Michael van Gerwen has returned to the top of the Players Championship Order of Merit after clinching his third Players Championship title of the season in Milton Keynes over the weekend.
‘The Green Machine’ trailed two-time world champion Gary Anderson on the Order of Merit prior to this weekend, following the Scot’s exploits in the previous Players Championship double-header in Barnsley. However, Van Gerwen dispatched Anderson 6-1 en route to glory in the quarter-finals of Saturday’s event.
The Dutchman has now won three of the four Players Championship events he’s featured in during 2018 and he has accumulated an impressive £31,000 in prize money. As a result, he leads ‘The Flying Scotsman’ by £5,000, after Anderson followed up a quarter-final appearance on Saturday by losing in round-two 24 hours later.
Ian White is up to third after claiming his first PDC ranking final since July 2016 in Players Championship Six on Sunday. ‘The Diamond’ defeated Luke Woodhouse, Maik Langendorf, Keegan Brown, James Wade, John Henderson, Mervyn King and Dave Chisnall to clinch the eighth PDC title of his career.
White has accrued £16,250 from the six events, whilst Chisnall, who featured in his first ranking final for just under twelve months, is in fourth position on £13,250. Eight-time major winner James Wade is fifth on £10,500, after following up his appearance in the final of Players Championship One by reaching the semi-finals of Saturday’s event.
Ryan Joyce is sixth after maintaining his impressive start to life on the PDC Pro Tour, whilst Chris Dobey has catapulted himself up to seventh after reaching just his second PDC Final in Players Championship Five on Saturday, where he succumbed to Michael van Gerwen despite averaging 109.62.
Two-time world champion Adrian Lewis occupies eighth position, just ahead of Dutch ace Jeffrey de Zwaan, who appeared in the final of Players Championship Four. He registered three victories in Milton Keynes across the weekend, but was beaten by Michael van Gerwen and James Wade across the respective days.
World number two Peter Wright has slipped to tenth after suffering successive second-round exits at Arena MK and he sits just £250 ahead of his fellow countryman John Henderson, who reached the last eight at Players Championship Six.
James Wilson has climbed to 12th after reaching the last four in Milton Keynes on Sunday and he is tied with former Lakeside world champion Stephen Bunting, current world champion Rob Cross and Simon Stevenson on £7,000.
Former World Youth champion Keegan Brown makes up the top 16, just ahead of another former World Youth champion Corey Cadby. The recent UK Open finalist has only competed in two of the six events after returning home to Australia ahead of his wedding, but he’s accrued £6,500 having reached the final of Players Championship Two.
The Dutch quintet of Jeffrey de Graaf, Jermaine Wattimena, Danny Noppert, Jan Dekker and Jelle Klaasen are sandwiched between 18th and 22nd, just ahead of former World Youth finalist Ricky Evans. Elsewhere, World Youth champion Dimitri van den Bergh has risen to 24th, after reaching the quarter-finals in Milton Keynes over the weekend.
Van den Bergh is tied on £4,750 along with Dutch ace Ron Meulenkamp and Germany’s Gabriel Clemens, who appeared in his first PDC quarter-final at Players Championship Five on Saturday. Meanwhile, Mervyn King has moved up to 27th after halting his disappointing floor form by reaching the semi-finals of Players Championship Six.
King is joined on £4,500 by Dutchman Jimmy Hendriks, World Championship semi-finalist Jamie Lewis, Players Championship Five semi-finalist Ryan Searle and the veteran Darren Webster. Premier League star Gerwyn Price then makes up the top 32, despite suffering consecutive opening-round exits across a frustrating weekend in MK.
Champions League of Darts winner Mensur Suljovic has rocketed up to 41st on the Players Championship Order of Merit after reaching the last eight at Players Championship Five, whilst Auckland Darts Masters winner Kyle Anderson trails ‘The Gentle’ by just £250 in 42nd.
World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney is level with Kyle Anderson on £3,500 in 43rd, whilst nine-time major finalist Terry Jenkins is up to 47th after featuring in the last 16 of Saturday’s event in Milton Keynes. Meanwhile, the veteran duo of Steve Beaton and Robert Thornton are tied in 53rd and 54th respectively.
Premier League high-flyer Michael Smith is surprisingly sat in 58th, whilst Smith’s Premier League colleague Simon Whitlock has sneaked in the top 64 despite suffering successive second-round defeats over the weekend. ‘The Wizard’ is one place below former BDO star Cameron Menzies, who performed impressively in MK.
Nevertheless, there are a number of high-profile stars outside of the top 64 who are currently in danger of missing out on the Players Championship Finals. Last year’s runner-up Jonny Clayton is 66th, but the Welshman is currently struggling with gout.
Joe Cullen- who clinched two Players Championship titles last year- is currently languishing in 69th position after suffering back-to-back first-round defeats in Milton Keynes, whilst former Players Championship Finals winners Paul Nicholson and Kevin Painter are 75th and 78th respectively.
Three-time world champion John Part is 89th after claiming the solitary victory over the weekend, whilst Alan Norris’ disappointing start to the season continues. ‘Chuck’ suffered successive opening-round losses to Steve West and Diogo Portela at Arena MK, which leaves him in 95th position on £1,500.
Justin Pipe broke his Players Championship duck in Milton Keynes, as ‘The Force’ came into the weekend on the back of four straight first-round defeats. However, the Taunton ace was beaten in round-two on both days, therefore he sits in 98th position on £1,000.
Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld occupies 109th position, although Van Barneveld has only competed in two of the six events. He claimed £1,000 in the opening tournament of the year, before losing in the first-round of Players Championship Two against his compatriot Jan Dekker.
Vincent van der Voort and Brazilian ace Diogo Portela are tied in 111th on a modest £500, whilst former Lakeside world champion Mark Webster has also accumulated the same figure from the opening six Players Championship Events on the calendar. The Order of Merit table can be viewed below!
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Credit: Burton De Witt