Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld has returned to the world’s top ten on the PDC Order of Merit following his impressive run to the semi-finals of the William Hill World Darts Championship.
Barney was seeded 12th at the Ally Pally but risked falling to as low as 16th after this event, as he was defending prize money accrued from reaching the semi-finals two years ago. However, the legendary Dutchman produced a vintage showing; reaching his fourth World Championship semi-final within the last five years to climb the rankings once more.
The 49-year-old stormed through to the last 16 with whitewash victories over Robbie Green and Alan Norris, before dumping out the decorated Stoke duo of Adrian Lewis and Phil Taylor. Nevertheless, RvB finally succumbed to eventual winner Michael van Gerwen despite averaging 109.34- his highest ever average in a World Championship.
Van Barneveld netted £80,000 by virtue of reaching the last four, which parachutes him above Michael Smith and Robert Thornton on the Order of Merit. Smith and Thornton both competed in last year’s Premier League but their respective toils this year have seen them fall outside the world’s top ten and subsequently miss out on a Premier League wildcard.
Elsewhere, 16-time world champion Phil Taylor has fallen to a career low of sixth on the PDC Order of Merit after his quarter-final defeat to his old adversary Van Barneveld. ‘The Power’ was ranked fourth heading to Ally Pally, but he was defending £120,000 from having reached the final two years prior.
Taylor has been leapfrogged by eight-time major winner James Wade, who now boasts his highest position on the Order of Merit for over two years. ‘The Machine’ has been the pillar of consistency over recent months; reaching the semi’s of the European Championship, the Grand Slam final and the World Championship last eight.
Newly crowned world champion Michael van Gerwen has extended his lead at the top of the PDC Order of Merit after clinching his second world title on Monday evening. Van Gerwen’s total prize money now stands at an incredible £1,832,000, and he leads world number two Gary Anderson by a staggering £1,091,500.
Anderson currently boasts £740,500 in prize money, after ‘The Flying Scotsman’ was denied a third successive world title triumph by MvG. Despite this, Anderson still comfortably leads his compatriot Peter Wright; who he beat in the semi-finals; by £228,250.
Former Lakeside world champion Stephen Bunting has fallen out of the world’s elite top 16 after his first-round exit at the Alexandra Palace. ‘The Bullet’ reached the quarter-finals here two years ago where he lost out to Raymond van Barneveld, yet his early exit to Darren Webster saw him slip to 19th on the Order of Merit.
However, Webster’s sparkling World Championship display sees him climb to 32nd in the world. ‘The Demolition Man’ reached the semi-finals of the Players Championship Finals in November and continued this fine form to dump out Bunting and Simon Whitlock, before losing out to the imperious MvG in a high-quality last 16 contest.
Northern Irish ace Daryl Gurney is up to a career high of 21st after reaching his maiden World Championship quarter-final. ‘SuperChin’ defeated Jermaine Wattimena, Robert Thornton and Mark Webster to reach the last eight, and Gurney has now set his sights on breaking into the world’s top sixteen in 2017.
Elsewhere, Vincent van der Voort has fallen seven spots to 25th in the world after his first-round exit to former World Youth champion Max Hopp. Van der Voort has admitted he’s considering his future in the sport due to his persistent back problems and as a result he was unable to replicate his quarter-final appearance from 2015.
The PDC Order of Merit table can be viewed below.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
PDC Order of Merit (as at January 2 2017)
|1||Gerwen, Michael van||£1,832,000|
|10||Barneveld, Raymond van||£299,500|
|15||Pas, Benito van de||£251,500|
|25||Voort, Vincent van der||£153,750|
|51||Bergh, Dimitri Van Den||£60,750|
|55||Duijvenbode, Dirk van||£41,500|
|57||Zwaan, Jeffrey de||£39,000|
|60||Graaf, Jeffrey de||£34,750|
|80||Peer, Berry van||£17,750|
|97||Decker, Mike De||£10,750|