Gurney, Wright bow out in Minehead as RvB impresses!

Defending champion Daryl Gurney and Peter Wright suffered surprise first round exits on an action-packed opening day at the Players Championship Finals, as Raymond van Barneveld rolled back the years to defeat UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall at the Butlin’s Minehead Resort on Friday.

Continue reading “Gurney, Wright bow out in Minehead as RvB impresses!”

2017 UK Open Draw & Schedule!

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Former winner Robert Thornton will face either Kevin Bambrick or Nicky Bell on the opening afternoon of the 2017 Coral UK Open Finals, whilst former Lakeside world champions Mark Webster and Stephen Bunting will collide in a mouthwatering second-round clash in Minehead next month.

The 2017 Coral UK Open TV Finals, broadcast live on ITV4, will see 128 players compete across three days from March 3rd-5th at the Butlins Minehead Resort, in the tournament affectionately dubbed ‘The FA Cup of Darts’ due to the unique open draw format.

After the conclusion of the six UK Open qualifiers hosted at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan over the last fortnight, the top 96 players from the UK Open Order of Merit all secured their spots. They’ll be joined in Minehead by 32 Rileys Amateur Qualifiers, who progressed through knockout events staged across the United Kingdom.

Thornton, who clinched the 2012 UK Open crown with victory over Phil Taylor, will begin his campaign on Friday afternoon after finishing 37th on the final Order of Merit. He will face either Kevin Bambrick, who came through the Solihull qualifiers, or plasterer Nicky Bell, who triumphed in the Rileys event held in Nottingham. Continue reading “2017 UK Open Draw & Schedule!”

UK Open Order of Merit: Final Standings!


Peter Wright will be the top seed heading into next month’s Coral UK Open Finals in Minehead, after winning three of the six qualification events at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan over the last fortnight.

Wright tops the Order of Merit after defeating Adrian Lewis, Michael Smith and James Wade in the respective finals, as he amassed a staggering £35,000 in prize money across the qualification campaign.

Simon Whitlock finished in second position after maintaining his excellent Pro Tour form. ‘The Wizard’ won two of the six UK Open qualifiers to record his fourth PDC title in as many months, as he finished with a total of £21,250 in prize money.

World champion Michael van Gerwen was the only other player to win one of the qualifying events and finished in third position as a consequence. MvG endured a disappointing triple-header last week, but performed magnificently in Friday’s fourth qualifier. Continue reading “UK Open Order of Merit: Final Standings!”

Phil Taylor to miss out on next month’s UK Open!


Five-time UK Open winner Phil Taylor will not feature at the televised Coral UK Open Finals in Minehead next month, after choosing not to enter any of the six qualification events in Wigan.

‘The Power’ skipped the opening qualification triple-header at the Robin Park Tennis Centre last weekend, and the entries for the final three events, which take place this weekend; confirmed Taylor’s absence.

The 16-time world champion has significantly scaled down his Pro Tour involvement over recent years, and he revealed last month that 2017 would be his last year on the professional circuit.

Taylor missed out on the Players Championship Finals in Minehead last November, and that was the first TV major Taylor had missed in the history of the PDC. Nevertheless, given his reluctance to compete on the Pro Tour, the 56-year-old could also be set to miss out on the European Championship and Players Championship Finals later this year. Continue reading “Phil Taylor to miss out on next month’s UK Open!”

NEWS: First Seven UK Open Qualifiers confirmed!

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The first seven Riley Amateur Qualifiers for the 2017 Coral UK Open have been confirmed, following the opening weekend of knockout competitions hosted at various Rileys Sports Bars across the United Kingdom.

In total, 32 Rileys Amateur Qualifiers will compete in this year’s Coral UK Open at the Butlins Minehead Resort in March, where they may get the opportunity to lock horns with the best players in world darts. The UK Open is commonly referred to as ‘The FA Cup of Darts,’ due to the open draw format and multi-board aspect of the tournament.

