World number one Michael van Gerwen leads the way on the UK Open Order of Merit after winning two of the three qualifying events on the opening weekend of action at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan.
‘The Green Machine’ continued his dominant start to the season by winning the opening two qualifiers, before his 23-match unbeaten run in 2018 was finally halted by Michael Smith, in the quarter-finals of qualifier three.
Smith succumbed to MvG in the final of Friday’s event, but he followed up victory over the world number one on Sunday by going on to claim his eighth PDC title. He therefore sits second on the UK Open Order of Merit having amassed £15,750 from the weekend’s three events, although Van Gerwen remains top of the tree on £22,000.
Zoran Lerchbacher and Darren Webster are both guaranteed to enter the UK Open at the third-round stage after reaching the final on Sunday and Saturday respectively, whilst world number two Peter Wright is tied with both men on £5,000, having recorded back-to-back semi-final appearances on the opening two days of action.
Mervyn King is in sixth position after making a strong start to his 2018 campaign, whilst Kim Huybrechts is joined in seventh place along with Dave Prins. Prins is poised to make his third UK appearance in four years, although his previous two both came as an amateur qualifier.
World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney is tied in 9th place alongside Sunday’s semi-finalist John Henderson and former BDO star Jamie Hughes, who dumped out world champion Rob Cross in the opening-round of Saturday’s event.
Matthew Edgar has sealed his qualification for Minehead after claiming £3,250 across the three events, whilst Steve Beaton is in 13th position on £3,000. Kyle Anderson, Joe Cullen, Justin Pipe and Ian White are tied in 14th, as two-time world champion Adrian Lewis is 18th after reaching the semi-finals of Friday’s first qualifier.
‘Jackpot’ was suspended from the weekend’s remaining two qualifiers after his heated altercation with Jose Perales, but he should still feature at Minehead if his suspension is uplifted. Lewis is tied in 18th with new Tour Card holder Robert Owen and David Pallett, who reached his first PDC semi-final since September 2015 on Sunday.
Last year’s UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price is in 21st position alongside World Masters winner Krzysztof Ratajski, James Wilson and Richard North, whilst Jelle Klaasen is sandwiched in 25th position between the Spanish duo of Jose Perales and Antonio Alcinas.
Simon Whitlock and James Wade are just inside the top 32 of the Order of Merit alongside Martin Schindler and the Dutch duo of Jermaine Wattimena and Jeffrey de Zwaan. Meanwhile, Dave Chisnall sits in 33rd, having followed up successive opening-round defeats by reaching the last 16 of Sunday’s third qualifier.
Nevertheless, there are a number of high-profile names who face the prospect of missing out on next month’s UK Open in Minehead, including newly crowned world champion Rob Cross. ‘Voltage’ endured a tough weekend in Wigan, suffering three consecutive opening-round losses against Corey Cadby, Jamie Hughes and Ryan Meikle.
Cross has therefore yet to register any prize money on the Order of Merit and will need a minimum of £750 from next weekend’s triple-header to seal his spot at Minehead. However, two-time UK Open champion Raymond van Barneveld is also in the same boat.
The five-time world champion suffered back-to-back opening-round losses against World Masters champion Krzysztof Ratajski on Friday and Saturday, before the legendary Dutchman opted to pull out of Sunday’s event.
Benito van de Pas also failed to register a victory on the opening weekend of action. ‘Big Ben’ suffered defeats against Tony Newell, Mickey Mansell and Marko Kantele, averaging just 69, 70 and 82 in the respective matches.
Steve West and Chris Dobey also ended the weekend empty-handed, whilst World Youth champion Dimitri van den Bergh claimed just £250 across the three events. Elsewhere, nine-time major finalist Terry Jenkins won £500 on his return and is poised to qualify if he repeats those performances next weekend.
The current UK Open Order of Merit table can be viewed below…
|Position||Name||Total Prize Money|
|1||Gerwen, Michael van||£22,000|
|27||Zwaan, Jefrey de||£1,750|
|44||Voort, Vincent van der||£1,000|
|72||Graaf, Jeffrey de||£500|
|82||Bergh, Dimitri Van Den||£250|
|82||Vreede, Ryan de||£250|
|129||Baelen, Davy Van||£0|
|129||Barneveld, Raymond van||£0|
|129||Duijvenbode, Dirk van||£0|
|129||Lam, Ting Chi Royden||£0|
|129||Norman, John jnr||£0|
|129||Pas, Benito van de||£0|