Peter Wright has moved to world number one on the PDC Order of Merit for the first time in his career following the conclusion of the 2022 UK Open.
The reigning world champion succumbed to William O’Connor in the last 16 at Minehead, yet with Gerwyn Price defending £40,000 in prize money at this year’s showpiece, the Welshman needed to reach the final to preserve his world No 1 status.
Price succumbed to eventual finalist Michael Smith in a thrilling quarter-final clash, which ended The Iceman’s 14-month reign at the summit, enabling Wright to become the 11th world No 1 in PDC history.
‘Snakebite’ is the first Scotsman to achieve that particular accolade, and he emulates Alan Warriner-Little, Dennis Priestley, Rod Harrington, Phil Taylor, Peter Manley, John Part, Colin Lloyd, Raymond van Barneveld, Michael van Gerwen and Price in ruling the darting world.
World Championship runner-up Smith was left heartbroken after losing a seventh individual televised final, although ‘Bully Boy’ moves up to fourth on the Order of Merit, leapfrogging Van Gerwen who has dropped to fifth – his lowest ranking since January 2013.
Danny Noppert’s first televised ranking title moves him up to a career-high of 12th. ‘The Freeze’ became the fourth Dutchman to lift the UK Open title following his 11-10 success against Smith, and the £100,000 winner’s prize has catapulted him seven places from 19th.
It was also a groundbreaking weekend for Damon Heta, who is now the top-ranked Australian on the tour – moving ahead of Simon Whitlock into 23rd place. ‘The Heat’ defeated Van Gerwen and Jonny Clayton to reach the quarter-finals, before exiting at the hands of eventual champion Noppert.
Elsewhere, Ireland’s teenage sensation Keane Barry has moved up 14 places to a career-high 54th, after scooping £20,000 courtesy of his run to the semi-finals. ‘Dynamite’ dumped out defending champion James Wade in the last eight and raced into a 6-2 lead against Smith, only for ‘Bully Boy’ to rally superbly.
Barry was joined in the last four by his compatriot O’Connor, who recorded victories over Stephen Bunting and Wright to feature in his first televised semi-final, and his exploits at Minehead have taken him to the cusp of a place in the world’s top 32.
Image Credit: Steven Paston/PDC
|Position||Name||Total Prize Money|
|5||Michael van Gerwen||£550,250|
|7||Jose de Sousa||£435,500|
|9||Dimitri Van den Bergh||£411,250|
|15||Dirk van Duijvenbode||£268,250|
|30||Vincent van der Voort||£180,000|
|47||Jeffrey de Zwaan||£75,250|
|56||Raymond van Barneveld||£58,000|