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|Prize fund||£350,000 (2018)|
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.
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.
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
|Year||Champion (average in final)||Score||Runner-up (average in final)||Prize money||Sponsor||Venue|
|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)|
|Raymond van Barneveld||2||0||2|
|Michael van Gerwen||2||0||2|
|Vincent van der Voort||0||1||1|
|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|
|105.57||Michael van Gerwen||2015|
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|
- "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.
- "UK Open Winners". Darts Database. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- Bud on the oche
- Blue Square teams up with UK Open