Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld will renew their classic rivalry in round-four of the 2016 UK Open on Saturday afternoon, whilst Michael van Gerwen made an imperious start to the defence of his UK Open crown with a comprehensive 9-2 victory over Ryan Harrington at Butlins, Minehead.
Taylor survived a mini-scare as he defeated former World-Youth champion Arron Monk, who had earlier beaten Robert Thornton in round-two. Taylor led 5-2, before Monk reeled off three straight legs to level up proceedings at 5-5. He did so in terrific style, producing an exhibition 134 finish (T18, D20, D20).
However, the break appeared to quash Monk’s momentum and after spurning opportunities to break Taylor in both the eleventh and thirteenth legs, Taylor prevailed courtesy of a 9-5 scoreline, to keep his hopes of securing a sixth UK Open crown alive.
Two-time UK Open champion Raymond van Barneveld came through a nerve-jangling last-leg decider against the immensely talented David Pallett to reach round four. Pallett led 8-7, but van Barneveld forced a decider, in which he produced an inspired 11-darter against the throw to set up a meeting against his old adversary Taylor.