Pipe ruled out of UK Open following positive Covid test

Justin Pipe will miss this weekend’s Ladbrokes UK Open after returning a positive test for Covid-19 ahead of the tournament.

All players and event personnel involved in the UK Open underwent Covid-19 testing on arrival at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes on Thursday, with Pipe the solitary individual to return a positive test.

The two-time major semi-finalist was scheduled to play Luke Humphries in round three on Friday afternoon, but will now be required to self-isolate in line with government guidelines, therefore Humphries receives a bye through to round four.

Pipe isn’t the first man to be ruled out of a major televised event due to a positive Covid test, after former world champions Adrian Lewis and Stephen Bunting were forced to miss last year’s World Grand Prix.

Elsewhere, Premier League champion Glen Durrant was absent from the European Championship in October, while Martijn Kleermaker was denied a PDC World Championship debut at Alexandra Palace.

There will be 151 players battling it out in ‘The FA Cup of Darts’ from March 5-7 in Milton Keynes, with a total prize pot of £450,000.

From the original field of qualifiers, Cristo Reyes and Florian Hempel have withdrawn for family reasons, and as such their scheduled opponents – Ryan Joyce in round three and Jitse van der Wal in round one respectively – also receive a bye.

Wesley Harms, Robert Marijanovic, Daniel Larsson, Michael Unterbuchner, Darren Penhall and Boris Kcrmar had also previously withdrawn from the event before the draw was made.

Image Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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