The highest-profile qualifier from this weekend’s Rileys qualifiers was Steve Maish. The 53-year-old nicknamed ‘Mr Magic’, came through the qualifiers in Chester to secure a place in his 13th UK Open. The seven-time World Championship qualifier will be hoping to replicate the performance which saw him reach the last 32 back in 2006.

Lee Evans will make his third UK Open appearance in a couple of months after securing his place via the London Victoria-based qualifiers. The Gloucester has defeated Ronny Huybrechts and Rowby-John Rodriguez in Minehead over recent years, but he’s yet to go beyond the last 64, which he’ll be hoping to rectify in 2017. Continue reading “NEWS: First Seven UK Open Qualifiers confirmed!”

Players Championship Finals: Day Three Report!

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Michael van Gerwen retained his Players Championship Finals crown with a comprehensive 11-3 victory over Dave Chisnall at the Butlins Minehead Resort on Sunday evening, although the world number one was forced to come from 6-0 down in a dramatic semi-final clash against the unfancied Darren Webster.

Nevertheless, despite surviving a scare in the last four, ‘Mighty Mike’ was in imperious form in Sunday’s curtain-raiser, averaging 108.34, landing six maximums and converting 53% of his double attempts to triumph in convincing fashion. Chisnall averaged 99.24 himself, but he was unable to produce the goods in the key moments.

Despite the best efforts of ‘The Yellow Peril’, MvG’s astonishing dominance in PDC majors continues. Van Gerwen hasn’t suffered defeat in a ranking major since losing to Raymond van Barneveld at last year’s World Championships and Michael’s victory over Chisnall marked his ninth TV crown of 2016; his 25th in total.

Van Gerwen started the final strongly; breaking Chisnall’s throw with a confident 13-darter. Chisnall landed his first maximum in the second leg, but MvG doubled his lead by pinning D16 for a 17-dart hold. However, the St Helen’s star opened his account in leg three with a clinical 121 finish on the bullseye. Continue reading “Players Championship Finals: Day Three Report!”

Players Championship Finals- Day Two Report!

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Defending champion Michael van Gerwen will face his old rival Raymond van Barneveld in the quarter-finals of the Players Championship Finals on Sunday, as Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis and James Wade were dumped out at the Butlins Minehead Resort on Saturday.

Van Gerwen breezed through to the last eight, dropping just three legs over the course of his matches on day two. Van Gerwen faced his best mate Vincent van der Voort in the second-round and ‘The Green Machine’ cruised to a 6-1 win, averaging 102.5 and posting four maximums en route.

MvG faced sixteenth seed Josh Payne in round-three and the 22-year-old from Gravesend started strongly, storming into a 2-0 lead. Nevertheless, Van Gerwen levelled up proceedings after Payne missed two darts at double in both leg three and four and this proved expensive.

Payne acquitted himself impressively, averaging 99.79 and hitting three maximums. Despite this, he converted just two of his ten double attempts and was ruthlessly punished by Van Gerwen. MvG won ten successive legs and finished with an average of 105.69, to set up a last-eight showdown with his compatriot Raymond van Barneveld. Continue reading “Players Championship Finals- Day Two Report!”

Players Championship Finals: REVISED Draw & Schedule!

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The draw and schedule for next weekend’s Players Championship Finals at the Butlins Minehead Resort has been confirmed, with Raymond van Barneveld locking horns with Mensur Suljovic and Adrian Lewis taking on Robert Thornton in the stand-out first-round ties.

The expanded Players Championship Finals sees the list of participants doubled in size this year, as 64 players compete for £400,000 in prize money across three days live on ITV4. The qualification criteria is based solely on performances across the twenty Players Championship events hosted throughout 2016.

Michael van Gerwen tops the final Order of Merit with £72,750 after winning five Players Championship events this year, and the defending champion will face former World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton in the first round.

Hamilton originally finished 65th on the Order of Merit, although Kyle Anderson’s withdrawal due to his ongoing VISA issues has given ‘The Hammer’ an opportunity to compete in Minehead. Continue reading “Players Championship Finals: REVISED Draw & Schedule!”

Players Championship Finals: FIELD CONFIRMED!

