Raymond van Barneveld and Mark Webster have sealed their qualification for November’s Grand Slam of Darts, having reached the 2017 World Cup of Darts Final in Frankfurt on Sunday evening.
The qualification for the cross-code event changed significantly in 2015, as players from within the PDC system are now only able to qualify automatically by winning, or reaching the final of, major PDC tournaments throughout the year- plus the 2016 Grand Slam, Players Championship Finals and World Youth Championship.
Michael van Gerwen sealed his qualification after beating James Wade in last year’s Grand Slam final. Meanwhile, Gerwyn Price also confirmed his debut spot at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall by reaching his maiden televised final at March’s UK Open.
Nevertheless, prior to this weekend’s event, neither Van Barneveld or Webster had sealed their Grand Slam places. The five-time world champion won the Grand Slam back in 2012- where he defeated his current World Cup partner Van Gerwen 16-14 in a gripping tussle.
However, Barney’s third World Cup triumph also ensures that he will maintain his record of having appeared in every single Grand Slam event since it’s inaugural staging in 2007. Van Barneveld is one of only four players to have won the coveted cross-code title, along with Phil Taylor, Van Gerwen and BDO star Scott Waites.
Nevertheless, it was also a brilliant weekend for Mark Webster, who performed superbly to help Wales to a second World Cup final- Webster’s first PDC final since November 2011. The former Lakeside world champion claimed victories over William O’Connor, Boris Koltsov, Ronny Huybrechts and Raymond van Barneveld in singles action.
The left-hander also provided an effective foil for Gerwyn Price in the pairs and as a result, Webster will now make his ninth Grand Slam appearance in November- his first since 2015, where he was ironically beaten in the quarter-finals by Van Barneveld.
Van Barneveld and Webster join a list of eight other PDC players who have already confirmed their Grand Slam spots. Two of those include Van Gerwen and Price, whilst the Scottish duo of Gary Anderson and Peter Wright will also be appearing in Wolverhampton.
Last year’s Grand Slam finalist James Wade and 2016 Players Championship Finals runner-up Dave Chisnall will also be competing at the Wolverhampton Civic, alongside World Youth finalists Corey Cadby and Berry van Peer.
Adrian Lewis, Michael Smith, Daryl Gurney, Simon Whitlock, Alan Norris, Joe Cullen and Rob Cross are all on the waiting list after picking up Pro Tour and European Tour titles so far this year, whilst Glen Durrant and Danny Noppert, who contested this year’s BDO World Championship final at Lakeside, will be joined by a further six BDO colleagues.
Six-time Grand Slam winner Phil Taylor is yet to seal his qualification as he scales down his schedule ahead of his impending retirement in January, whilst Mensur Suljovic and Jelle Klaasen are other top ten stars yet to clinch their spots.
However, players still have the opportunity to qualify for the Grand Slam in five major TV events over the next few months, including the World Matchplay, European Championship, Champions League of Darts, World Grand Prix and World Series Finals. The full list of current automatic qualifiers can be viewed below.
2017 Grand Slam of Darts
(Maximum of 16 automatic qualifiers)
2016/17 PDC World Champion: Michael van Gerwen
2017 World Matchplay Champion:
2017 World Grand Prix Champion:
2016 World Youth Champion: Corey Cadby
2017 UK Open Champion: Peter Wright
2017 European Champion:
2017 Champions League Champion:
2017 World Series of Darts Final Champion:
2017 World Cup winner: Raymond van Barneveld
2016/17 PDC World Championship runner-up: Gary Anderson
2016 Grand Slam runner-up: James Wade
2017 World Matchplay runner-up:
2017 World Grand Prix runner-up:
2016 World Youth Championship runner-up: Berry van Peer
2017 UK Open runner-up: Gerwyn Price
2017 European Championship runner-up:
2016 Players Championship runner-up: Dave Chisnall
2017 Champions League runner-up:
2017 World Series of Darts Final runner-up:
2017 World Cup runner-up: Mark Webster
2017 BDO World Champion: Glen Durrant
2017 BDO World Championship runner-up: Danny Noppert