Defending champion van Gerwen averaged over 104 in a two nil defeat of John Part, while ‘Barney’ saw off Stuart Kellett by the same scoreline.
The World Cup team-mates will go head to head on Thursday for a place in the quarter-finals. (more…)
Wade, who has amassed seven PDC major titles to date, takes on Steve Beaton at the Citywest Hotel, as ‘The Machine’ bids to repeat the form that saw him win the unique tournament, which requires players to start and finish each leg by hitting a double, in 2007 and 2010. (more…)
The exciting event sees the return of top class darts action to Lower Hyde Holiday Park, Shanklin, which hosted the hugely successful Isle of Wight Pro Masters earlier this year. (more…)
The venue is set to hold its first ever professional darts event when Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld, James Wade and Dennis Priestley appear in ‘A Night of Champions’ on Friday 18 October.
The night sees four of the best players on the planet, all of which are major title winners, go head to head, with 16-times World Champion Taylor topping the bill.
Taylor or ‘The Power’ is one of the most successful men in any sport and is undisputedly the best darts player ever to pick up an arrow, having dominated the sport for the best two decades.
The world number one is joined by perhaps his three biggest challengers historically.
Wade has amassed seven major titles, making him the second most successful player in the PDC, while van Barneveld has won the World Championship five times and Priestley twice.
And world number four Wade is delighted to be heading to Guildford.
He said: “I’m really excited about this event. It is area that hasn’t really been visited by top professional darts player so hopefully we will be well received.
“The line-up is fantastic and I’m looking forward to competing on what should be a fantastic night of top quality darts.
“We are all very competitive and will all be doing our very best to take the title of ‘Champion of Champions’.”
Tickets for the inaugural ‘A Night of Champions’ at the Guildford Spectrum are available now from the Spectrum reception (01483 443333), www.dartshop.tv (08450 180 180) or from www.ticketmasters.co.uk (0844 844 0444).
Former World Matchplay champion James Wade will begin his quest for further glory at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens with a first round clash against John Part, twice a runner-up in the prestigious tournament.
Wade, winner of seven major titles, has reached the final five times in his seven visits to the seaside town, including a narrow defeat at the hands of Phil Taylor in last year’s final.
Michael van Gerwen, who hit a nine-darter at the summer event last year, was drawn against 2005 winner Colin Lloyd.
Former European Champion Simon Whitlock, who was also a finalist in Germany last weekend, will resume his pursuit of a second major title when he takes on Jelle Klaasen in round one.
Robert Thornton will meet Ian White in Blackpool, while Paul Nicholson takes on Dave Chisnall and Mark Webster faces Justin Pipe.
2010 runner-up Raymond van Barneveld meets Mensur Suljovic in round one.
The tournament, which celebrates its 20th anniversary, takes place between July 20-28.
The schedule of play will be announced in due course.
BetVictor World Matchplay Draw Bracket
Phil Taylor (1) v Stuart Kellett
Terry Jenkins (16) v Andy Smith
Raymond van Barneveld (8) v Mensur Suljovic
Justin Pipe (9) v Mark Webster
Simon Whitlock (5) v Jelle Klaasen
Kevin Painter (12) v Jamie Lewis
James Wade (4) v John Part
Mervyn King (13) v Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen (2) v Colin Lloyd
Kim Huybrechts (15) v Peter Wright
Wes Newton (7) v Jamie Caven
Dave Chisnall (10) v Paul Nicholson
Andy Hamilton (6) v Ronnie Baxter
Robert Thornton (11) v Ian White
Adrian Lewis (3) v Ronny Huybrechts
Brendan Dolan (14) v Steve Beaton
Bronze tickets are still available to see van Gerwen, Whitlock, Wade, van Barneveld, Priestley, Huybrechts and Winstanley at OVER THE TOP in Barnsley on September 27 – GET YOURS HERE
Whitlock won the £200,000 tournament last year, defeating Wez Newton in the final to clinch his maiden major title in the PDC.
The Australian ace faces Belgian star Kim Huybrechts on the opening night of the four-day event in Mulheim, Germany.
‘The Wizard’, who defeated Huybrechts in the semi-finals on his way to glory last year, has set his sites on repeating the feat but knows that he has a tough task on his hands.
