Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld have climbed back into the world’s top eight following the conclusion of the BetVictor World Matchplay, whilst James Wade has fallen to his worst ranking position in over a decade.
Phil Taylor is up to fourth on the PDC Order of Merit after winning his 16th World Matchplay title with an 18-8 victory over Peter Wright last weekend. Competing at the Winter Gardens for the final time, ‘The Power’ rolled back the years to seal his first ranking major since July 2014- clinching the £115,000 winner’s prize.
Taylor was in danger of falling out of the world’s top ten if he suffered an early exit in Blackpool, but he defeated the decorated quintet of Gerwyn Price, Raymond van Barneveld, Michael van Gerwen, Adrian Lewis and Peter Wright to round-off one of the finest victories of his illustrious career.
Peter Wright remains in third after becoming the first Scottish player to reach a World Matchplay final, but he’s closed the gap on his compatriot Gary Anderson. Snakebite would have leapfrogged Anderson to become world number two if he’d ruined Taylor’s Blackpool farewell, but he now trails ‘The Flying Scotsman’ by less than £50,000.
Raymond van Barneveld has regained his place in the world’s top eight due to his run to the second-round. The five-time world champion defeated Joe Cullen 10-8 in a thrilling first-round contest- his first win at the Winter Gardens since 2014. This has sealed the Dutchman’s debut in next month’s Champions League of Darts.
Nevertheless, Van Barneveld’s rise comes at the expense of James Wade, who has fallen outside the world’s top eight for the first time in a decade. ‘The Machine’ has endured a disappointing year thus far and the eight-time major winner suffered a painful first-round defeat at the hands of Darren Webster last week.
Adrian Lewis and Dave Chisnall have also fallen one place each to fifth and sixth respectively, although Mensur Suljovic remains in seventh. Elsewhere, Daryl Gurney has climbed four places to a career high of 12th in the world, after maintaining his fine form to reach the World Matchplay semi-finals last weekend.
Alan Norris is also on the verge of breaking into the world’s top 16 for the first time after reaching the last eight in Blackpool. Norris defeated Kim Huybrechts and Dave Chisnall in dramatic tussles, before succumbing to Adrian Lewis in a quarter-final classic.
Norris trails Robert Thornton in 16th by just £4,500, as the Scot’s poor form continues. ‘The Thorn’ had won just one of his previous eight clashes in Blackpool prior to last week, and his miserable record was maintained after he was thrashed 10-3 by Cristo Reyes in round-one.
Simon Whitlock has also slipped two places to 18th following his second-round Matchplay exit. ‘The Wizard’ dumped out his fellow Aussie Kyle Anderson in the opening round, before he was comprehensively beaten 11-3 by world number one Michael van Gerwen in the last 16.
Darren Webster is up to 26th after his impressive run to the quarter-finals at the Winter Gardens, whilst Steve West is on the brink of breaking into the world’s top 32 after reaching round-two on his first appearance at the World Matchplay.
Rob Cross is another man moving in the right direction after reaching round-two in Blackpool. Cross defeated Ian White in his Matchplay debut, before losing out to a clinical Adrian Lewis in the last 16. Cross averaged 104 in defeat, but just over six months after securing his tour card, he’s up to 40th on the world rankings.
Andrew Gilding has slipped eight places to 48th after failing to qualify for this year’s Matchplay, whilst Andy Hamilton’s top 64 status is now under serious threat. ‘The Hammer’ reached round-two at the Winter Gardens in 2015, but he’s now fallen to 61st, which puts his long-term status on the PDC circuit under real jeopardy.
|1||Michael van Gerwen||£1,660,750|
|8||Raymond van Barneveld||£324,500|
|15||Benito van de Pas||£265,750|
|28||Vincent van der Voort||£135,500|
|46||Dimitri Van den Bergh||£74,000|
|54||Jeffrey de Graaf||£49,750|
|57||Dirk van Duijvenbode||£47,000|
|66||Jeffrey de Zwaan||£31,750|
|71||Mike De Decker||£23,250|
|=||Berry van Peer||£22,250|