UK Open champion Peter Wright has climbed to the top of the European Tour Order of Merit, after winning his second European Tour title of the year at the inaugural German Darts Open in Saabrucken last weekend.
The world number three followed up his victory over Michael van Gerwen at the German Darts Championship by edging out another Dutchman to clinch the German Darts Open title. Snakebite defied a stunning 110.46 average from Benito van de Pas to clinch the title in Saarbrucken and move to the top of the Order of Merit on £54,000.
Michael van Gerwen is second after winning the German Darts Masters just over a week ago. ‘The Green Machine’ finished with an astonishing tournament average of 107 in Jena and lost just eleven legs en route to clinching the title, where he saw off Jelle Klaasen by an emphatic 6-2 scoreline.
However, Van Gerwen’s hopes of securing back-to-back European Tour titles were thwarted by an inspired Ian White on Sunday evening. ‘The Diamond’ demolished the world number one 6-1 in the quarter-finals with a 104 average, therefore MvG sits in second on £39,000 after accruing £4,000 for reaching the last eight.
Jelle Klaasen’s impressive consistency in European Tour events continued in Saarbrucken. ‘The Cobra’ suffered elimination from the Premier League last month and has really struggled in recent Players Championship events as the tendinitis problem in his wrist persists, but his European Tour exploits have been mightily impressive.
Klaasen has reached at least the semi-finals in all three European Tour events so far this year. His best showing came in Jena, when he lost out to Michael van Gerwen in the final, whilst he was denied by eventual winner Wright this weekend. However, he is handsomely positioned in third on £22,000; £8,000 ahead of his nearest challenger.
Benito van de Pas has catapulted himself up into fourth position having reached just his second ever European Tour final last weekend. ‘Big Ben’ performed solidly to reach the quarter-finals of the German Darts Championship last month, but upped the ante considerably in Saarbrucken.
Van de Pas averaged over 100 in his final three matches at the German Darts Open and was extremely unfortunate to lose the final with a 110.46 average- his best ever performance on the big stage. He was left to rue one missed match dart at D7, but the £10,000 he pocketed will provide some consolation.
Gerwyn Price continued his impressive form to reach the last eight of the German Darts Open. ‘The Iceman’ was beaten by Wright in a repeat of last month’s UK Open final, but he sits in fifth place; £2,000 above Mensur Suljovic, who was also beaten at the quarter-final stage in Saarbrucken.
Ian White is up to seventh after reaching the semi-finals last weekend. ‘The Diamond’ averaged over 100 in his first three matches, which included a drubbing of Michael van Gerwen. However, the Stoke star was denied a maiden European Tour title after succumbing to a clinical Benito van de Pas in the last four.
Stephen Bunting, Cristo Reyes and Simon Whitlock are all tied in eighth position on £9,000, whilst two-time European Tour winner Kim Huybrechts is 11th alongside Mervyn King, the man who defeated him in round-two at the German Darts Open.
Joe Cullen is tied in 13th with the Premier League duo of Dave Chisnall and James Wade, whilst Belgian hotshot Dimitri van den Bergh is in 16th place alongside Polish star Krzysztof Ratajski- an ever present on the European Tour in 2017 thus far.
Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld is 18th on £4,000; despite only competing in the solitary European Tour event so far this year. Van Barneveld reached the last eight of the German Darts Masters; defeating Michael Plooy, Alan Norris and Kim Huybrechts before succumbing to eventual champion Michael van Gerwen.
Rob Cross has also accrued £4,000 from the one event after enjoying a fine European Tour debut in Saarbrucken. The former Challenge Tour winner defeated Jeffrey de Graaf, Michael Smith and Simon Whitlock to reach the last eight, and he’s tied alongside both De Graaf and Smith.
Australian ace Kyle Anderson is also 18th, alongside his resurgent compatriot Paul Nicholson, former Lakeside world champion Christian Kist and emerging Newcastle ace Adam Hunt. However, there are a number of big names who have endured disappointing starts to their 2017 European Tour campaign.
Alan Norris is 26th having claimed just the solitary victory in his three European Tour appearances so far this year. That came in the year’s opening event at the German Darts Championship, where his title defence culminated in a third-round loss to Kim Huybrechts.
Former World Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton is also 26th having won just one match in his two European Tour events this year, whilst he’s joined by the likes of former major winner Kevin Painter, World Cup finalist Ronny Huybrechts and former World-Youth runner-up Rowby John Rodriguez.
Daryl Gurney, who clinched his maiden PDC ranking title at Players Championship Seven in Barnsley earlier this month, is currently 37th having qualified for just one of the three European Tour events so far this year. However, ‘Super-Chin’ is now set to be seeded in the upcoming events, having just broken into the top 16 on the Pro Tour Order of Merit.
Elsewhere, two-time world champion Adrian Lewis is 65th. ‘Jackpot’ lost out to Gurney in the first-round of the German Darts Masters just over a week ago, whilst the current world number four didn’t enter the UK qualifiers for either the German Darts Championship or the German Darts Open.
World number two Gary Anderson doesn’t feature on the current Order of Merit, as he’s yet to compete on the European Tour in 2017. Other high-profile absentees include 16-time world champion Phil Taylor and nine-time major finalist Terry Jenkins; both of whom are scaling down Pro Tour commitments ahead of their impending retirements.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
|Position||Name||Total Prize Money|
|2||Gerwen, Michael van||£39,000|
|4||Pas, Benito van de||£14,000|
|16||Bergh, Dimitri Van Den||£5,000|
|18||Barneveld, Raymond van||£4,000|
|18||Graaf, Jeffrey de||£4,000|
|37||Duijvenbode, Dirk van||£2,000|
|37||Voort, Vincent van der||£2,000|
|65||Vreede, Ryan de||£1,000|