|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2011)|
|Prize fund||£300,000 (2015)|
|Month(s) Played||June (2003–2013)
|Michael van Gerwen|
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.
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.
From 2003 to 2013 the UK Open took place in June each year at the Reebok Stadium, in Bolton. In 2014 it moved to Butlins 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.
The tournament has had a different runner-up each year, with 13 different runners-up in 13 years.
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. From 2011 to 2013 it has been sponsored by Speedy Hire. In 2014 Coral took over sponsorship.
|Blue Square||2007–2009 |
|Rileys Darts Zones||2010|
|2003||Phil Taylor (98.03)||18–8||Shayne Burgess||£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)||Riley's 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||Butlins Resort, Minehead|
|2015||Michael van Gerwen (98.43)||11–5||Peter Wright (99.33)||£300,000||£60,000||£30,000|
|Raymond van Barneveld||2||0|
|Michael van Gerwen||1||0|
|Vincent van der Voort||0||1|
As of 2015 qualifying events for amateur players are organised by Rileys and held in various locations across the UK. In 2014 Rileys Sports Bars hosted 32 qualifiers for the event.
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 2015):
- Preliminary and first round (Friday afternoon): The 32 Rileys qualifiers and players ranked 65 and lower in the UK Open Order of Merit start the tournament here. Best of 9 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 9 legs.
- Third round (Friday night): The top 32 in the UK Open Order of Merit join the 32 survivors from the afternoon. Best of 17 legs.
- Fourth round (Saturday afternoon): Best of 17 legs.
- Fifth round (Saturday night): Best of 17 legs.
- Quarter-finals (Sunday afternoon): Best of 19 legs.
- Semi-finals (Sunday night): Best of 19 legs.
- Final (Sunday night): Best of 21 legs.
The draws up to and including the second round 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.