UK Open Qualifier Six: Report & Results!

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Peter Wright secured his third PDC ranking title inside ten days after defeating eight-time major winner James Wade to win the sixth and final UK Open qualifying event at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan on Sunday afternoon; a day which saw former Lakeside world champion Christian Kist hit the fifth nine-darter of the weekend.

Wright won the opening qualifier last week and concluded his campaign in similar fashion, to scoop the £10,000 winner’s cheque and ensure that he will be top seed for next month’s Coral UK Open Finals in Minehead.

Wade clinched the opening leg of the final on tops, but Wright responded by finding D10 to level. Snakebite then landed a timely maximum and converted D4 to lead, before capitalising on missed doubles from ‘The Machine’ to record his third successive leg via D3.

The eight-time major winner hit tops for the second time in the contest to stop the rot, but Wright restored his two-leg cushion after sinking D10. Wade converted a pivotal 76 kill to reduce the arrears to 4-3, but the Scot was too strong in the scoring department and won the final two legs without reply to prevail convincingly.  Continue reading

Whitlock defeats nine-dart hero Huybrechts to win UK Open Qualifier Five!

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Simon Whitlock won his fourth Pro Tour title in as many months after defeating nine-dart hero Ronny Huybrechts to win UK Open Qualifier Five at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan on Saturday afternoon.

‘The Wizard’ defeated Gary Anderson to prevail in UK Open Qualifier Two seven days ago, and the Australian ace triumphed on Saturday once again to scoop the £10,000 winner’s cheque. Huybrechts landed a majestic nine-darter en route to the final, but succumbed to Whitlock in a Pro Tour final for the second time in just seven events.

‘The Beard to be Feared’ stormed into a 2-0 lead in the final, but Huybrechts responded strongly. He crashed in his first maximum and took out 84 for a 12-dart break of throw, before levelling with a 13-darter via D12.

However, Whitlock posted a timely maximum and pinned D4 with his last dart in hand to regain the lead. The two-time world finalist then registered a stunning visit of 177 and converted a quality two-dart 84 combination for an 11-dart leg; re-establishing his two-leg cushion. Continue reading

History-making Van Gerwen hits TWO nine-darters in same game en route to winning UK Open Qualifier Four!

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Michael van Gerwen created history at Coral UK Open qualifier four on Friday afternoon; becoming only the second player in darting history to register two nine-dart finishes in the same game.

The world champion achieved the remarkable feat during his third-round win over Ryan Murray, before going on to defeat Gary Anderson in the final to clinch his first Pro Tour title of the season at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan this evening.

Van Gerwen hit his first nine-darter in the fourth leg of the contest against Murray, hitting scores of 180 and 177 before converting a 144 kill. He then repeated the feat in the eighth leg to seal a 6-2 triumph; registering visits of 177 and 180 before taking out 144 once more to record his second nine-darter within the space of four legs.

‘The Green Machine’ becomes only the second player in the history of professional darts to achieve this stunning feat, following in the footsteps of Phil Taylor. The 16-time world champion recorded two nine-dart finishes in the 2010 Premier League final, where he edged out James Wade in a titanic tussle. Continue reading

2017 Premier League Darts: Week Two Report!

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Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson secured their first wins of the season with victories over Peter Wright and Jelle Klaasen respectively, as Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld and James Wade maintained their unbeaten starts on a cracking night of action in week two at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham.

Van Gerwen registered the first win of his Premier League title defence with victory over Peter Wright. The world number one missed three darts for a whitewash, but eventually wrapped up a 7-3 triumph with an impressive 105.21 average, as Snakebite failed to replicate the form which saw him clinch two UK Open qualifiers last weekend.

Wright kicked off the contest with a maximum, but spurned four darts at double to hold and this proved pivotal. MvG opened his account via D10, before converting a clinical 86 kill for an 11-dart hold. ‘The Green Machine’ posted a 14-darter for a double-break, before following his first maximum with a stunning 170 finish for his fourth consecutive leg.

The Dutchman continued the procession with a 13-darter for his fifth straight leg, before pegging D4 to guarantee himself a point after Snakebite was unable to take out 120. Van Gerwen had the opportunity to complete a whitewash victory, but squandered three match darts as Wright gratefully completed a 64 checkout to avoid the indignity of a whitewash. Continue reading

UK Open Qualifiers 4-6: Entries Confirmed!

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The entries have been confirmed for the final three Coral UK Open qualifiers which will take place from February 10th-12th at Wigan’s Robin Park Tennis Centre. The qualification triple-header will see over 230 PDC Tour Card Holders and PDPA Associate Members competing for spots in March’s Coral UK Open TV Finals.

Friday’s fourth UK Open Qualifier will commence at 2pm to accomodate the Premier League stars travelling down from Nottingham after night two on Thursday, with the events on Saturday and Sunday beginning at 12pm.

