The 32-man field for the 2018 Unibet World Grand Prix has been confirmed, as Daryl Gurney prepares to defend his title at the Citywest Hotel later this month.
The PDC’s third longest-running televised event will be staged in Dublin from September 30th-October 6th, and the unique double-start format means players must begin and finish every leg with a double throughout the event.
The world’s top 16 qualify automatically for this event, whilst 16 qualifiers from the one-year Pro Tour Order of Merit make up the field. Gurney, who memorably claimed his maiden televised title here twelve months ago, will be the fifth seed this year, whilst Simon Whitlock- who he beat in the final, is also one of the eight seeded stars.
The remaining six seeds are headed by three-time winner and world number one Michael van Gerwen. World number two Peter Wright will be hoping to go beyond the quarter-finals of this competition for the very first time, whilst world champions Rob Cross and Gary Anderson are also vying for their first Grand Prix titles.
Champions League of Darts winner and two-time Grand Prix semi-finalist Mensur Suljovic is sixth seed in Dublin, whilst 2013 runner-up Dave Chisnall completes the seeded line-up.
Michael Smith, James Wade, Ian White, Raymond van Barneveld, Gerwyn Price, Darren Webster, Joe Cullen and Adrian Lewis complete the 16 qualifiers from the PDC Order of Merit. Wade is one of just three players in the field to have secured Grand Prix glory, whilst Van Barneveld was twice a runner-up in Dublin back in 2008 and 2009.
There will be nine new faces at this year’s tournament, with Austrian Darts Open champion Jonny Clayton headlining the 16 Pro Tour qualifiers. The Welshman will be making his Dublin debut along with Max Hopp, Jermaine Wattimena, Steve Lennon, Danny Noppert, Ricky Evans, Josh Payne, Jeffrey de Zwaan and Ron Meulenkamp.
2012 Grand Prix finalist Mervyn King will be making his 12th successive appearance at the Citywest, as former Dublin semi-finalists Steve Beaton and Stephen Bunting are two other familiar faces to qualify via the Pro Tour Order of Merit.
The field is completed by James Wilson, Steve West, Kim Huybrechts and John Henderson- who defeated Van Gerwen and Van Barneveld en route to reaching the semi-finals twelve months ago. The draw for the tournament will be made this coming week, with the schedule set to be announced soon afterwards.
PDC Order of Merit Qualifiers (Seeding in brackets)
Michael van Gerwen (1), Peter Wright (2), Rob Cross (3), Gary Anderson (4), Daryl Gurney (5), Mensur Suljovic (6), Simon Whitlock (7), Dave Chisnall (8), Michael Smith, James Wade, Ian White, Gerwyn Price, Raymond van Barneveld, Darren Webster, Joe Cullen, Adrian Lewis.
ProTour Order of Merit Qualifiers
Jonny Clayton, James Wilson, Stephen Bunting, Max Hopp, Mervyn King, Steve West, Jermaine Wattimena, Kim Huybrechts, John Henderson, Steve Beaton, Steve Lennon, Danny Noppert, Ricky Evans, Josh Payne, Jeffrey de Zwaan, Ron Meulenkamp.