Raymond van Barneveld will miss next month’s World Matchplay after withdrawing from this weekend’s Pro Tour events in Wigan.
The five-time world champion was bidding to secure a farewell appearance at the Winter Gardens ahead of his impending retirement, but Van Barneveld had to make up an £11,250 deficit in the three events before the cut-off.
Nevertheless, the Dutch legend confirmed via twitter that he had withdrawn from the two European Tour qualifiers on Friday and the Players Championship double-header over the weekend due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’.
Van Barneveld is therefore unable to qualify for the Czech Darts Open from June 28-30, the final event before the cut-off for the World Matchplay, which means he will not make a final appearance in Blackpool next month.
The 52-year-old has featured in every World Matchplay since 2007 and he famously reached the final in 2010; landing a nine-darter in the opening round against Denis Ovens en route, before succumbing to Phil Taylor in a thrilling finale.
However, Barney has failed to progress beyond the quarter-finals in this event since. His final appearance in the sports’ summer showpiece was therefore his 11-9 defeat to Gary Anderson in the second round 12 months ago, with Anderson going on to lift the title.
Van Barneveld has not revealed the full reasoning for his absence this weekend, but he insists he will maintain ‘full focus on the rest of the year’ as he eyes a memorable Alexandra Palace farewell.
The Dutchman has all but secured his World Championship qualification having accrued £20,000 in prize money on the Pro Tour in 2019 – with a run to the final of a Players Championship event in March the stand-out performance.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC