Chris Dobey moved closer to securing his first appearance in the BetVictor World Matchplay with his run to the third round in Vienna last weekend.
The world number 39 made his debut in several major events last year, including the World Championship, Grand Slam of Darts and European Championship.
The top 16 on the PDC Order of Merit on July 10, following Players Championship 16, will automatically qualify for the World Matchplay, while the next top 16 players on the Pro Tour Order of Merit will complete the 32-player line-up.
With three events to go before the cut off, of the chasing pack it was Dobey who made the biggest strides based on his performances at the Austrian Darts Open at the weekend.
Comfortable victories over David Pallett and Stephen Bunting saw Dobey progress to the last 16 of a PDC ranking event for the first time since February, before he was beaten by Finland’s Kim Viljanen 6-2 in the third round.
The £3,000 for getting to the last 16 has moved Dobey level with Scotland’s John Henderson in the 16th and final qualifying spot from the Pro Tour Order of Merit, but, perhaps crucially, Dobey has not qualified for this weekend’s European Tour event in Leverkusen, while Henderson has.
Henderson is guaranteed a minimum £1,000 this weekend, which will see him open up a gap on Dobey again, while Justin Pipe, currently down in 19th, has also qualified and can put himself into contention for Blackpool with a good run.
Looking at the PDC Order of Merit, Daryl Gurney continues to get closer to a spot in the top 16, besting Simon Whitlock’s run in Vienna by one round at the weekend, cutting the gap between the two now to £11,750.
PDC Order of Merit (Only top 16 qualify) (as of June 26, 2017)
|1||Michael van Gerwen||£1,745,250|
|10||Raymond van Barneveld||£319,500|
|15||Benito van de Pas||£267,000|
PDC Pro Tour Order of Merit (Excluding players already in the top 16 of the PDC Order of Merit) (Only top 16 qualify) (as of June 26, 2017)
|20||Vincent van der Voort||£30,250|