There are 12 European Tour events in 2017 and the European Tour Order of Merit Table (ETOoM) will come into force, which is the table used only for qualification to the Unibet European Championship Live on ITV4 from Hasselt, Belgium.
Following all 12 ET Events, only the prize money won over these 12 events will culminate in the ETOoM Table, the top 32 players from this table will then qualify for Unibet European Championship.
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KYLE ANDERSON produced a performance of the highest calibre as he defeated Justin Pipe 6-4 in a first round thriller at the Dutch Darts Masters as the European Tour event at the MECC in Maastricht opened on Friday.
Australian star Anderson won his first two PDC titles during August, including the Auckland Darts Masters, and maintained his confident form by averaging 108.96 in a high-quality tie with Pipe. Pipe played his part, hitting back from 2-0 down to win four successive legs in 13, 14, 11 and 15 darts with the aid of two 180s and a key 96 finish.
Anderson, though, responded with a 12-darter in leg seven, levelled with a 14-darter, took out 87 for an 11-darter to move 5-4 up and the posted two 180s in a 12-dart leg which sealed an impressive win. He now meets former European Tour winner Mervyn King in round two and could face World Champion Michael van Gerwen in the last 16 if he is to go on and win another title.
“It’s all coming together,” said Anderson. “I’ve been known for missing doubles; I leave doubles that I like to hit now, and I hit them.
“I hit some doubles in the first two legs and I was 2-0 up, and then Justin played brilliant and took four on the trot, but I got my opportunity and I took it.
“I’m playing well enough to do it. I’m not the one to come out and say I’m going to win, I take every game as it is. I know I’m in Michael’s draw so I’ve got to just keep going, do what I do and hit the doubles.”
Van Gerwen will face youngster Jeffrey de Zwaan in an all-Dutch second round tie in Maastricht after the Host Nation Qualifier enjoyed a 6-4 win over Greece’s John Michael. De Zwaan trailed 2-0, 3-1 and 4-3, but took out a brace of 107 checkouts in a run of three successive legs to progress to the last 32.
Jimmy Hendriks survived eight missed match darts from Rene Berndt as he came from 5-2 down to defeat the German qualifier in a deciding leg and set up a tie with Joe Cullen. Berndt landed five 180s in a superb display to move to the brink of victory, only to miss four match darts in leg eight, three in leg nine and one in the tenth, before firing in a maximum of his own in a 14-darter to snatch the win.
Former Dutch Darts Masters winner Kim Huybrechts will face former Lakeside Champion Christian Kist in round two, following his 6-5 victory over teenager Justin van Tergouw. European Tour debutant Van Tergouw, 17, led 3-1 and 5-4 but never had a dart to win the match as Kist took out 66 to force a decider and 60 to edge the win.
Another former winner of the event, 2012 champion Simon Whitlock, will face Kirk Shepherd in round two, after the 2008 World Championship finalist overcame German youngster Max Hopp 6-4 with some superb finishing. Scottish qualifier Jim Walker’s narrow 6-5 win over Darren Webster sees him progress to face number two seed Peter Wright on Saturday, with the UK Open champion having won four European Tour events already in 2017.
Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski impressed with a 102.48 average in a superb 6-0 whitewash of Ireland’s Steve Lennon as he moved through to take on Dutch star Jelle Klaasen in round two. Rowby-John Rodriguez saw James Wilson pull back from 5-0 down to trail 5-3 before the Austrian youngster sealed victory in a strong first round performance, setting up a second round tie with Michael Smith, May’s Gibraltar Darts Trophy winner.
Veteran star Steve Beaton overcame 16-year-old German qualifier Nico Blum 6-4 as he moved through to the second round, where he meets another former European Tour event winner in number three seed Mensur Suljovic. Former Dutch Darts Masters finalist Daryl Gurney will take on Steve West, who hit back from a two-leg deficit twice before completing his comeback from 5-3 down against Ryan Searle with a 130 checkout in the deciding leg of their tie.
