World Matchplay (darts)

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World Matchplay
Tournament information
Venue Winter Gardens
Location Blackpool, Lancashire
Country England
Established 1994
Organisation(s) PDC
Format Legs
Prize fund £500,000 (2017)
Month(s) Played July
Current champion(s)
Scotland Gary Anderson
The Winter Gardens in Blackpool, where the tournament has been held since its inception.

The World Matchplay, also known as the BetVictor World Matchplay for sponsorship purposes,[1] is a professional darts tournament. It is played in a legs format, and is run by the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC). Gary Anderson is the current champion after winning the 2018 edition.

History[edit]

The World Matchplay has been played annually since 1994 in the Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool. The first ever winner was Larry Butler, who beat Dennis Priestley 16-12, and the current holder is Gary Anderson. It is regarded as the second biggest PDC Tournament, status shown by the fact the whole tournament was sold out within three days of the tickets being on sale.

The 1995 World Matchplay turned out to be Jocky Wilson's last appearance in a major televised event. Wilson had reached the quarter-finals of the inaugural tournament in 1994 and he beat Rod Harrington in the 1st round in 1995, but a 2nd round defeat against Nigel Justice was effectively the end of his career.

From 1994 to 2012, matches at the World Matchplay had to be won by two clear legs. For example, the first round was usually played over the first to 10 legs, but if the score reached 9-9, play continued until either player gained a two-leg lead. Starting with the 2013 World Matchplay, if a two leg-lead hadn't been established after six extra legs, then a sudden death leg is played, so sudden death would come into play in a first round match at 12-12.[2]

Over the course of the tournament's 25-year existence, there have only been eight different winners: Phil Taylor (16), Rod Harrington (2), Michael van Gerwen (2), Gary Anderson (1), Larry Butler (1), Peter Evison (1), Colin Lloyd (1) and James Wade (1). Dennis Priestley was also runner-up for three consecutive years.

From 2018 onwards, the World Matchplay champion will receive the Phil Taylor Trophy, as was announced by the PDC following the retirement of the sixteen-time winner of the tournament.[3]

World Matchplay finals[edit]

The list of finals:[4]

Year Champion (average in final) Score Runner-up (average in final) Prize money Sponsor Venue
Total Champion Runner-up
1994 United States Larry Butler (90.72) 16–12 England Dennis Priestley (91.59) £42,800 £10,000 £6,000 Proton Cars Winter Gardens, Blackpool
1995 England Phil Taylor (90.72) 16–11 England Dennis Priestley (87.63) Webster's
1996 England Peter Evison (100.51) 16–14 England Dennis Priestley (96.67) £52,000 £12,000 £7,000
1997 England Phil Taylor (106.32) 16–11 England Alan Warriner (98.42) £48,000 £6,000
1998 England Rod Harrington (95.03) 19–17 England Ronnie Baxter (94.07) £58,000 £14,000 £7,000 PDC
1999 England Rod Harrington (85.95) 19–17 England Peter Manley (86.91)
2000 England Phil Taylor (100.32) 18–12 England Alan Warriner (97.14) Stan James
2001 England Phil Taylor (99.57) 18–10 Wales Richie Burnett (90.99) £65,000
2002 England Phil Taylor (98.76) 18–16 Canada John Part (94.14) £75,500 £15,000 £7,500
2003 England Phil Taylor (94.38) 18–12 England Wayne Mardle (97.44) £80,000 £8,000
2004 England Phil Taylor (100.20) 18–8 England Mark Dudbridge (89.24) £100,000 £20,000 £10,000
2005 England Colin Lloyd (97.89) 18–12 Canada John Part (94.53) £120,000 £25,000 £12,500
2006 England Phil Taylor (100.08) 18–11 England James Wade (90.01) £150,000 £30,000 £15,000
2007 England James Wade (96.83) 18–7 England Terry Jenkins (91.62) £200,000 £50,000 £20,000
2008 England Phil Taylor (109.47) 18–9 England James Wade (102.58) £300,000 £60,000 £30,000
2009 England Phil Taylor (106.05) 18–4 England Terry Jenkins (92.32) £400,000 £100,000 £50,000
2010 England Phil Taylor (105.16) 18–12 Netherlands Raymond van Barneveld (100.11)
2011 England Phil Taylor (103.84) 18–8 England James Wade (98.84) Sky Bet
2012 England Phil Taylor (98.97) 18–15 England James Wade (95.92) Betfair
2013 England Phil Taylor (111.23) 18–13 England Adrian Lewis (105.92) BetVictor
2014 England Phil Taylor (107.19) 18–9 Netherlands Michael van Gerwen (101.49) £450,000
2015 Netherlands Michael van Gerwen (99.91) 18–12 England James Wade (90.37)
2016 Netherlands Michael van Gerwen (103.93) 18–10 England Phil Taylor (101.13)
2017 England Phil Taylor (104.24) 18–8 Scotland Peter Wright (99.74) £500,000 £115,000 £55,000
2018 Scotland Gary Anderson (101.12) 21–19 Austria Mensur Suljović (104.43)

