RACE TO CARDIFF: Mensur Suljovic seals Champions League debut + one spot left to be decided

Mensur Suljovic will make his debut in the Champions League of Darts in September after securing the penultimate spot in the invitational event this week.

The world number seven takes on Daryl Gurney in the quarter-finals of the World Matchplay tonight, with his place in the BBC-televised Champions League having now been secured.

Suljovic joins defending champion Phil Taylor, who qualified automatically, and Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Peter Wright, Adrian Lewis and Dave Chisnall in the second staging of the Champions League, which will take place in September.

Raymond van Barneveld, who currently occupies the final qualifying spot, exited the World Matchplay after losing 11-3 to Taylor last night.

But the Dutchman is hopeful of clinging on to the final place, with only Daryl Gurney or Alan Norris able to overtake him by winning the World Matchplay on Sunday night.

Provisional PDC Order of Merit (Phil Taylor + the next top seven qualify) Players in green are still in the World Matchplay (as of 26/07/2017)

Pos  Player Prize Money
1 Michael van Gerwen (Q) £1,660,750
2 Gary Anderson (Q) £760,000
3 Peter Wright (Q) £677,750
4 Adrian Lewis (Q) £395,500
5 Dave Chisnall (Q) £356,500
6 Mensur Suljovic (Q) £346,000
7 Raymond van Barneveld £324,500
8 Michael Smith £312,750
9 James Wade £312,500
10 Jelle Klaasen £312,250
11 Phil Taylor (Q) £311,750
12 Kim Huybrechts £279,250
13 Ian White £272,000
14 Daryl Gurney £267,000
15 Benito van de Pas £265,750
16 Robert Thornton £255,750
17 Alan Norris £251,250
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PDC ORDER OF MERIT: Rob Cross cracks the top 40 after World Matchplay debut win + Simon Whitlock closes back in on top 16

Rob Cross has provisionally moved into the top 40 on the PDC Order of Merit after winning on his World Matchplay debut last night.

Last year’s Challenge Tour Order of Merit winner has enjoyed a remarkable rise through the ranks after joining the main tour this year, winning two Players Championship events and qualifying for Blackpool in his first season.

In the final game of this year’s first round of the World Matchplay, Cross saw off 13th seed Ian White 10-7, to set up a clash with two-time world champion Adrian Lewis in the second round tomorrow night.

Yesterday’s win has moved Cross up to 40th in the provisional Order of Merit on £80,750, and it would take a run to the final this week to push him into the top 32.

Elsewhere, Simon Whitlock moved to within one more win in Blackpool this week of getting back into the top 16.

Whitlock, the 16th seed in this year’s World Matchplay but 17th on the current Order of Merit, knocked out fellow Australian Kyle Anderson 10-5 in the first round last night.

With Robert Thornton, provisionally in 16th, losing out to Cristo Reyes in his first game on Sunday, it means that Whitlock will provisionally move back into the top 16 if he beats world number one Michael van Gerwen when the two meet in the second round tomorrow night.

Provisional PDC Order of Merit (Players in green are still in the World Matchplay) (as of 24/07/2017)

Pos  Player Prize Money
1 Michael van Gerwen  £1,654,250
2 Gary Anderson  £760,000
3 Peter Wright  £671,250
4 Adrian Lewis  £389,000
5 Dave Chisnall  £356,500
6 Mensur Suljovic £339,500
7 Raymond van Barneveld £324,500
8 Michael Smith £312,750
9 James Wade £312,500
10 Jelle Klaasen £312,250
11 Phil Taylor £305,250
12 Kim Huybrechts £279,250
13 Ian White £272,000
14 Benito van de Pas £265,750
15 Daryl Gurney £260,500
16 Robert Thornton £255,750
17 Simon Whitlock £250,000
18 Alan Norris £244,750
19 Gerwyn Price £226,500
20 Mervyn King £189,000
21 Joe Cullen £187,750
22 Stephen Bunting £175,250
23 Mark Webster £164,000
24 Steve Beaton £157,250
25 Terry Jenkins £156,250
26 Cristo Reyes £144,500
27 Darren Webster £143,500
28 Vincent van der Voort £135,500
29 Justin Pipe £134,500
30 Kyle Anderson £130,250
31 Brendan Dolan £125,500
32 John Henderson £108,750
33 James Wilson £106,250
34 Jamie Caven £100,750
35 Steve West £99,750
36 Christian Kist £99,250
37 Jamie Lewis £93,000
38 Chris Dobey £92,750
= Robbie Green £92,750
40 Rob Cross £80,750

RACE TO CARDIFF: Dave Chisnall secures Champions League of Darts debut as just two spots are left to be decided

Dave Chisnall has become the sixth player to qualify for the Champions League of Darts, following the completion of the first round of the World Matchplay.

