News

RACE TO THE MASTERS: First round win at Ally Pally helps Whitlock take a big step towards Masters return

By Alex Moss
21 DECEMBER 2016 • 10:50AM

Simon Whitlock took a big step towards securing his return to the Unibet Masters last night.

The Wizard missed the 2016 Masters after dropping out of the top 16 on the PDC Order of Merit, but went into the William Hill World Darts Championship provisionally in 16th spot.

A 3-0 win against Dragutin Horvat in his first round game at Alexandra Palace last night saw the Australian open up an £11,250 gap over 17th place.

The top 16 on the PDC Order of Merit following the conclusion of the World Championship, on January 2, will contest the Unibet Masters on January 27-29, 2017.

Looking at the provisional PDC Order of Merit, following day six of the World Championship, there is set to be three changes from last year’s line-up.

Vincent van der Voort and Terry Jenkins have both dropped out of the top 16 this year, while Stephen Bunting, who was defending prize money from a run to the quarter-finals of the 2015 World Championship, slumped to a first round exit on Saturday night and can no longer qualify.

Jenkins came through his first round match at the weekend, but after Whitlock’s win last night will need to reach at least the quarter-finals to stand a chance of climbing back into the top 16.

While van der Voort, who begins his World Championship campaign tomorrow night, must reach at least the semi-finals to qualify for the Masters again.

Benito van de Pas (14th) and Mensur Suljovic (eighth) are both in line to make their debuts in the invitational tournament next month.

Provisional PDC Order of Merit (as of 21 December, 2016)

1st – Michael van Gerwen – £1,499,000*
2nd – Gary Anderson – £597,500*
3rd – Peter Wright – £449,250*
4th – Adrian Lewis – £418,500*
5th – James Wade – £364,750*
6th – Phil Taylor – £339,750*
7th – Dave Chisnall – £326,500*
8th – Mensur Suljovic – £317,250*
9th – Jelle Klaasen – £294,500*
10th – Michael Smith – £282,250*
11th – Robert Thornton – £276,750*
12th – Kim Huybrechts – £256,000*
13th – Ian White – £255,000*
14th – Benito van de Pas – £243,500*
15th – Raymond van Barneveld – £236,500*
16th – Simon Whitlock – £208,750*
———————————————
17th – Terry Jenkins – £197,500*
18th – Alan Norris – £190,750*
19th – Stephen Bunting – £185,250
20th – Gerwyn Price – £182,000
21st – Mervyn King – £171,750*
22nd – Daryl Gurney – £158,750*
23rd – Brendan Dolan – £156,750*
24th – Mark Webster – £154,500*
25th – Vincent van der Voort – £153,750*
26th – Justin Pipe – £143,000
27th – Steve Beaton – £141,250*
28th – Joe Cullen – £132,000*
29th – Jamie Caven – £120,000
30th – Kyle Anderson – £118,750
31st – Jamie Lewis – £113,250*
32nd – Andrew Gilding – £107,250*
*player is still in the World Championship

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