The unexpected departures of Peter Wright and Dave Chisnall in the second round yesterday may have left some thinking that this HappyBet German Darts Grand Prix title will find its way into the hands of Michael van Gerwen tonight.
The world number one returned to action after a month’s break last week and stormed to the Dutch Darts Masters crown in Maastricht – his fourh European Tour victory of the season.
Van Gerwen will be the obvious favourite to improve that number to five in Mannheim this evening, but there will be plenty of players standing in his way across the two sessions today aiming to dethrone the top seed.
With world numbers three and six out of the field going into the final day, there are now six players left inside the top 16 who have made it through to the third round.
Third seed Mensur Suljovic (7), fifth seed Michael Smith (9), Jelle Klaasen (11), Daryl Gurney (12), Ian White (14) and Benito van de Pas (15) are all still in the running.
Although you could argue it is the players further down the Order of Merit who could pose the biggest threat to van Gerwen today.
Kyle Anderson, the recent Auckland Darts Masters winner, is in line to face the Dutchman in the quarter-finals and has posted a 100+ average in his last five games on the European Tour.
A possible semi-final opponent for van Gerwen could be Joe Cullen, who put in an outstanding performance yesterday with a 108 average helping him beat debutant Tony Martinez in his first outing of the weekend.
Ronny Huybrechts and Vincent van der Voort lock horns in the third round this afternoon in a match which has more permutations in regards to the Unibet World Grand Prix next month.
Huybrechts, who knocked out second seed Peter Wright last night with some impressive double hitting, is currently in the last spot available on the Pro Tour Order of Merit.
A run to the final for van der Voort, who averaged 101 in his dramatic 6-5 win over Mervyn King yesterday, would bump Huybrechts out of the field for Dublin, with the cut-off falling tomorrow.
We cannot forget the rising star that is Rob Cross, who has raised so many eyebrows so far in his debut year on the Pro Tour in 2017.
Last year’s Challenge Tour Order of Merit winner has a win over van Gerwen on the European Tour recently and is afraid of no one.
He got his latest campaign for a first European Tour title underway yesterday with a 6-3 win over Jan Dekker, which saw him average 103 and hit several big finishes.
Wright and Chisnall may be out of the running now in Mannheim, but that does not mean the destiny of the German Darts Grand Prix has been decided just yet.