John Henderson book-ended his 6-4 win over Ronny Huybrechts with checkouts of 120 and 138 as he set up a tie with Ian White, while Benito van de Pas now meets Nathan Aspinall, who landed five 180s as he came from 4-2 down to defeat Finland’s Ulf Ceder 6-4. Belgian youngster Mike De Decker impressed with six doubles from nine attempts, including a 104 finish, as he defeated Richard North to move through to a meeting with Alan Norris.
German youngster Martin Schindler punished 19 missed doubles from Chris Quantock as he moved through to play Gerwyn Price, while Jamie Lewis’ 6-2 win over European Tour debutant Harry Robinson means that he now plays Rob Cross. Welshman Robert Owen finished six doubles from 11 attempts in a superb whitewash over Scotland’s Jamie Bain, meaning that he now plays Spanish ace Cristo Reyes.
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN made a strong return to action with a quick-fire 6-1 win over Jeffrey de Zwaan as he began his bid to win a fourth successive Dutch Darts Masters title on Saturday.
The World Champion has enjoyed a month’s break for the birth of his first child, a daughter Zoe, and missed the World Series of Darts treble-header in New Zealand and Australia.
However, Van Gerwen showed few signs of a lack of match practice by needing less than 12 minutes to sweep aside fellow Dutchman De Zwaan in front of a European Tour record crowd of 5,000 fans at the MECC in Maastricht.
The world number one took the game’s first two legs before De Zwaan landed a 180 in an 11-darter to claim leg three – but that served only to fire up Van Gerwen.
A brilliant 160 finish, for a 12-darter, restored Van Gerwen’s cushion before a 13-darter gave him breathing space, and finishes of double two and double 16 sealed his spot in Sunday’s final stages.
“I’ve become a daddy and it’s a big step in my life,” said Van Gerwen. “I’ve had to get back on the practice board and get ready, and in the last week I’ve practised a few times and I did okay.
“I didn’t make a lot of mistakes and I’m up for tomorrow, it’s a big day.”
Van Gerwen now faces a tough third round tie against Australian Kyle Anderson, who won the Auckland Darts Masters and followed up Friday’s brilliant first round defeat of Justin Pipe with a 100 average as he defeated Mervyn King 6-3.
King hit back from 3-0 down to trail just 4-3, but Anderson took out 83 to halt his rival’s fightback before sealing victory with a 13-darter.
Peter Wright overcame the loss of his luggage when travelling to Maastricht as well as a huge scare from Jim Walker before sneaking through to the third round to begin his bid for a fifth European Tour win of the year.
Wright had to borrow darts from Simon Whitlock and buy one of his own replica shirts from the merchandise stand at the event ahead of the game, which he finally won in a deciding leg – but only after Walker wired the bull for a 121 checkout.
Wright’s third round opponent will be Rob Cross, the 2017 shooting star who averaged almost 106, landed five 180s and finished six doubles from 13 attempts to see off Jamie Lewis 6-1.
Former Dutch Darts Masters champion Whitlock landed seven 180s and a 177 in a heavy-scoring 6-4 win over Kirk Shepherd in a game of brilliant quality.
Legs of 14, 13 and 11 darts gave Whitlock a 3-0 lead and he opened the fourth with scores of 180 and 177, only to see his missed attempt at a nine-darter punished in style with a stunning 170 checkout from Shepherd.
The former World Championship finalist took three of the next four and levelled the match at four-all with an 11-darter in leg eight, but Whitlock matched that – after setting up another nine-darter attempt with two 180s – as he broke Shepherd’s resistance to seal the win.
“I’m very happy with that,” said the Australian. “I was on a couple of nine-darters and I’m getting close again, but Kirk played amazing darts, the best I’ve seen him play for a long time so hats off to him.
“I’m getting better every game and I’m here to win again. I feel as though I can win and that’s important.”
