World number one Michael van Gerwen has established an early cushion at the top of the 2018 Players Championship Order of Merit after completing the weekend double in Barnsley.
Van Gerwen maintained his incredible start to the season by claiming the opening two Players Championship events on the calendar, taking his tally of titles in 2018 alone to five. As a consequence, ‘The Green Machine’ has incredibly won 70 of his last 72 competitive matches since losing in the first-round of the World Grand Prix last October.
MvG clinched Saturday’s title with a hard-fought 6-4 win over a resurgent James Wade, who was appearing in his first ranking final for over twelve months. Van Gerwen then completed the double with victory over Corey Cadby, who continued his stunning start to life on the PDC circuit to reach his second Pro Tour final in as many weeks.
As a result, ‘Mighty Mike’ is top of the tree on £20,000, whilst Cadby sits in second position, just £500 above Wade. Ian White is tied on £5,250 along with newcomer Ryan Joyce, after the pair each reached a semi-final and a quarter-final across two action-packed days at the Barnsley Metrodome.
Two-time world champions Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis both sit on £3,250 after reaching one quarter-final across the weekend, whilst Simon Stevenson is in eighth position after reaching his first ever PDC ranking semi-final in Sunday’s second Players Championship event.
Elsewhere, former BDO star Danny Noppert continued his good form in his debut Players Championship events. ‘Noppie’ followed up his run to the last eight in the sixth UK Open qualifier last weekend by registering back-to-back last 16 appearances in Barnsley, which also saw him accrue £3,000 in prize money over the weekend.
Premier League debutant Gerwyn Price is 10th after reaching the semi-finals of the opening event on Saturday, whilst world champion Rob Cross occupies 11th position, having reached the quarter-finals and the second-round across the respective days of action.
Kim Huybrechts and James Wilson are tied on £2,500 along with former World Youth champion Keegan Brown, with Saturday’s quarter-finalist Dave Chisnall on £2,250, as are Steve West and Ron Meulenkamp.
Former PDC World Championship finalist Kirk Shepherd and former Lakeside world champion Richie Burnett are in 18th and 19th positions respectively after enjoying strong weekends in Barnsley, whilst Benito van de Pas, John Henderson and Michael Barnard join the duo on £2,000.
Premier League leader Simon Whitlock sits in 30th position after a modest weekend, whilst Michael Smith, who has also made a 100% start on his Premier League return, is in 35th position, level with Whitlock on £1,500.
Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld sits in 58th position after the opening weekend in Barnsley. Van Barneveld reached the last 32 of Saturday’s opening event, before losing in round-one to Jan Dekker on Sunday. RvB’s Premier League colleague Daryl Gurney also claimed £1,000, but sits in 39th position via countback.
World Youth champion Dimitri van den Bergh and former Lakeside champion Jelle Klaasen both claimed £500 across both events, as did world number two Peter Wright, who surprisingly sits in 92nd position. ‘Snakebite’ was beaten in round-two by Wayne Jones on Saturday, before losing out to Dawson Murschell in round-one on Sunday.
Nevertheless, other high-profile stars are yet to register any prize money on the Players Championship Order of Merit. Joe Cullen, who claimed two Players Championship crowns last year, suffered back-to-back defeats in Barnsley, as did Justin Pipe, Vincent van der Voort and Mark Webster.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Order of Merit Table: Burton DeWitt