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The UK Open is a Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) major darts tournament held annually in Minehead, England at the Butlins Minehead Resort.[1] Today’s edition of the tournament consists of a record one-hundred and sixty players, all competing for the victors prize of £100,000, 22.2% of the £450,000 tournament prize fund.[2] The UK Open is a ranking tournament, meaning all money won by any player is added in addition to their individual PDC Order of Merit ranking points. This in turn effects each players overall PDC ranking.

UK Open
Tournament information
VenueButlin's Minehead
LocationMinehead
CountryEngland
Established2003
Organisation(s)PDC
FormatLegs
Prize fund£450,000 (2019)
Month(s) PlayedJune (2003–2013)
March (2014–)
Current champion(s)
England Nathan Aspinall

Contrasting other darts tournaments, seedings have been abolished; top darts players, usually seeded, can be drawn against one another. This draw is randomly taken from a ballot containing all other competitors immediately concluding the full completion of each round of play.[3] For this reason the tournament is commonly referred to as the FA Cup of Darts, in reference to the English-football tournament: The FA (Football Association) Cup, which also uses the same system as the UK Open in terms of elimination, seedings, and fixtures determined via open draw.[4] This system is hailed for the diverse range of runners-up produced over the tournament's seventeen year history: in total, fifteen new runners-up.

Contents

HistoryEdit

From 2003 to 2013, the UK Open took place in June each year at the Reebok Stadium, in Bolton. In 2014, it moved to Butlin's Minehead taking place in early March. Phil Taylor beat Shayne Burgess in the inaugural final. Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld won the tournament in 2006, the first ever ranking tournament with the PDC in which he has played. He knocked out 13-times World Champion Phil Taylor 11–10 en route to the final where he beat Barrie Bates 13–7. He also successfully defended the title in 2007, again beating Taylor en route.

Taylor has achieved the perfect nine-dart finish four times (2004, 2005, 2007 & 2008). Mervyn King (2010) and Gary Anderson (2012), Wes Newton (2013) and Michael van Gerwen (2016) have also achieved a nine-dart leg (although Newton's was the only one of the eight to not be televised). The tournament had a different runner-up for the first 13 years.

Because of extreme weather conditions and fears for the safety of visiting fans the unprecedented decision was taken by the host venue Butlins to play the entire 2018 UK Open behind closed doors leaving the public only being able to watch the event though ITV4’s live coverage and the PDC live web feed.[5]

FormatEdit

As of 2019 qualifying events for amateur players are organised by Rileys and held in various locations across the UK. 16 players qualify through these events.

The format is as follows (as of 2019):

  • First round: The 16 Rileys qualifiers and 16 Challenge Tour qualifiers and players ranked 97-128 in the PDC Order of Merit.
  • Second round: Players ranked 65-96 in the PDC Order of Merit join the 32 winners of the first round.
  • Third round: Players ranked 33-64 join the 32 winners of the second round.
  • Fourth round to final: Players ranked 1-32 in the PDC Order of Merit join the 32 winners of the third round.

The draws for the first three rounds are made in full after all qualifying players are known, while the draws for the fourth round onward are made separately on stage as soon as each preceding round has concluded.

UK Open FinalsEdit

Year[a] Champion (average in final) Score Runner-up (average in final) Prize money Sponsor Venue
Total Champion Runner-up
2003   Phil Taylor (98.03) 18–8   Shayne Burgess (91.36) £124,000 £30,000 £15,000 Sky Bet Reebok Stadium, Bolton
2004   Roland Scholten (89.49) 11–6   John Part (85.98) Budweiser
2005   Phil Taylor (96.80) 13–7   Mark Walsh (84.52)
2006   Raymond van Barneveld (91.51) 13–7   Barrie Bates (82.98)
2007   Raymond van Barneveld (94.99) 16–8   Vincent van der Voort (88.76) £150,000 Blue Square
2008   James Wade (94.65) 11–7   Gary Mawson (87.33) £178,000 £35,000
2009   Phil Taylor (100.81) 11–6   Colin Osborne (93.24) £200,000 £40,000 £20,000
2010   Phil Taylor (97.71) 11–5   Gary Anderson (92.41) Rileys Darts Zones
2011   James Wade (96.25) 11–8   Wes Newton (88.51) Speedy Hire
2012   Robert Thornton (95.44) 11–5   Phil Taylor (98.58)
2013   Phil Taylor (107.04) 11–4   Andy Hamilton (97.95)
2014   Adrian Lewis (109.13) 11–1   Terry Jenkins (93.15) £250,000 £50,000 £25,000 Coral Butlin's Resort, Minehead
2015   Michael van Gerwen (98.43) 11–5   Peter Wright (99.33) £300,000 £60,000 £30,000
2016   Michael van Gerwen (106.68) 11–4   Peter Wright (98.33)
2017   Peter Wright (100.55) 11–6   Gerwyn Price (97.78) £350,000 £70,000 £35,000
2018   Gary Anderson (95.71) 11–7   Corey Cadby (99.78)
2019   Nathan Aspinall (88.72) 11–5   Rob Cross (84.79) £450,000 £100,000 £40,000 Ladbrokes

Records and statisticsEdit

As of 3 March 2019.