Whitlock now plays Welshman Robert Owen, whose best run on the European Tour continued as he took out 120 in the deciding leg of his 11-leg tussle with Spain’s Cristo Reyes.
Belgium’s Mike De Decker also enjoyed a narrow 6-5 win as he ousted Alan Norris, despite the Englishman landing seven 180s in their last 32 clash.
De Decker now meets Scottish qualifier John Henderson, who was outstanding in a 6-3 win over Ian White, averaging 104.30 and hitting 50 percent of his chances at a double.
Gerwyn Price was another seeded star to exit in round two as he lost out in a deciding leg to Germany’s Martin Schindler, who came from 3-0 down and survived missed match darts before taking victory with a 13-darter.
Number three seed Mensur Suljovic exited at the hands of Steve Beaton, who led 4-0 before holding off the Austrian’s fightback to claim a 6-3 win and move through to a meeting with Schindler.
Daryl Gurney, the Dutch Darts Masters finalist two years ago, impressed with a 102.80 average, six 180s, a 111 checkout and 6/11 on his doubles as he overcame Steve West 6-2.
The Northern Irish ace now takes on former World Youth Championship runner-up Nathan Aspinall, who also topped a 102 average in a superb 6-1 defeat of Dutch ace Benito van de Pas.
Jelle Klaasen was another home hope to be eliminated in Maastricht as he lost out 6-3 to Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski, who opened the game with a 170 checkout and led 4-0 before defying a 164 checkout from his rival to close out the win.
Ratajski now meets another Dutchman, Christian Kist, after the former Lakeside Champion won through to the final day of a European Tour event for the first time with a 6-4 defeat of former Dutch Darts Masters champion Kim Huybrechts, sealing the win with a 126 checkout.
Joe Cullen, a two-time Players Championship winner this year, battled to a narrow 6-5 win over Dutch qualifier Jimmy Hendriks as he progressed to a third round meeting with Michael Smith.
Smith, May’s Gibraltar Darts Trophy, found himself 2-1 down in the early stages of his clash with Rowby-John Rodriguez, before reeling off five successive legs to claim victory.
The £135,000 tournament concludes on Sunday, with the afternoon session’s third round followed in the evening session by the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN won his fourth successive Dutch Darts Masters title with a brilliant 6-1 defeat of Steve Beaton in Sunday’s final in Maastricht.
The World Champion marked his return to action follow a month’s break by claiming his fourth European Tour title of 2017 and a £25,000 top prize in front of over 5,000 delighted Dutch fans at the MECC.
Having begun his challenge with a second round win over Jeffrey de Zwaan on Saturday evening, Van Gerwen averaged 107.60 in a dominant 6-1 defeat of Kyle Anderson in Sunday afternoon’s third round.
He then edged out Daryl Gurney 6-5 in the quarter-finals, with the game’s opening ten legs all going with throw before the Dutchman produced the decisive break in the 11th leg by finishing 76 for a 12-darter with the Northern Irish ace waiting on 40.
Van Gerwen then came from two legs down to win 6-2 against Michael Smith in the semi-finals, with the former World Youth Champion opening with legs of 11 and 14 darts but paying for missed doubles in leg three as the home favourite swept to victory.
He then finished 80 and a 13-darter to lead 2-0 in the final against Beaton, who replied by taking out 52 for a 14-darter in leg three only to see the Dutchman pull clear.
A 70 finish restored Van Gerwen’s cushion, a 12-darter broke and double one moved him 5-1 up before he landed a third 180 of the final and took out 77 to seal the title.
“I think this has been a fantastic tournament. I played okay – I didn’t play my absolute best but I feel good.
“I had a fantastic holiday and the month off with my wife and child. It’s been a fantastic time and to kick off after my holiday straight away with a win is a dream.”
“You know when you play Steve you have to do the right things at the right moments, make sure you are on him straight away and keep him under pressure and that’s exactly what I did – but he’s been on the tour for so long and is fantastic.”
