THE 2018 Coral UK Open will begin on Friday afternoon, although the effects of Storm Emma have meant that seven players have withdrawn from the tournament.

The £350,000 tournament is being held at the Butlin's Minehead Resort in Somerset from March 2-4, where 128 players were due to be competing across the weekend in the multi-board format.

The Coral UK Open is set to proceed from Friday lunchtime, with the first two rounds to be played in the afternoon session ahead of the third round - featuring the top 32 qualifiers - in the evening session.

As of Thursday evening, the following seven players have informed the PDC that they are unable to travel to Minehead this weekend:
Rene Berndt
Andrew Davidson
John Goldie
Maik Langendorf
Mick McGowan
William O'Connor
Scott Robertson

Their intended opponents in the first or second round will receive a Bye.

Two-time UK Open champion Michael van Gerwen remains Coral's pre-tournament 8/11 favourite as the world number one bids to win the title for a third time in four years.

World Champion Rob Cross and former UK Open finalist Gary Anderson are the 7/1 joint-second favourites, with reigning champion Peter Wright 9/1 to retain his title.

Coral's John Hill said: "As always, Michael van Gerwen is a red-hot favourite to win the UK Open for the third time in his career.

"However, the "FA Cup" style of this tournament has thrown up some huge upsets in the past and there will no doubt be a few more this year."

Two-time UK Open champion Raymond van Barneveld is 22/1 to complete his own hat-trick of victories, while current Premier League leader Michael Smith is 25/1 and Australian debutant Corey Cadby is a 28/1 shot alongside reigning World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney.

For the latest Coral odds, visit www.coral.co.uk.

The Coral UK Open will be broadcast live on ITV4 and worldwide through the PDC's series of international broadcast partners.