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The field for the Players Championship Finals has been confirmed following the culmination of the 20th and final Players Championship event of the year in Barnsley, which saw Benito van de Pas clinch victory and five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld seal qualification for next month’s event in Minehead.

World number one Michael van Gerwen heads the list of 64 participants, whilst Benito van de Pas occupies second spot on the Players Championship Order of Merit after winning his third title of the year on Saturday. Stoke star Ian White will be third seed, after also clinching a hat-trick of victories in Barnsley this year.

Simon Whitlock is seeded fourth after his two Players Championship victories over the last month, whilst Gerwyn Price is fifth, having also won two titles earlier in the year. Dave Chisnall, Peter Wright and Mensur Suljovic occupy spots in the top ten, whilst Joe Cullen and Stephen Bunting will be ninth and tenth seeds respectively.

Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld secured two victories on the final day of Players Championship action to seal his spot in Minehead. Van Barneveld was under pressure to qualify after taking a six-month hiatus from Pro Tour events earlier this year, which left him 117th a few months ago. Continue reading “Players Championship Finals: FIELD CONFIRMED!”

Phil Taylor to miss out on his first TV ranking major in PDC History!


Phil Taylor will be absent from the Players Championship Finals in Minehead next month, after opting not to enter the final two Players Championship events of the year in Barnsley next week.

The field for next month’s tournament in Minehead is comprised solely of the top 64 players on the Players Championship Order of Merit. Taylor currently sits in 108th position, having won £3,500 from the three events he’s competed in throughout the year, therefore he is unable to make the cut.

‘The Power’ participated in the opening triple-header in Barnsley back in April, but after failing to go beyond the last 16 across either day, he has not competed since. This means that the 16-time world champion will miss out on a TV ranking major for the first time in PDC history.

However, Taylor’s absence in Minehead is self-imposed, as back in May he claimed that he has essentially entered semi-retirement, by prioritising major TV tournaments over a packed Pro Tour schedule.

In an interview with Gulf News, The Stoke-on-Trent star revealed: “I’m 56 this year and I’m slowing down now, I’m semi-retiring. We’re going to sit down in January, Bob [Glenn, his aide] looks after me and my diary and everything. Continue reading “Phil Taylor to miss out on his first TV ranking major in PDC History!”

Players Championship Order of Merit Update!

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Below is the Players Championship Order of Merit, following this week’s triple-header at the Barnsley Metrodome. World number one Michael van Gerwen stormed to an unprecedented hat-trick of titles, trousering £30,000 of prize money in the process.

The race is on to qualify for the Players Championship Finals in Minehead in November, with just four events left to secure qualification. The tournament field has been extended to 64 players this year, therefore the Top 64 on the Players Championship Order of Merit will qualify.

James Wilson has climbed up to 10th following his run to the final on Wednesday, whilst Thursday’s finalist Steve West is up to 18th, after the pair accrued £6,000 for finishing as runners-up.

Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld made a successful return to the Pro Tour. Van Barneveld made his first Players Championship appearance since March in Barnsley and won £4,750 in prize money, having reached the last 16, the quarter-finals and the last 32 across the three days.

Barney was 118th on the Players Championship Order of Merit prior to this week, but he has now risen to 61st, and the legendary Dutchman will be competing in next week’s double-header in Dublin, therefore he has the opportunity to guarantee his spot if he matches this week’s performances. Continue reading “Players Championship Order of Merit Update!”

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.

Continue reading “Sensational Van Gerwen retains UK Open crown with victories over Taylor & Wright!”

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.

Continue reading “2016 UK Open- 6 potential outsiders!”

2016 UK Open Draw Confirmed!

Robert Thornton WC
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

The draw for the opening two rounds of the 2016 Coral UK Open was made on Monday afternoon, and Robert Thornton, Kevin Painter and Wes Newton are among some of the players set to grace the main stage when the tournament begins on Friday 4th March, at Butlins, Minehead.

The final three UK Open qualifiers took place over the weekend and world number one Michael van Gerwen will be aiming to defend his title in Minehead in a fortnight’s time. Van Gerwen will enter the fray in round three, as he finished top of the UK Open Order of Merit by virtue of winning three of the six qualification events.