The world number five defeated Mervyn King 10-7 in his first round game in Blackpool on Sunday night, and he joins reigning champion Phil Taylor, Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Peter Wright and Adrian Lewis in qualifying for the BBC-televised event.

Mensur Suljovic and Raymond van Barneveld still occupy the last two qualifying places, and after the early departures of the likes of Michael Smith, James Wade and Jelle Klaasen in Blackpool at the weekend, they are close to securing their Champions League debuts along with Chisnall.

For one of Suljovic or van Barneveld to now miss out, one of Daryl Gurney, Simon Whitlock and Alan Norris will have to go and win the World Matchplay this week to have a chance of moving into the top seven.

Provisional PDC Order of Merit (Phil Taylor + the next top seven qualify) Players in green are still in the World Matchplay (as of 24/07/2017)

Pos  Player Prize Money
1 Michael van Gerwen (Q) £1,654,250
2 Gary Anderson (Q) £760,000
3 Peter Wright (Q) £671,250
4 Adrian Lewis (Q) £389,000
5 Dave Chisnall (Q) £356,500
6 Mensur Suljovic £339,500
7 Raymond van Barneveld £324,500
8 Michael Smith £312,750
9 James Wade £312,500
10 Jelle Klaasen £312,250
11 Phil Taylor (Q) £305,250
12 Kim Huybrechts £279,250
13 Ian White £272,000
14 Benito van de Pas £265,750
15 Daryl Gurney £260,500
16 Robert Thornton £255,750
17 Simon Whitlock £250,000
18 Alan Norris £244,750

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

World Series of Darts Order of Merit: Michael van Gerwen stretches lead at the top after US Darts Masters triumph

Michael van Gerwen stretched his lead at the top of the World Series of Darts to 12 points following his victory in the US Darts Masters yesterday.

The world number one won the inaugural staging of the event in Las Vegas after beating Daryl Gurney 8-6 in a closely-fought final, making it back-to-back victories on the World Series circuit after he also retained the Shanghai Darts Masters title last week.

World Series debutant Gurney heads into eighth spot after reaching the final, while Las Vegas semi-finalists Gary Anderson and Gerwyn Price are second and third respectively.

World Series of Darts Order of Merit (as of July 16, 2017)

Pos  Player Points
1 Michael van Gerwen 32
2 Gary Anderson 20
3 Gerwyn Price 13
4 Peter Wright 11
= Dave Chisnall 11
6 Raymond van Barneveld 9
= James Wade 9
8 Daryl Gurney 8
9 Phil Taylor 6
10 Dawson Murschell 3
= Dave Richardson 3
12 Max Hopp 1
= Chris White 1
= Willard Bruguier 1
= Jayson Barlow 1
= David Cameron 1
= Shawn Brenneman 1
= Dennis Sayre 1
= Paul Lim 1
= Royden Lam 1
= Haruki Muramatsu 1
= Hyun Chul Park 1
= Cheng An Liu 1
= Xiao Chen Zong 1
= Wei Hong Li 1
= Hai Long Chen 1

 

PDC Order of Merit: Daryl Gurney moves into the top 16 for the first time

Daryl Gurney has become the newest member of the top 16 in the PDC this week.

The Northern Irish number one has moved into the top 16 on the PDC Order of Merit for the first time in his career, overtaking Australia’s Simon Whitlock into 16th spot.

Gurney was just won win away from climbing into the top 16 on Sunday, losing 6-2 to Joe Cullen in the semi-finals of Players Championship 16, but has now pushed himself above Whitlock after the prize money from the 2015 European Darts Open fell off the two-year ranking list yesterday.