“It’s a good feeling to be going back to a major tournament as the defending champion and hopefully it can inspire me to another great tournament,” said Whitlock, the world number five.
“Winning the European Championships last year was a very special and proud moment for me.
“Kim is a really dangerous player and I know I will have to be at my absolute best to get the right result. If I can come through with a victory against Kim, it’s the type of game which will set me up nicely for the rest of the tournament.
“The talent in darts at the moment is unbelievable but I will be doing everything I can to hold on to my title.”
World number four Wade will now face Webster after his a original opponent Gary Anderson had to withdraw through illness.
Welsh left-hander Webster is the automatic replacement as the highest ranked player who had not already qualified.
“Obviously I would like to have been there in normal circumstances,” admitted Webster.
“But this is a bonus for me and I will go to Germany with absolutely nothing to lose. I know the enormity of the task when I face one of the best players in the world on Thursday but I’m not putting any pressure on myself so we’ll see how it goes.”
2012 UK Open champion Thornton continues his hunt for a second PDC major title when he takes on Brendan Dolan, while van der Voort faces four time champion Phil Taylor.
Raymond van Barneveld is also in action on the opening night. The Dutch legend takes on Tomas Seyler.
The second round will be played across two sessions on Saturday, with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final taking place on Sunday.
By Chris Murphy
Raymond van Barneveld was denied a place in the UK Open final after losing a dramatic last-leg decider against Andy Hamilton, who was defeated in the final as Phil Taylor won the Bolton tournament for the fifth time.
James Wade and Michael van Gerwen had their title hopes ended in the quarter-finals on Sunday afternoon, losing out to Taylor and Hamilton respectively.
In-form Michael van Gerwen and two-time UK Open champion James Wade stormed into the last 16 with comfortable wins on Saturday afternoon, while Scottish pair Robert Thornton and John Henderson also reached the fifth round in Bolton.
Wade swept past Dave Chisnall, winning 9-2 to keep alive his hopes of winning a third UK Open title.
But the 2008 and 2011 winner, who has won five games to reach the last 16, insisted he is not thinking that far ahead.
He said: “I’m looking forward to my next game, whoever it is against, and that is all I’m going to concentrate on at the moment.
“It’s not about this tournament or any individual tournament for me. It is all about getting things right for a good future in the modern era of darts.
“I’m happy with my results so far and if I step my performance levels up a little bit I can beat anyone.”
Wade will take on Henderson in the evening session for a place in Sunday’s quarter-finals after the Scotsman fought back from 8-6 down to defeat Kevin McDine in a deciding leg.
“It’s a massive win for me,” said Henderson.
“It was very tense at the end and we both missed darts for the match but I was over moon when the last one went in.
“I’m really enjoying this tournament and it is onwards an upwards for me now.”
van Gerwen will face Terry Jenkins in round five after the Dutchman saw off Northern Ireland’s Michael Mansell 9-3.
And the world number two is targeting an improved performance.
“I’m not too happy with how I played in the first two games,” said van Gerwen, who had beaten Mervyn King on Friday.
“I have to concentrate better tonight. Terry is a great player and hopefully that will bring out the best in me.”
Defending champion Robert Thornton won the last four legs to claim a 9-5 win over Kirk Shepherd.
The Premier League star, who will face Raymond van Barneveld on Saturday night admitted he had to work hard for the win.
Thornton said: “Kirk is one of those players who will throw a brilliant leg and then a bad leg so when he puts a run together you can be in trouble.
“I dug in and got the job done though. I played fairly well and I’m happy to be through.
“My game is there and so is my confidence and I’m actually playing better than I did when I won it last year.”
van Barneveld won his fourth round match comfortably, defeating Joey Palfreyman 9-3.
By Chris Murphy
Former champions James Wade and Robert Thornton progressed to round four of the UK Open on Friday evening in Bolton, with Dutch duo Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld joining them in the last 32.
Wade survived a late fight-back from Jamie Caven to eventually win 9-7 after he had led 8-4.
The two-time champion averaged over 100 in what was already his fourth win of the tournament so far, taking out a 141 finish and 85 to seal the victory.
