to the Austrian leaves him trailing ‘The Power’ by just £4,750.
Robert Thornton and Dave Chisnall have fallen to 7th and 8th respectively after their first-round exits. Thornton was beaten 6-4 by Spanish star Cristo Reyes whilst Chisnall lost to Kyle Anderson, who is up to a career high of 28th in the world after recording his second appearance in a major TV quarter-final.
Elsewhere, James Wade is back up to 6th after reaching his first TV ranking semi-final since the 2015 World Matchplay. Prior to this event, ‘The Machine’ hadn’t won a ranking TV match since the 2016 World Championships, but he defeated Gary Anderson, Max Hopp and James Wilson, before losing to eventual winner MvG.
Michael Smith has dropped out of the world’s top ten following another first-round tournament exit. ‘Bully-Boy’ acquitted himself well in Hasselt, but suffered a deciding-leg defeat to his St Helen’s compatriot Stephen Bunting, which leaves Smith ranked 11th in the world.
Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld is down two places to 14th. Van Barneveld didn’t qualify for this weekend’s event in Hasselt and having reached the semi-finals of this event two years ago, he was unable to defend the £15,000 he won back in 2014.
Nine-time major finalist Terry Jenkins has fallen outside the world’s top 16 after suffering a disappointing first-round defeat against Ian White. Jenkins was defending £25,000 in Hasselt having reached the European Championship Final two years ago, and his premature exit saw him leapfrogged by Stephen Bunting.
Finally, James Wilson is on the verge of breaking into the world’s top 32 after reaching his first PDC major quarter-final in Hasselt this weekend. ‘The Jammie Dodger’ upset home favourite Kim Huybrechts, before edging out Mervyn King to reach the last eight. This saw Wilson climb nine places from 45th to 36th on the Order of Merit.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
PDC Order of Merit (as at October 31 2016)
|1||Gerwen, Michael van||£1,371,500|
|14||Barneveld, Raymond van||£255,000|
|15||Pas, Benito van de||£237,500|
|19||Voort, Vincent van der||£192,750|
|55||Duijvenbode, Dirk van||£41,500|
|56||Bergh, Dimitri Van Den||£40,750|
|57||Zwaan, Jeffrey de||£39,000|