WATCH: Classy Clayton lands nine-darter in Minehead!

Jonny Clayton landed his first televised nine-darter as he progressed through to the UK Open quarter-finals on a dramatic double-session in Minehead, as world champion Peter Wright and his World Cup partner Gary Anderson crashed out in the last 16.

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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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Van Gerwen secures UK Open treble with victory over Beaton!

MvG Beaton
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen won his third UK Open qualifier of 2016 with an emphatic 6-2 win over 1996 world champion Steve Beaton, at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan on Sunday afternoon. Van Gerwen has now amassed a staggering £37,500 towards the UK Open Order of Merit in just 6 qualification events.

Van Gerwen eased through to the last 32 with comfortable victories over Michael Dawson and Nick Fullwell, for the loss of just four legs. ‘The Green Machine’ then breezed past Kevin Dowling 6-1 in the last 32, before edging past the impressive Lee Evans 6-4 to record yet another Pro-Tour quarter-final appearance.

For the second day in succession, Van Gerwen faced Phil Taylor and the outcome was the same, as MvG recorded an emphatic 6-2 victory over the 16-time world champion. The world number one was in rampant form, and secured a place in his fourth UK Open qualifier final of 2016 with a comprehensive 6-1 rout of Ian White.

However, it was a brilliant day’s work for the timeless Steve Beaton. The Adonis rolled back the years, to ensure that he will enter the UK Open in the third-round stage. Beaton was supremely consistent throughout the day, but he kicked off his qualification campaigns with narrow victories over the young duo of Ross Smith and Mike Zuydwijk.

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Van Gerwen defeats Price to win UK Open qualifier 5!

MvG
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen won his second UK Open qualifier of 2016 by defeating Welshman Gerwyn Price 6-2 in the final of UK Open qualifier 5, at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan. MvG averaged 109.44 in the final, whilst he produced the same average in his semi-final win over Phil Taylor.

Van Gerwen was in rampant form throughout Saturday’s session, and his £10,000 winner’s cheque confirms that he’ll finish 1st on the overall UK Open Order of Merit, with the sixth and final qualifier taking place tomorrow.

However, it was an equally fantastic day for Gerwyn Price. ‘The Iceman’ had amassed £1,500 from the opening four qualification events, but his run to the final ensures he will enter the UK Open at the third-round stage.

Van Gerwen faced a tricky L128 tie against Alan Norris to kick off Saturday’s proceedings, but MvG prevailed with an emphatic 6-2 victory. ‘The Green Machine’ then thrashed his compatriot Joey Ten Berge 6-1 to reach the last 32, where he then defeated Daryl Gurney 6-3, in a repeat of last weekend’s Dutch Darts Masters Final.

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Anderson dispatches Wade to win UK Open qualifier 4!

Anderson Wade
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

World champion Gary Anderson sealed qualification to the UK Open in Minehead next month, as he defeated eight-time major winner James Wade 6-1 to win the fourth UK Open qualifier at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan.

Anderson, who was ruled out of the opening three qualifiers a fortnight ago through illness, performed superbly throughout the day, to secure his first ranking victory since winning his second World Championship title over a month ago.

‘The Flying Scotsman’ kicked off his qualification campaign with comprehensive 6-1 victories over both Darren Webster and Mike De Decker to reach the last 32, where he subsequently overcame Andrew Gilding in a tense last-leg decider.

Anderson defeated former world champion Mark Webster 6-2 in the following round, before sealing a last-four spot courtesy of a 6-3 triumph over Simon Whitlock. Anderson defeated the ever-improving Benito van de Pas 6-4 in the semi-finals, before defeating ‘The Machine’ 6-1 in the curtain raiser.

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UK Open Order of Merit

coral UK Open

As at: February 8th 2016

Following the opening three UK Open qualifiers that took place in Wigan last weekend, here are the current UK Open Order of Merit standings. Gary Anderson is yet to register any prize money after missing out on all three qualifiers through illness, whilst a number of other established players are facing a serious fight to secure their spots in Minehead.

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Lewis beats Taylor to win UK Open Qualifier One!

Adrian Lewis
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Adrian Lewis secured victory in the first UK Open qualifier of 2016, thanks to an emphatic 6-2 victory over 16-time world champion Phil Taylor in the final. Lewis was in tremendous form throughout the day, to scoop the £10,000 winner’s cheque at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan.

Lewis kicked off his qualification campaign with emphatic 6-1 victories over Joey Palfreyman and Ted Evetts respectively, before easing into the last 16 with a whitewash victory against Mervyn King.

‘Jackpot’ edged through a deciding leg clash against World Championship quarter-finalist Alan Norris to reach the last eight, where he dismantled Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-1. Adrian then repeated the feat in the semi-finals, thrashing Peter Wright by the same scoreline to reach the final.

Taylor had dropped just seven legs throughout the entire day’s play, but he came up against an inspired Lewis, who recorded his six winning legs in 15,14, 12, 11, 13 and 14 darts respectively. This guarantees that Adrian will enter the UK Open at the third-round stage, when the tournament kicks off in March.

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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.

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