Michael van Gerwen extended his lead at the top of the PDC Order of Merit to almost one million pounds after retaining his Players Championship Finals title in Minehead, whilst Jonny Clayton has broken into the world’s top 32 for the first time in his career after reaching his first major final.
Van Gerwen is unbeaten since suffering a shock first-round exit at the World Grand Prix to John Henderson in October, and has won the European Championship, World Series of Darts Finals and Grand Slam of Darts titles over the past month, before he added the Players Championship Finals crown to that list on Sunday evening.
‘The Green Machine’ has amassed a staggering £1,736,250 on the Order of Merit and sits almost £1m ahead of his nearest challenger Peter Wright. ‘Snakebite’ was stunned by Steve Hine in his opening game at Minehead, but he still occupies second position with £770,750.
Wright’s fellow countryman Gary Anderson sits in third, despite also suffering a shock first-round exit in Minehead against Mickey Mansell. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ was plagued by a back injury and had his baby daughter in hospital last week, but he has £300,000 to defend at the Ally Pally, after claiming world title glory two years ago.
World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney remains in fourth position after reaching yet another major quarter-final, whilst Champions League of Darts winner Mensur Suljovic is up to fifth, despite losing in the second-round of the Players Championship Finals to a resurgent Stephen Bunting.
Phil Taylor is sixth in the world ahead of his final competitive tournament at the World Championship, and he’ll be hoping to bring the curtain down on his illustrious career by claiming an unprecedented 17th world title on New Years Day.
Taylor’s fellow Stoke star Adrian Lewis has slipped to 7th after he was defending £35,000 in Minehead. The two-time world champion reached the World Championship final back in 2016, therefore if he fails to reach the quarter-finals this time around, he will incredibly fall outside the world’s top 16.
Dave Chisnall remains in eighth position, whilst five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld has leapfrogged Australian ace Simon Whitlock to move up one place to ninth. However, Whitlock still sits in the top ten and has the opportunity to climb further as he isn’t defending any prize money at this year’s World Championship.
Seven-time major winner James Wade is still aiming to break back into the world’s top ten despite reaching the quarter-finals in Minehead last weekend, whilst Jelle Klaasen, Michael Smith, Benito van de Pas, Alan Norris and UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price make up the rest of the top 16.
Rob Cross is up to 20th in the world as his remarkable debut year on the PDC circuit continues. ‘Voltage’ was top seed at last weekend’s Players Championship Finals and made it to the semi-finals, but remarkably he is joint third favourite for this year’s World Championship with title sponsor William Hill.
Justin Pipe has climbed three places to 27th after reaching his third semi-final in six years at the Players Championship Finals. ‘The Force’ defeated Mark Webster, Ron Meulenkamp, William O’Connor and Daryl Gurney to reach the last four, before succumbing to the irrepressible Van Gerwen.
Elsewhere, Jonny Clayton has broken into the world’s top 32 for the first time in his career after his sublime run to the final in Minehead. ‘The Ferret’ defeated Jeffrey de Graaf, Gerwyn Price, Stephen Bunting, Steve Beaton and Rob Cross to reach his first major final, and as a result he displaces Vincent van der Voort in the top 32.
Jan Dekker has moved into the top 50 for the first time after reaching his first PDC major quarter-final over the weekend, whilst Mickey Mansell and Steve Hine are both into the world’s top 100 after their shock victories over Gary Anderson and Peter Wright.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
|1||Michael van Gerwen||£1,736,250|
|9||Raymond van Barneveld||£303,750|
|14||Benito van de Pas||£266,000|
|33||Vincent van der Voort||£122,500|
|43||Dimitri Van den Bergh||£80,500|
|55||Jeffrey de Graaf||£54,750|
|61||Dirk van Duijvenbode||£43,000|
|64||Jeffrey de Zwaan||£39,750|
|68||Berry van Peer||£33,750|
|71||Mike De Decker||£31,250|