World number three Peter Wright will headline the field for this month’s Gibraltar Darts Trophy, which will take place from May 12-14 at the Victoria Stadium. Snakebite will be joined by four former world champions as the tournament returns for a fifth successive year, although there are a number of big name absentees- including the world’s top two.
Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson will both miss out on the fifth European Tour event of the season, perhaps with one eye on the Premier League play-offs, which will take place at the O2 Arena the following Thursday.
Van Gerwen has won the Gibraltar Darts Trophy for the past two years, although the world number one won’t be present to complete the hat-trick. Elsewhere, Gary Anderson’s European Tour hiatus continues- with ‘The Flying Scotsman’ yet to compete in any European Tour events in 2017.
Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld will also be absent, after opting not to compete in last week’s UK qualifiers, whilst 16-time world champion Phil Taylor won’t feature in Gibraltar as he continues to scale down his Pro Tour commitments ahead of his impending retirement.
As a consequence, Wright, who has already won two of the three European Tour events held so far this year, will be the number one seed for the Gibraltar Darts Trophy. International Darts Open holder Mensur Suljovic is seeded second, whilst third seed Simon Whitlock will look to build upon his semi-final showing in Saarbrucken.
Eight-time major winner James Wade, will go in search of his second Gibraltar Darts Trophy title, having defeated Steve Beaton to seal glory in 2014. However, ‘The Bronzed Adonis’ will also be in action having failed to qualify for the opening three European Tour events of the year.
Two-time world champion Adrian Lewis will be one of the most high-profile names in action, having come through the qualifiers for this event at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan on Friday evening. Paul Nicholson, James Wilson, Darren Webster, Justin Pipe and Rob Cross were also amongst the players to qualify for this event.
Premier League stars Dave Chisnall, Jelle Klaasen and Kim Huybrechts are all amongst the 16 seeded players in Gibraltar, whilst German Darts Open finalist Benito van de Pas will go in search of his maiden European Tour title. Elsewhere, UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price and 2016 German Darts Championship winner Alan Norris make up the top ten.
German Darts Open semi-finalist Ian White, is set to be seeded 11th, just ahead of three-time European Tour winner Michael Smith. Recent Players Championship winners Joe Cullen and Daryl Gurney are 13th and 14th respectively, whilst the remaining seeds include Spanish star Cristo Reyes and former Lakeside world champion Stephen Bunting.
Krzysztof Ratajski will compete in his fifth successive European Tour event, whilst veteran Swede Magnus Caris will make his first appearance on the Pro Tour in 2017. Meanwhile, four players from Gibraltar will come through the host-nation qualifier on May 11th, with Gibraltar World Cup stars Dyson Parody and Dylan Duo set to compete.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Seeded Players (Enter at Second Round stage)
1 Peter Wright
2 Mensur Suljovic
3 Simon Whitlock
4 Dave Chisnall
5 James Wade
6 Kim Huybrechts
7 Benito van de Pas
8 Gerwyn Price
9 Alan Norris
10 Jelle Klaasen
11 Ian White
12 Michael Smith
13 Joe Cullen
14 Daryl Gurney
15 Cristo Reyes
16 Stephen Bunting
Qualifiers (Enter at First Round stage)
UK Qualifiers x18: Paul Nicholson, Darren Johnson, Alan Tabern, Steve Beaton, James Wilson, Adrian Lewis, Chris Quantock, James Richardson, Darren Webster, Justin Pipe, Richie Corner, Callan Rydz, John Henderson, Matt Clark, Matthew Dennant, Jonny Clayton, Ritchie Edhouse, Rob Cross
European Qualifiers x8: TBC May 4
Host Nation Qualifiers x4: TBC May 11
East Europe Qualifier: Krzysztof Ratajski
PDCNB Qualifier: Magnus Caris
Steve Beaton, Jelle Klaasen, Adrian Lewis and Stephen Bunting makes 4 former world champions.