Beaton had won through the UK Qualifier just to secure a spot in Maastricht but showed some superb form as he searched for his second ranking title of the year and a first European Tour victory since 2013.
Wins over German youngsters Nico Blum and Martin Schindler sandwiched a defeat of third seed Mensur Suljovic as Beaton moved into the quarter-finals, where he was a 6-2 victor against John Henderson with a 103 average.
He also averaged over 101 as he ended Peter Wright’s bid for a fifth European Tour title of the year with a 6-4 semi-final triumph, storming into leads of 2-0 and 4-1 before holding off the world number three’s fightback.
However, Beaton was unable to get the better of Van Gerwen as the Dutchman denied the 53-year-old a second European Tour victory.
“I got better and better as the tournament went on but this man just turns it on,” said Beaton, who was appearing in his first European Tour final for three years.
“It’s frustrating because you think you’ve got a chance and he just takes it away from you. That’s why he is number one, fair play to him.”
Wright had begun his challenge in Maastricht with a borrowed set of darts after his luggage failed to arrive in the Netherlands, but overcame Rob Cross and Krzysztof Ratajski on Sunday to reach the last four.
Smith, May’s Gibraltar Darts Trophy winner, saw off Joe Cullen in the third round and then edged out Robert Owen 6-5 in the quarter-finals, taking out a 14-darter with the Welshman waiting on 32.
Owen’s run in Maastricht had seen him reach his first European Tour quarter-final – and only his second last eight finish on the PDC circuit – as he overcame Simon Whitlock 6-4 in the third round, sealing that win with a 136 checkout.
Polish star Ratajski, an ever-present on the European Tour so far this year, also won through to his first quarter-final by producing an outstanding display against Christian Kist in the third round, averaging almost 105.
Northern Ireland’s Gurney and Scottish ace Henderson, both former European Tour finalists, completed the quarter-final line-up in the first of three £135,000 events being held during September.
Robert Owen 6-0 Jamie Bain
Steve West 6-5 Ryan Searle
Jim Walker 6-5 Darren Webster
Martin Schindler 6-4 Chris Quantock
Christian Kist 6-5 Justin van Tergouw
Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Ulf Ceder
Mike De Decker 6-3 Richard North
Kirk Shepherd 6-4 Max Hopp
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-0 Steve Lennon
Jamie Lewis 6-2 Harry Robinson
John Henderson 6-4 Ronny Huybrechts
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-3 James Wilson
Kyle Anderson 6-4 Justin Pipe
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-4 John Michael
Steve Beaton 6-4 Nico Blum
Jimmy Hendriks 6-5 Rene Berndt
Robert Owen 6-5 Cristo Reyes
Mike De Decker 6-5 Alan Norris
Rob Cross 6-1 Jamie Lewis
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-3 Jelle Klaasen
Martin Schindler 6-5 Gerwyn Price
John Henderson 6-3 Ian White
Joe Cullen 6-5 Jimmy Hendriks
Kyle Anderson 6-3 Mervyn King
Nathan Aspinall 6-1 Benito van de Pas
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Steve West
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Kirk Shepherd
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Peter Wright 6-5 Jim Walker
Christian Kist 6-4 Kim Huybrechts
Michael Smith 6-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Steve Beaton 6-3 Mensur Suljovic
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Kyle Anderson
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Nathan Aspinall
Michael Smith 6-2 Joe Cullen
Robert Owen 6-4 Simon Whitlock
Peter Wright 6-3 Rob Cross
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-1 Christian Kist
John Henderson 6-2 Mike De Decker
Steve Beaton 6-4 Martin Schindler
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Daryl Gurney
Michael Smith 6-5 Robert Owen
Peter Wright 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
Steve Beaton 6-2 John Henderson
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Michael Smith
Steve Beaton 6-4 Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Steve Beaton
This story originally appeared on the PDPA website.