THE expansion of the PDC European Tour in 2017 will include a number of changes to the qualification and prize fund structure for the 12 events to be held across Europe this year.

Each PDC European Tour event will see 48 players competing across three days, with the action streamed online through PDCTV-HD and a series of bookmakers' websites.

The opening day will feature the first round split across two sessions as the 32 qualifiers do battle, with the 16 seeded players - from the PDC's one-year ProTour Order of Merit - entering at the second round stage on day two.

The third day will then see the tournament conclude, with the third round in the afternoon session and the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in the evening session.

In a change for 2017 due to the increased prize money, should a seeded player lose in the second round (last 32), their prize money will not count towards any Orders of Merit, although they still receive the full prize money payment.

A player who would be seeded in the top 16 of the ProTour Order of Merit may instead opt to enter the relevant qualifying event in order to ensure any prize money won counts on the relevant Orders of Merit.

Another change will see the qualifying system restructured as follows:
* UK Qualifier: shall produce 18 players, and will be open to players from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and players whose nationality is not covered by the below criteria (i.e. non-European). Enter is open to any Tour Card Holder and any player who finished in the top 32 of UK & non-European players (including ties) on the Qualifying School Order of Merit.
* West/South Europe Qualifier: shall produce eight players, and will be open to players from Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, Andorra, Italy, San Marino, Monaco, Malta, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, France and Switzerland.
* Host Nation Qualifier: shall produce four players, and will be open to players with the same nationality as the location of the relevant event.
* Nordic & Baltic Qualifier: shall produce one player, and will be open to players from Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
* East Europe Qualifier: shall produce one player, and be open to players from Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Macedonia.

Any player who is unable to enter the West Europe or Host Nation Qualifier due to a scheduling clash with an event in which they have been invited to compete in by the PDC shall be deemed eligible to enter the UK Qualifier for the event.

After a player has entered either a West Europe Qualifier or Host Nation Qualifier twice, that player must become a PDPA ProTour Member in order to participate in further qualifying events during that year. This rule does not apply to players in the Nordic & Baltic Qualifiers or East Europe Qualifier in 2017.

European Tour
Prize Money Breakdown

Winner £25,000
Runner-Up £10,000
Semi-Finalists £6,000
Quarter-Finalists £4,000
Third Round Losers £3,000
Second Round Losers £2,000 *
First Round Losers £1,000
Total £135,000
* Seeded players who lose in the second round do not receive this prize money on any Orders of Merit.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL 2017 PDC RULES