Total finalist appearancesEdit

Player Won Runner-up Finals
  Phil Taylor 5 1 6
  Raymond van Barneveld 2 0 2
  Michael van Gerwen 2 0 2
  James Wade 2 0 2
  Peter Wright 1 2 3
  Gary Anderson 1 1 2
  Roland Scholten 1 0 1
  Robert Thornton 1 0 1
  Adrian Lewis 1 0 1
  Nathan Aspinall 1 0 1
  Shayne Burgess 0 1 1
  John Part 0 1 1
  Mark Walsh 0 1 1
  Barrie Bates 0 1 1
  Vincent van der Voort 0 1 1
  Gary Mawson 0 1 1
  Colin Osborne 0 1 1
  Wes Newton 0 1 1
  Andy Hamilton 0 1 1
  Terry Jenkins 0 1 1
  Gerwyn Price 0 1 1
  Corey Cadby 0 1 1
  Rob Cross 0 1 1

Nine-dart finishesEdit

Eight nine-darters have been thrown at the UK Open. The first one was in 2004, and seven of them have been televised. The only one that wasn't was thrown by Wes Newton in 2013 against Adrian Lewis.

Player Year (+ Round) Method (double-in double-out) Opponent Result
  Phil Taylor 2004, 4th Round 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12   Matt Chapman 8-2 (L)
  Phil Taylor 2005, Semi-Final 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12   Roland Scholten 11-6 (L)
  Phil Taylor 2007, 5th Round 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12   Wes Newton 11-5 (L)
  Phil Taylor 2008, 4th Round 3 x T20; 2 x T20, T19; 2 x T20, D12   Jamie Harvey 9-1 (L)
  Mervyn King 2010, 5th Round 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12   Gary Anderson 8-9 (L)
  Gary Anderson 2012, 3rd Round 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12   Davey Dodds 9-3 (L)
  Michael van Gerwen 2016, 4th Round 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12   Rob Cross 9-5 (L)

High averagesEdit

Ten highest UK Open one-match averages
Average Player Year (+ Round) Opponent Result
118.66   Phil Taylor 2010, Last 32   Kevin Painter 9–0
115.62   Phil Taylor 2009, Quarter-Final   Mark Lawrence 10–0
115.51   Phil Taylor 2009, Last 32   Ken Mather 9–3
114.91   Michael van Gerwen 2015, Last 16   Kim Huybrechts 9–2
114.54   Phil Taylor 2008, Last 16   Wes Newton 9–3
113.05   Phil Taylor 2010, Semi-Final   Denis Ovens 10–5
111.67   Phil Taylor 2015, Last 16   Vincent van der Voort 9–3
110.88   Peter Wright 2017, Quarter-Final   Raymond van Barneveld 10–8
110.72   Phil Taylor 2012, Last 16   Ronnie Baxter 9–4
110.29   Kim Huybrechts 2017, Last 32   Ted Evetts 10–1
Five highest tournament averages
Average Player Year
109.17   Phil Taylor 2015
107.38[6]   Phil Taylor 2009
106.81   Phil Taylor 2013
106.43   Phil Taylor 2010
105.57   Michael van Gerwen 2015

Media coverageEdit

From 2003 until 2013, coverage for the UK Open was shown on Sky Sports in June, but from 2014, the tournament was moved to March and shown on ITV4.

SponsorsEdit

The inaugural event in 2003 was sponsored by Sky Bet. In 2004 Budweiser became the main sponsor. After Budweiser's three-year sponsorship ended in 2006, bookmakers Blue Square took over as title sponsor in 2007 until 2009. The 2010 event was sponsored by Rileys Darts Zones.[7] From 2011 to 2013 it has been sponsored by Speedy Hire. In 2014 Coral took over sponsorship, it lasted until 2018, when its sister company, Ladbrokes took over for the 2019 tournament.

Sponsor Years
Sky Bet 2003
Budweiser 2004–2006 [8]
Blue Square 2007–2009 [9]
Rileys Darts Zones 2010
Speedy Hire 2011–2013
Coral 2014–2018
Ladbrokes 2019–present

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ladbrokes UK Open". PDC. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  2. ^ "New Format & Prize Fund For Coral UK Open". PDC. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  3. ^ "Draw fourth round UK Open 2019 confirmed: Suljovic faces Wright, Price against Cullen and defending champion Anderson meets Beaton". Dartsnews.com. 2019-03-01. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  4. ^ "UK Open darts 2019: Draw, schedule, betting odds, results, TV coverage & tickets". www.sportinglife.com. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  5. ^ "PDC Coral UK Open at Butlin's in Minehead to be played with no fans due to 'unprecedented extreme weather'". Somerset Live. 2 March 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  6. ^ "2009 UK Open Stats". Dartsdatabase. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  7. ^ http://www.pdc.tv/page/UKOpen/0,,10180,00.html
  8. ^ Bud on the oche
  9. ^ Blue Square teams up with UK Open

NotesEdit

  • a Each year is linked to an article about that particular event's draw.

External linksEdit