RACE TO CARDIFF: Who will join Phil Taylor in the second staging of the Champions League of Darts?

One of the interesting sub-plots to follow during the BetVictor World Matchplay will be the race to qualify for the Champions League of Darts in September.

The tournament was launched last year and saw the PDC makes its televised debut on the BBC, with Phil Taylor defeating Michael van Gerwen 11-5 in the final to win the inaugural event.

The criteria for last year was set as the top eight players on the PDC Order of Merit, but this year the defending champion Taylor is guaranteed a spot even if he falls out of the top eight come the cut-off, which will be straight after the World Matchplay.

It means only the top seven on the PDC Order of Merit following the World Matchplay are certain to be in the tournament, and as it stands three players from last year’s line-up are set to miss out.

Below is the provisional PDC Order of Merit, with prize money won from the 2015 World Matchplay removed and first round prize money from this year’s World Matchplay added.

James Wade, a runner-up in Blackpool two years ago, Michael Smith and Robert Thornton are all currently set to miss out, while Dave Chisnall, Mensur Suljovic and Raymond van Barneveld are currently in line for their debuts in the non-ranking event.

Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Peter Wright and Adrian Lewis are mathematically secure of their places, which leaves just three spots left to be decided in Blackpool.

Provisional PDC Order of Merit (Phil Taylor + the next top seven qualify) (2015 World Matchplay prize money removed and first round prize money from this year’s World Matchplay added)

Pos  Player Prize Money
1 Michael van Gerwen (Q) £1,650,250
2 Gary Anderson (Q) £756,000
3 Peter Wright (Q) £667,250
4 Adrian Lewis (Q) £385,000
5 Dave Chisnall £352,500
6 Mensur Suljovic £335,500
7 Raymond van Barneveld £320,500
8 Michael Smith £312,750
9 James Wade £312,500
10 Jelle Klaasen £312,250
11 Phil Taylor (Q) £301,250
12 Kim Huybrechts £279,250
13 Ian White £272,000
14 Benito van de Pas £265,750
15 Daryl Gurney £256,500
16 Robert Thornton £255,750
17 Simon Whitlock £246,000
18 Alan Norris £240,750
19 Gerwyn Price £226,500

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