Following the culmination of this weekend’s triple-header, the top 96 players from the UK Open Order of Merit will qualify for the Coral UK Open TV Finals from March 3rd-5th, with the rest of the field made up of 32 Riley’s amateur qualifiers.

World number three Peter Wright will hope to cement his place at the top of the Order of Merit having won two of the opening qualifiers last week. Wright accrued £21, 500 over the course of the three days, and he’s followed by Saturday’s winner Simon Whitlock, and Sunday’s runner-up Michael Smith, who missed two darts to defeat Snakebite. Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE: Gurney targeting Premier League spot in 2018!

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After enjoying the best year of his darting career in 2016, Daryl Gurney has revealed that he’s targeting a Premier League spot in 2018. In an exclusive interview with Josh’s Dartistry, ‘Super-Chin’ discussed his Premier League aspirations, a dramatic World Championship campaign and his impressive return from injury last year.

Gurney has always possessed prodigious talent, but over the last two years the Northern Irishman has begun to display his potential on a more consistent basis, which has seen him climb to a career high of 21st on the PDC Order of Merit.

Gurney’s performances during the latter stages of 2016 saw many fans calling for him to be given a wildcard for the 2017 Premier League. Although he wasn’t selected, PDC Chairman Barry Hearn insisted that Daryl was seriously considered as a potential wildcard selection, and the 30-year-old took real pride from this acknowledgement.

“The comments Barry made have given me a lot of confidence going into the start of a new year. I never expected to be considered; it was a shock to me but I take pride in even being given a mention.

“It has also given me a push to do even better this year than last and maybe get a spot for the 2018 Premier League. I insist on bettering myself each year; upping my game, putting on a great show for the fans and doing the professional job I’m there to do,” he added. Continue reading

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

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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

2017 UK Open Order of Merit Update!

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Peter Wright tops the provisional UK Open Order of Merit after winning two of the opening three qualifiers at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan last weekend. Snakebite defeated Adrian Lewis on Friday, before surviving two-missed match darts from Michael Smith to triumph in Sunday’s finale.

The Scot has accrued £21,500 in prize money over the first-triple header and is well placed to be the top seed in Minehead. The final three qualifiers take place next weekend, and a host of big names are under significant pressure to seal their spots in the tournament dubbed ‘The FA Cup of Darts’.

After the conclusion of the six qualification events, the top 96 players on the Order of Merit will qualify for the televised UK Open Finals in March. The top 32 players will enter the competition in the third-round; players ranked 33rd-64th will compete in round-two, whilst players from 65th-96th will begin their campaigns in the opening round.

Simon Whitlock sits in second position after he prevailed in the second UK Open qualifier. ‘The Wizard’ enjoyed a welcome return to form during the latter stages of 2016, and the Aussie defeated Wright en route to winning his third Pro Tour title within four months, at the Robin Park Tennis Centre on Saturday. Continue reading

UK Open Qualifier Three: Report & Results!

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Peter Wright secured his second UK Open qualifying title of the weekend after surviving two missed match darts from Michael Smith in a thrilling final at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan on Sunday afternoon.

Wright prevailed in Friday’s opening qualifier by beating Adrian Lewis in the final, and the world number three repeated the feat against Smith 48 hours later to scoop the £10,000 winner’s cheque and complete the weekend’s triple-header in style.

The opening two legs of the final went against throw, before Smith held throw on D2 after Wright spurned four darts at double for the third successive break of throw. However, the Scot responded strongly by following up a maximum with a clinical 68 checkout to draw level.

‘Bully-Boy’ regained the lead moments later however; following up a timely maximum with an accomplished 93 finish. He came agonisingly close to extending his advantage in the sixth leg, after missing the bullseye for a 170 kill, but Wright levelled up proceedings with a nerveless 71 checkout.

The high-quality standard continued, as Smith kicked off the seventh leg with back-to-back maximums to set up a nine-dart opportunity. The perfect leg wasn’t forthcoming, but the St Helen’s star dispatched a 76 checkout with consummate ease for a fine 12-dart hold. Continue reading

Whitlock defeats Anderson to win UK Open Qualifier Two!

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Simon Whitlock defeated world number two Gary Anderson to clinch the second UK Open qualifier of the season, as Michael van Gerwen suffered another shock early exit at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan on Saturday afternoon.

Whitlock claimed two Players Championship victories in the latter stages of 2016, and continued his fine Pro Tour form after capitalising on Anderson’s miserly 20% checkout success rate to prevail 6-4 in the final.

The Australian was clinical throughout the day and completed his triumph with successive victories over two Premier League stars to scoop the £10,000 winner’s cheque and confirm his spot at the UK Open Finals at Minehead next month.

Anderson overcame double-trouble to register the opening leg of the final via D2, before Whitlock levelled proceedings with a 13-darter. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ continued to struggle in the finishing department, but regained the lead after pinning D7 with his seventh dart at double. Continue reading