The likes of Gary Anderson, Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis, Peter Wright, James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld all finished in the top 32 of the Order of Merit and will subsequently enter in round-three. Nevertheless,  due to the unique open-draw format, the biggest names could collide as early as the last 64 stage.

However, World Grand-Prix champion Robert Thornton, a former UK Open winner back in 2012, will begin his assault for another UK Open crown in the second-round. Thornton finished joint 44th on the overall Order of Merit standings and will face either former World-Youth champion Arron Monk, or Riley’s amateur qualifier Stewart Rattray.

Continue reading “2016 UK Open Draw Confirmed!”

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.

Continue reading “2016 UK Open field Confirmed!”

Van Gerwen continues darting domination to clinch Players Championship crown!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen continued his darting domination in 2015, as he beat Adrian Lewis 11-6 to win the Players Championship Finals in Minehead.

This is van Gerwen’s fourth consecutive TV major title, since he was beaten in the World Grand-Prix final by Robert Thornton in October. MvG has now appeared in every single major final in 2015. Considering the depth of quality within the PDC, that is a simply astonishing achievement.

Adrian Lewis, also runner-up in last year’s event, unfortunately produced his worst display of the weekend in the final, averaging a mere 89 against MvG. That isn’t sufficient to beat a player of van Gerwen’s quality. However, there were many positives to take for Jackpot this weekend.

Continue reading “Van Gerwen continues darting domination to clinch Players Championship crown!”

Brilliant Benito dispatches Wade with phenomenal finishing!

van de Pas
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Benito van de Pas produced an extraordinary display of finishing as he thrashed eight-times major winner James Wade 10-3 to reach his first PDC major quarter-final at the Players Championship Finals, in Minehead.

van de Pas averaged 105.39 and hit 66% on his doubles en route to dismantling the Machine. Benito replicated the finishing he produced in yesterday’s win over Stephen Bunting, although his overall performance today, was far more impressive.

van de Pas stormed into a 1-0 lead by taking out 72 in just two-darts for an instant break of throw. The 22-year-old doubled his advantage moments later, taking out 79 in two-darts for another 14-dart leg.

Continue reading “Brilliant Benito dispatches Wade with phenomenal finishing!”

MvG beats arch-rival Wright to reign supreme in Minehead.

MvG UK Open
van Gerwen continued his dominant start to 2015 after securing his UK Open title.

Michael van Gerwen ended his UK Open hoodoo, beating his arch-rival Peter Wright 11-5 in Sunday’s showpiece final.  Van Gerwen’s previous best run at the UK Open was a semi-final appearance last year, where he lost to Terry Jenkins, but he rectified this statistic and claimed glory with some phenomenal displays on the final day.

Continue reading “MvG beats arch-rival Wright to reign supreme in Minehead.”

6 Potential UK Open Darkhorses

One of the most anticipated tournaments on the PDC calendar, the UK Open Finals, gets underway at Minehead this Friday. I love almost every aspect of the event; the random draw, amateur players getting the chance to face the world’s best, and the intense atmosphere created across eight stages of simultaneous darting drama. Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson and defending Champion Adrian Lewis are the obvious favourites, but the unpredictability caused by the open draw often caters for surprises, with the likes of Mark Walsh, Barrie Bates and Gary Mawson all recent finalists. Which ‘outsiders’ are best placed for an excellent run in Minehead? These are my 6 dark-horses to claim the crown…

Continue reading “6 Potential UK Open Darkhorses”

Taylor Has The Power in UK Open Qualifier 6

Despite only entering 3 events, Taylor was 4th on the UK Open Order of Merit.

Phil Taylor won an all-Stoke duel against Ian White as the UK Open qualifiers culminated at Wigan yesterday. It was an extremely nerve-jangling day for some; with the final UK Open spots up for grabs, but Taylor reigned supreme and showed his class in recording his first ranking title of 2015.

Continue reading “Taylor Has The Power in UK Open Qualifier 6”

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