Records and statistics[edit]

As of 29 July 2018

Total finalist appearances[edit]

Player Won Runner-up Finals
England Phil Taylor 16 1 17
Netherlands Michael van Gerwen 2 1 3
England Rod Harrington 2 0 2
England James Wade 1 5 6
United States Larry Butler 1 0 1
England Peter Evison 1 0 1
England Colin Lloyd 1 0 1
Scotland Gary Anderson 1 0 1
England Dennis Priestley 0 3 3
England Alan Warriner 0 2 2
Canada John Part 0 2 2
England Terry Jenkins 0 2 2
England Ronnie Baxter 0 1 1
England Peter Manley 0 1 1
Wales Richie Burnett 0 1 1
England Wayne Mardle 0 1 1
England Mark Dudbridge 0 1 1
Netherlands Raymond van Barneveld 0 1 1
England Adrian Lewis 0 1 1
Scotland Peter Wright 0 1 1
Austria Mensur Suljović 0 1 1

Tournament records[edit]

A match in progress on the World Matchplay stage.
Nine dart finish 
In the 2002 tournament, Phil Taylor hit the first ever nine dart finish to be broadcast live on UK television.
In the 2010 tournament, Raymond van Barneveld achieved a nine dart finish in the Matchplay against Denis Ovens in the first round.
In the 2011 tournament, John Part achieved a nine dart finish against Mark Webster. Part went on to lose the match 10–8.
In the 2012 tournament, Michael van Gerwen hit a nine dart finish against Steve Beaton in a 13–9 second round win.
In the 2012 tournament, Wes Newton hit a nine dart finish against Justin Pipe in a 13–10 second round defeat.
In the 2014 tournament, Phil Taylor hit a nine dart finish against Michael Smith in the second round.
In the 2018 tournament, Gary Anderson hit a nine dart finish against Joe Cullen in the quarter-final.
Longest match in Matchplay history 
The 2018 final went to 40 legs as a result of the format of "2 clear legs".
Longest unbeaten run 
Phil Taylor from 2008–2015: Won 38 matches in a row. Taylor only lost eight matches in the history of the event:

Averages[edit]

An average over 100 in a match in the PDC World Matchplay has been achieved 131 times, of which Phil Taylor is responsible for 62. In 2010, Phil Taylor became the first player to average over 100 in all five rounds of the tournament. He repeated this feat in 2011 and 2013.

An average of over 105 in a match in the World Matchplay has been achieved 34 times, of which Phil Taylor is responsible for 24. The highest match average ever in the World Matchplay is 114.99 by Phil Taylor in his Last 32 victory over Barrie Bates in 2010. The highest match average ever in the World Matchplay Final is 111.23 by Phil Taylor against Adrian Lewis in 2013.

