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The UK Open is a Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) darts tournament where, following regional qualifying heats throughout Britain, 128 players compete in an elimination tournament to be crowned champion.

UK Open
Tournament information
Venue Butlin's Minehead
Location Minehead
Country England
Established 2003
Organisation(s) PDC
Format Legs
Prize fund £350,000 (2018)
Month(s) Played June (2003–2013)
March (2014–)
Current champion(s)
Scotland Gary Anderson

The tournament has the nickname, the "FA Cup of darts", because of the wide mix of players of differing experience. There are also no seedings which means the top players can be drawn against each other at any stage. Just like the FA Cup, a random draw takes place after each round to determine the matches for the next round.

The tournament has had 15 different runners-up in its 16 years of history.

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.[1]

FormatEdit

As of 2016 qualifying events for amateur players are organised by Rileys and held in various locations across the UK. 32 players qualify through these events.

In addition there are six UK Open qualifiers for professional players, which also form part of the PDC Pro Tour. These events are only open to players holding an active PDPA membership - either a tour card or associate membership. Prize money won in these six qualifiers is then collated into an Order of Merit table.

The format is as follows (as of 2017):

  • First round (Friday afternoon): The 32 Rileys qualifiers and players ranked 65-96 in the UK Open Order of Merit start the tournament. Best of 11 legs.
  • Second round (Friday afternoon): Players ranked 33-64 in the UK Open Order of Merit join the 32 winners of the first round. Best of 11 legs.
  • Third round (Friday night): The top 32 in the UK Open Order of Merit join the 32 winners of the second round. Best of 19 legs.
  • Fourth round (Saturday afternoon): Best of 19 legs.
  • Fifth round (Saturday night): Best of 19 legs.
  • Quarter-finals (Sunday afternoon): Best of 19 legs.
  • Semi-finals (Sunday night): Best of 21 legs.
  • Final (Sunday night): Best of 21 legs.

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

UK Open finalsEdit

[2]

Year 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)

FinalistsEdit

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
  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

High averagesEdit

Ten highest Grand Slam of Darts 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
108.13   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.[3] From 2011 to 2013 it has been sponsored by Speedy Hire. In 2014 Coral took over sponsorship.

Sponsor Years
Sky Bet 2003
Budweiser 2004–2006 [4]
Blue Square 2007–2009 [5]
Rileys Darts Zones 2010
Speedy Hire 2011–2013
Coral 2014–present

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit