Sensational Van Gerwen retains UK Open crown with victories over Taylor & Wright!

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen retained his Coral UK Open title with a comprehensive 11-4 victory over Peter Wright in a repeat of last year’s final, at Butlins, Minehead. Van Gerwen maintained his terrific form, averaging 106.68 and hitting six maximums as he dispatched Snakebite, who once again was denied in his fourth major TV final.

Van Gerwen held throw convincingly in the opening leg with a clinical 13-darter, but Wright levelled up proceedings with a clinical 64 finish. However, this prompted a mini-surge from MvG, who pinned D12 for a 14-darter, before securing the first break of the final with a sensational 11-darter, having posted a maximum in the preceding visit.

The fifth leg was a significant turning point. ‘The Green Machine’ appeared destined to post back-to-back 11-darters; but five missed darts at double handed Wright a glorious opportunity to break back instantly. However, Snakebite spurned two darts at tops for a 54 checkout, and van Gerwen eventually converted D3 for a 4-1 cushion at the first interval.

Wright remained in touch by converting 61 on D16 in the sixth leg, but the Dutchman reclaimed his three-leg cushion with a fabulous 13-darter moments later. Wright wired the bullseye for a 161 finish in the eighth leg, but he returned to post D8 and reduce the arrears to 5-3.

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UK Open Session 4 Report & Quarter-Final Draw

Taylor MvG
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor and amateur qualifier Barry Lynn made it through to the quarter-finals of the 2016 UK Open, whilst former champion Adrian Lewis was dumped out by Jelle Klaasen on an eventful Saturday evening at Butlins, Minehead.

Van Gerwen will now face Riley’s qualifier Lynn in the last eight, after MvG secured an emphatic 9-2 victory over Kim Huybrechts, winning nine legs in succession to sweep aside ‘The Hurricane’.

Huybrechts capitalised on some uncharacteristic fragility from van Gerwen in the opening leg after the Dutchman missed four darts at double to hold. The Belgian then doubled his lead moments later with a clinical 72 checkout. Nevertheless, this would be the final leg Huybrechts won, as MvG reeled off 9 legs within a fifteen minute period to ease through.

Huybrechts’ scoring was considerably below par; reflected in his miserly 86 average. Van Gerwen wasn’t at his explosive best, but he still posted an average in excess of 102, hitting five maximums in the process. The fact that this is considered to be almost underwhelming just illustrates the level ‘The Green Machine’ is operating at currently.

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UK Open Session 1 Report & Third-Round Draw!

Thornton loses in Hasselt
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Former UK Open champion Robert Thornton was dumped out in the opening session of the this year’s event, as former World-Youth champion Arron Monk came from 3-1 down to stun the world number seven on Friday afternoon at Butlins, Minehead.

Thornton started strongly, surging into a 3-1 lead by virtue of a clinical 110 checkout, helped also by two maximums. Nevertheless, Monk grew in confidence as he contest progressed, producing back-to-back 12-darters with finishes of 109 and 85 to restore parity.

Thornton’s game began to unravel and Monk converted 71 to lead for the first time, before clinching his fourth leg in succession with a two-dart 46 finish. The Scot pinned D20 to reduce the deficit to 5-4, but Monk held his nerve to seal victory with a fabulous 13-darter. This is Thornton’s fourth consecutive first-round major exit, as his struggles continue.

Former UK Open finalist Wes Newton also continues to struggle, as he suffered a shock 6-4 defeat to Riley’s amateur qualifier Rob Cross in round-two. Newton had come through a hard-fought first round tie against Mark Cox on the main stage, but the 2011 finalist failed to progress any further, which will see him fall outside of the world’s top 32.

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2016 UK Open- 6 potential outsiders!

The 2016 Coral UK Open gets underway in Minehead on Friday afternoon as Michael van Gerwen looks to defend his title in the most unpredictable major tournament on the darting calendar. In the thirteen years since this event began, there have been thirteen different finalists. Josh’s Dartistry looks at 6 potential outsiders for the crown this year.

Alan Norris

Alan Norris
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Alan Norris is one of the form men in the PDC at present. The 2014 Lakeside finalist made the switch in January 2015 and after a difficult start initially, ‘Chuck’ has produced a series of fine performances in the past six months, which saw him reach the quarter-finals at Alexandra Palace in his maiden PDC World Championship appearance.

Norris won his first PDC ranking title last October, in a Players Championship event in Ireland. This saw Alan qualify for the European Championships and the Players Championship Finals and he’s gone from strength-to-strength from this moment onwards.

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2016 UK Open field Confirmed!

UK Open
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

The completed field for the 2016 Coral UK Open has been confirmed following the culmination of the sixth and final qualifying event, which was won by world number one Michael van Gerwen at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan.

The top 96 on the overall Order of Merit qualify for next month’s event in Minehead, and they’ll be joined by an additional 32 Riley’s amateur qualifiers. The top 32 on the Order of Merit will enter the tournament in the third-round stage; players ranked 33rd-64th enter in round-two, whilst players positioned from 65-96th will compete in the opening round.

There will be a number of big-name absentees in Minehead. Three-time world champion John Part failed to make the cut, whilst the veteran Ronnie Baxter also failed in his qualification bid.

Max Hopp, the current World-Youth champion narrowly missed out, along with former world-youth champion Keegan Brown. Christian Kist, Paul Nicholson, Devon Petersen and Dimitri van den Bergh were among the other high-profile stars to miss out.

The full list of qualifiers can be found below.

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