Ten highest PDC World Matchplay one-match averages[5]
Average Player Year (+ Round) Opponent Result
114.99 England Phil Taylor 2010, Last 32 Wales Barrie Bates 10–6
113.43 England Phil Taylor 1997, Last 32 United States Gary Mawson 8–0
112.17 England Phil Taylor 2002, Quarter Final England Chris Mason 16–7
111.23 England Phil Taylor 2013, Final England Adrian Lewis 18–13
110.93 Netherlands Michael van Gerwen 2015, Last 16 Wales Jamie Lewis 13–2
110.51 England Adrian Lewis 2014, Last 32 England Andrew Gilding 10–0
109.71 England Phil Taylor 2008, Last 16 England Colin Osborne 13–5
109.47 England Phil Taylor 2008, Final England James Wade 18–9
109.47 England Phil Taylor 2009, Last 16 England Kevin Painter 13–3
109.42 England Phil Taylor 2004, Last 32 England Alex Roy 10–1
Five highest losing averages
Average Player Year (+ Round) Opponent Result
105.92 England Adrian Lewis 2013, Final England Phil Taylor 13–18
105.68 Scotland Gary Anderson 2014, Semi-Final England Phil Taylor 15–17
105.17 Scotland Gary Anderson 2017, Last 16 Northern Ireland Daryl Gurney 9–11
104.43 Austria Mensur Suljović 2018, Final Scotland Gary Anderson 19–21
104.08 England Rob Cross 2017, Last 16 England Adrian Lewis 8–11
Different players with a 100+ match average (Updated 29 July 2018)
Player Total Highest Av. Year (+ Round)
England Phil Taylor 62 114.99 2010, Last 32
Netherlands Michael van Gerwen 15 110.93 2015, Last 16
Scotland Gary Anderson 10 106.06 2018, Semi-Final
England Adrian Lewis 9 110.51 2014, Last 32
Scotland Peter Wright 6 108.13 2015, Last 32
England James Wade 6 103.59 2015, Last 32
Netherlands Raymond van Barneveld 3 103.86 2010, Last 16
England Peter Evison 2 103.77 1996, Last 16
England Ian White 2 103.51 2015, Last 32
England Dave Chisnall 2 103.02 2018, Last 16
England Stephen Bunting 2 102.48 2016, Last 32
England Mervyn King 2 101.06 2014, Last 32
England Steve Beaton 2 100.98 2011, Last 32
Austria Mensur Suljović 1 104.43 2018, Final
England Rob Cross 1 104.08 2017, Last 16
Northern Ireland Daryl Gurney 1 103.26 2017, Last 16
Netherlands Jeffrey de Zwaan 1 103.22 2018, Quarter-Final
England Colin Lloyd 1 102.57 2005, Last 16
England Shayne Burgess 1 102.03 1999, Last 16
England Andy Hamilton 1 101.88 2006, Semi-Final
England Alan Warriner-Little 1 101.55 1997, Quarter-Final
Spain Cristo Reyes 1 101.29 2017, Last 32
England Rod Harrington 1 101.22 1997, Last 32
England Kevin Painter 1 101.01 2009, Last 32
England Michael Smith 1 100.44 2014, Last 16
England Mark Walsh 1 100.41 2008, Last 32
Five highest tournament averages
Average Player Year
106.31 England Phil Taylor 2010
105.81 England Phil Taylor 2013
105.73 England Phil Taylor 2009
105.50 England Phil Taylor 2011
104.81 England Phil Taylor 2008

Format[edit]

From the beginning of the tournament in 1994, the World Matchplay has always been a legs only event. The length of matches for each round has changed several times over the years, as shown below.

1994[edit]

  • First Round: First to 8 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)
  • Second Round: First to 8 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)
  • Quarter Finals: First to 11 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)
  • Semi Finals: First to 11 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)
  • Final: First to 16 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)

1995–1997[edit]

  • First Round: First to 8 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)
  • Second Round: First to 8 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)
  • Quarter Finals: First to 11 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)
  • Semi Finals: First to 13 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)
  • Final: First to 16 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)

1998[edit]

  • First Round: First to 8 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)
  • Second Round: First to 8 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)
  • Quarter Finals: First to 13 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)
  • Semi Finals: First to 13 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)
  • Final: First to 18 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)

1999–2012[edit]

  • First Round: First to 10 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)
  • Second Round: First to 13 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)
  • Quarter Finals: First to 16 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)
  • Semi Finals: First to 17 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)
  • Final: First to 18 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs)

2013–2015[edit]

  • First Round: First to 10 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs; sudden death leg at 12–12)
  • Second Round: First to 13 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs; sudden death leg at 15–15)
  • Quarter Finals: First to 16 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs; sudden death leg at 18–18)
  • Semi Finals: First to 17 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs; sudden death leg at 19–19)
  • Final: First to 18 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs; sudden death leg at 20–20)

2016–present[edit]

  • First Round: First to 10 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs; sudden death leg at 12–12)
  • Second Round: First to 11 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs; sudden death leg at 13–13)
  • Quarter Finals: First to 16 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs; sudden death leg at 18–18)
  • Semi Finals: First to 17 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs; sudden death leg at 19–19)
  • Final: First to 18 legs (match must be won by 2 clear legs; sudden death leg at 20–20)

Media coverage[edit]

The World Matchplay has been broadcast in the UK by Sky Sports since the first tournament.[6]

Sponsors[edit]

There have been six different sponsors for the World Matchplay:

Sponsor Years
Proton Cars 1994
Webster's 1995–1997
PDC 1998–1999
Stan James 2000–2010
Skybet 2011
Betfair 2012
BetVictor[1] 2013–

References[edit]

External links[edit]