“I played okay,” said Wade, who won the title in 2008 and 2011.
“Jamie’s form has picked up recently and there had been a few people tipping him to do well but I felt confident that I would win.
“I’m still going and it doesn’t matter at all to me who I play in the next round. I’ll take each game as it comes.”
Defending champion Thornton also averaged over 100 in his 9-7 success over Matthew Edgar despite trailing 6-4 at one stage.
“I knew Matt was a good player,” said Thornton, the world number eleven.
“I didn’t find out I was playing him until this morning because I was asleep and I’ll be doing the same while the draw is on tonight.
“I can’t get a run as hard as last year and I won it then so I’m not bothered about who I get. This tournament is there for anybody to win and if it is me holding the trophy again on Sunday, I’ll be a very happy man.”
Bookies favourite van Gerwen hit six 180s in an impressive 9-5 victory against Mervyn King and immediately set his sights on the £40,000 first prize.
“I really want to win this,” said the Premier League Champion, who has already won ten PDC titles in 2013.
“I didn’t play my best but I won and that is they way it has been going for me recently. In a way it gives me even more confidence.
“I’m on a great run and I want to keep that up for as long as I can. It was tough to take on Mervyn first but that is the way this tournament is and I am happy to play whoever I come up against because you have to beat good players to win things.”
van Barneveld missed double twelve for a nine-dart finish in his thrilling match against Michael Smith, which the Dutchman edged 9-8.
Scotsman John Henderson reached the fourth round for the first time in his career with a 9-7 victory against Scott Rand.
Henderson, who had never previously defeated Rand, had trailed 4-1 and didn’t take the lead until leg 15 but went on to secure an impressive win.
“I’m over the moon with that,” admitted the 40-year-old. “It is a personal achievement for me and emotion took over when the winning double went in.
“I’m not one to celebrate but I couldn’t stop myself then. Scott is a great player and it was a fantastic win for me.
“I take a lot of inspiration from what Robert Thornton did hear last year. I’m not saying that I’m going to do that but I’m delighted tonight and it is a huge confidence boost.”
There was disappointment for Australian pair Simon Whitlock and Paul Nicholson, however. ‘The Wizard’ lost out to Wes Newton while ‘The Asset’ suffered defeat at the hands of John Bowles.
Andy Jenkins was beaten by Stephen Bunting, while Mark Webster was knocked out by Welsh World Cup team-mate Richie Burnett.
The draw for the fourth round will take place on the completion of Friday’s play.
By Chris Murphy
Robert Thornton is preparing to defend the title that reignited his career twelve months ago, while 2008 and 2011 champion James Wade is chasing a trio of UK Open triumphs when the tournament dubbed ‘the FA Cup of darts’ gets underway on Thursday evening in Bolton.
Thornton provided the magic in 2012 as he ended 18 months of turmoil by clinching his first PDC major, despite entering the tournament as a 250-1 outsider.
The Scotsman had been recovering from a broken hand and a devastating bout of pneumonia before producing a string of fantastic performances to knock out a whole host of tournament favourites, culminating in a sensational final victory over Phil Taylor.
And Thornton, who has been in fantastic form ever since, admitted it was a special weekend for him.
“It is a time I will never forget,” said Thornton, who is now eleventh in the PDC Order of Merit and was selected for the 2013 Premier League.
“To have even been in that tournament after the previous 18 months was an achievement but to go and win it was a dream come true.
“It started up my career again and I’m looking forward to going back. I’ve got fabulous memories but more importantly, a title to defend.”
Thornton will begin his defence of the £40,000 first prize in Friday’s third round, having being amongst the top 32 qualifiers alongside Simon Whitlock, Michael van Gerwen, Paul Nicholson, Mark Webster and Raymond van Barneveld.
Wade is in action on Thursday after being drawn in a preliminary round clash against Robbie Green in the tournament’s curtain raiser.
Major titles have been elusive for the 30-year-old since his Bolton success in 2011 but ‘The Machine’ believes that the wait could be over.
He said: Winning it a couple of years ago is a great memory for me. I’ve been getting closer to my best over the last few months. I’m in a good place and I feel like it is a matter of when I start winning tournaments again, not if.