UK Open

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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 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.

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

History[edit]

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]

Format[edit]

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 finals[edit]

[2]

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

Finalists[edit]

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

High averages[edit]

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

Media coverage[edit]

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.

Sponsors[edit]

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

References[edit]

External links[edit]