Elsewhere, Michael Smith has moved back into the top 10, at the expense of Jelle Klaasen, Ian White has leapfrogged Kim Huybrechts into 12th, and Benito van de Pas has climbed above 2015 European Darts Open champion Robert Thornton and up into 14th.

PDC Order of Merit (as of July 14, 2017)

Pos Name Prize Money
1 Michael van Gerwen £1,743,250
2 Gary Anderson £759,000
3 Peter Wright £687,250
4 Adrian Lewis £388,000
5 Dave Chisnall £363,000
6 James Wade £355,500
7 Mensur Suljovic £346,000
8 Phil Taylor £321,250
9 Raymond van Barneveld £319,500
10 Michael Smith £311,750
11 Jelle Klaasen £311,250
12 Ian White £282,500
13 Kim Huybrechts £278,250
14 Benito van de Pas £264,750
15 Robert Thornton £254,750
16 Daryl Gurney £249,500
17 Simon Whitlock £249,000
18 Gerwyn Price £237,000
19 Alan Norris £233,750
20 Mervyn King £188,000
21 Joe Cullen £180,750
22 Stephen Bunting £174,250
23 Mark Webster £164,000
24 Terry Jenkins £162,250
25 Steve Beaton £156,250
26 Vincent van der Voort £141,500
27 Brendan Dolan £135,500
28 Cristo Reyes £133,500
29 Darren Webster £132,500
30 Justin Pipe £129,500
31 Kyle Anderson £129,250
32 John Henderson £107,750

RACE TO THE MATCHPLAY: Semi-final run puts Justin Pipe in pole position heading into final event before cut-off

Justin Pipe hauled himself into the final qualifying spot for the BetVictor World Matchplay with one event left to go before the cut-off after reaching the semi-finals of Players Championship 15 today.

The world number 28, who reached back-to-back quarter-finals in Blackpool in 2012 and 2013, produced his best performance of the season so far to get to the semi-finals in Barnsley on Saturday.

The £3,000 accrued was enough to see him climb into the last provisional qualifying spot for this year’s World Matchplay, knocking out Chris Dobey in the process, and he holds a £750 lead over both Dobey and Jonny Clayton heading into Players Championship 16 tomorrow.

The final three places in the 32-player field will be determined tomorrow, after Players Championship 15 winner Darren Webster, Steve West, Steve Beaton and Kyle Anderson all mathematically secured their spots today.

John Henderson, Christian Kist and Pipe currently occupy the final three places with one event to go before the cut-off, but Dobey and Clayton will be bidding to snatch their ranking with a good run tomorrow.

Provisional PDC Order of Merit (Only top 16 qualify) 

Pos  Player Prize Money
1 Michael van Gerwen £1,748,250
2 Gary Anderson £759,000
3 Peter Wright £688,750
4 Adrian Lewis £388,000
5 Dave Chisnall £364,500
6 James Wade £360,500
7 Mensur Suljovic £347,500
8 Phil Taylor £321,250
9 Raymond van Barneveld £319,500
10 Jelle Klaasen £314,750
11 Michael Smith £313,750
12 Kim Huybrechts £287,750
13 Ian White £281,750
14 Robert Thornton £278,250
15 Benito van de Pas £264,750
16 Simon Whitlock £251,000
17 Daryl Gurney £247,500

Provisional PDC Pro Tour Order of Merit (Excluding players already in the top 16 of the PDC Order of Merit) (Only top 16 qualify) 

Pos  Player Prize Money
1 Daryl Gurney £84,250
2 Alan Norris £78,750
3 Rob Cross £61,750
4 Joe Cullen £61,250
5 Mervyn King £61,000
6 Gerwyn Price £60,750
7 Cristo Reyes £57,500
8 Stephen Bunting £51,000
9 Darren Webster £43,250
10 James Wilson £41,750
= Steve West £41,750
12 Steve Beaton £40,500
13 Kyle Anderson £39,000
14 John Henderson £38,000
15 Christian Kist £35,500
16 Justin Pipe £34,500
17 Jonny Clayton £33,750
= Chris Dobey £33,750
19 Ronny Huybrechts £31,750
20 Dimitri van den Bergh £30,250
= Vincent van der Voort £30,250