Coral UK Open Field Confirmed
THE field of professional qualifiers for the 2014 Coral UK Open has been confirmed, following the completion of the six Qualifiers in Wigan.
The Coral UK Open Televised Finals will be held from March 7-9 at the Butlins Minehead Resort in Somerset, with 138 players set to do battle live on ITV4 across eight stages.
The top 96 professional players, plus ties, from the UK Open Order of Merit following the six Qualifiers which have been held in Wigan, qualify to compete in the Televised Finals, where they are joined by 32 Rileys Amateur Qualifiers.
Following the six Coral UK Open Qualifiers, which ended on Saturday with Michael van Gerwen's victory in Wigan, a total of 106 players qualified for the Televised Finals with at least £500 in prize money, meaning that ten preliminary round ties will be held in Minehead.
Van Gerwen's victory means that he tops the UK Open Order of Merit with £16,000 prize money, with Qualifier One winner Andy Hamilton, two-time finalist Adrian Lewis and Gary Anderson - Saturday's Qualifier Five winner - all topping £13,000 prize money.
Reigning UK Open champion Phil Taylor picked up £12,500 in prize money as he qualified on the opening weekend a fortnight ago, hitting two nine-darters in Qualifier Three, while Stephen Bunting and Brendan Dolan topped £10,000 following their victories.
Bunting is joined in entering his debut Coral UK Open Televised Finals in the third round in Minehead by another PDC newcomer, Dutchman Christian Kist, after the former Lakeside Champion finished inside the top 32.
The field of players to be drawn in the preliminary and first rounds includes two-time UK Open champion Raymond van Barneveld, experienced pair Dennis Smith and Alex Roy, former UK Open semi-finalist Alan Tabern, Australian ace Kyle Anderson and ex-World Youth Champions Arron Monk and James Hubbard.
Three-time World Champion John Part, the 2004 UK Open runner-up, is amongs the stars ranked from 33-64 who will enter at the second round stage in the Televised Finals, alongside emerging young talents Keegan Brown, Ben Ward, Dirk van Duijvenbode, Ross Smith and Josh Payne.
There was disappointment, though, for 2005 UK Open finalist Barrie Bates, two-time World Champion Dennis Priestley and double major winner Colin Lloyd, who were amongst the players to miss out with only £250 prize money, with Colin Osborne, Denis Ovens, Scott Rand, Mark Dudbridge and Joe Cullen other notable absentees from the Televised Finals.
The top 32 then enter at the third round stage of the Televised Finals on Friday night in Minehead, with the tournament progressing throughout the weekend until the new champion is crowned on Sunday night.
The draw for the opening day of the Coral UK Open will be displayed at www.pdc.tv once available, which is likely to be on Tuesday or Wednesday once board allocations have been confirmed.
The final Rileys Qualifiers will be confirmed in due course.
Final Coral UK Open Order of Merit
|1||van Gerwen, Michael||Netherlands||£16,000|
|7||Dolan, Brendan||Northern Ireland||£10,500|
|18||van der Voort, Vincent||Netherlands||£5,250|
|Players 65-96 (plus ties)|
|66||van Barneveld, Raymond||Netherlands||£1,000|
|105||van de Pas,Benito||Netherlands||£500|