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Michael van Gerwen, James Wade and Robert Thornton stormed into the last 32 of the UK Open in Minehead on Thursday evening, while Paul Nicholson, Mark Webster and Vincent van der Voort joined them in round four.

World number one van Gerwen earned a resounding third round triumph, defeating James Hubbard 9-1 before being drawn against last year’s runner-up Andy Hamilton.

Two-time UK Open winner Wade fired in a 101 average in a commanding 9-1 success against Michael Mansell, while Thornton swept past fellow Scotsman Jason Hogg 9-3.

Wade will face Kim Huybrechts in the last 32 on Saturday, when ‘The Thorn’ takes on Mensur Suljovic.

2011 semi-finalist Webster moved into the fourth round with a 9-5 win against Mark Walsh, while Paul Nicholson saw off Adam Hunt by the same score.

Webster was drawn against Paul Hogan in the fourth round with Nicholson pitted against Terry Jenkins.

Former runner-up van der Voort defeated Darren Webster 9-6 to book his place in the last 32, setting up an all-Dutch affair against Christian Kist on Saturday.

Simon Whitlock will not be in action though after he made an early exit. The world number three was knocked out by Ronny Huybrechts in the third round.

Antonio Alcinas’ run to round three came to an end with a loss against Kist.

The big story at Butlins, however, was the shock departure of defending champion Phil Taylor, who suffered defeat at the hands of youngster Aden Kirk on the opening night.

By Chris Murphy


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