RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD'S return to European Tour action ended in a 6-4 defeat to Steve Beaton on Day One of the 2019 European Darts Open in Leverkusen on Friday.

The opening day of the first European Tour event of 2019 saw departing Dutchman Van Barneveld make his first appearance on the European Tour stage for almost two years in the first round at the Ostermann Arena.

Van Barneveld, who won the inaugural European Darts Open in 2012, landed 180s in back-to-back legs to take a commanding 4-2 lead before Beaton took the next two legs without allowing the Dutchman a dart at double.

With nothing to separate the pair at 4-4, Van Barneveld missed two darts to break throw, and former German Darts Masters Champion Beaton punished by finding double nine with his last dart in hand.

After Van Barneveld missed tops for a 105 checkout to save the match, Beaton hit double 16, once again with his last dart in hand, to claim victory in the headline match of round one.

Steve Beaton (Sven Neuschäfer, PDC Europe)

Beaton will play Premier League table-topper Rob Cross in Saturday's second round as the 16 seeded players enter the £140,000 tournament. 

"You can't get a much tougher draw than Raymond in the first round so I'm delighted to get the win," said Beaton.

"But I always say you have to play the best to be the best in darts and even though it was a bit edgy I took my chances to win it which is pleasing.

"Tomorrow against Rob I know I will have to play a lot better and take my chances again when I get them."

Glen Durrant (Sven Neuschäfer, PDC Europe)

Friday saw 32 qualifiers competing in the first round, with Glen Durrant enjoying a winning start to life on the European Tour, edging out Michael Rosenauer 6-4 to set up a meeting with Jermaine Wattimena.

German Qualifier Rosenauer, a former PDC Tour Card Holder, put Durrant under pressure by making it 4-4, but Durrant finished strongly to get the win.

German youngster Nico Kurz came closest to a Host Nation Qualifier victory as he missed seven match darts in a 6-5 loss to Kim Huybrechts.

Dimitri Van den Bergh (Sven Neuschäfer, PDC Europe)

Dimitri Van den Bergh will take on Adrian Lewis after his impressive 6-1 win over Ritchie Edhouse, while 28-time European Tour event winner Michael van Gerwen will meet Mervyn King after King's comfortable 6-1 defeat of Jason Wilson.

Next Thursday's Premier League Contender in Rotterdam, Jeffrey de Zwaan also enjoyed a 6-1 triumph over Josh Payne, and his fellow-Dutchman Vincent van der Voort defeated Wayne Jones 6-2 in the final game of the night.

Krzysztof Ratajski came through a last-leg decider against Matthew Edgar, while Development Tour Order of Merit leader Ted Evetts beat Martin Atkins 6-2.

Dutchman Wesley Plaisier and Czech Pavel Jirkal were the only two European non-Tour Card Holders to make it through with victories over Jyhan Artut and William Borland respectively.

Ross Smith recorded the only whitewash win of the day against Ricky Williams, while there were also opening day successes for Justin Pipe, Ross Smith, Adam Hunt, Scott Taylor and Matthew Dennant.

Saturday's second day of the European Darts Open will be broadcast on PDCTV-HD, and through a series of bookmakers' websites worldwide.

Schedule of Play
Friday March 22
First Round
Afternoon Session

Justin Pipe 6-3 Ryan Meikle
Pavel Jirkal 6-1 William Borland
Matthew Dennant 6-5 Madars Razma
Scott Taylor 6-3 Fabian Herz
Ross Smith 6-0 Ricky Williams
Adam Hunt 6-3 Danny van Trijp
Ted Evetts 6-3 Martin Atkins (Leeds)
Wesley Plaisier 6-4 Jyhan Artut

Evening Session
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Matthew Edgar
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-1 Josh Payne
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Nico Kurz
Mervyn King 6-1 Jason Wilson
Glen Durrant 6-4 Michael Rosenauer
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-1 Ritchie Edhouse
Steve Beaton 6-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Vincent van der Voort 6-2 Wayne Jones

Saturday March 23
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 GMT)

Darren Webster v Pavel Jirkal
James Wade v Wesley Plaisier
Ian White v Justin Pipe
Gerwyn Price v Scott Taylor
Dave Chisnall v Ted Evetts
Jonny Clayton v Adam Hunt
Michael Smith v Krzysztof Ratajski
Daryl Gurney v Jeffrey de Zwaan

Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 GMT)
Adrian Lewis v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Jermaine Wattimena v Glen Durrant
Joe Cullen v Vincent van der Voort
Michael van Gerwen v Mervyn King
Rob Cross v Steve Beaton
Mensur Suljovic v Matthew Dennant
Simon Whitlock v Ross Smith
Peter Wright v Kim Huybrechts

Sunday March 24
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 GMT)

Third Round
Van Gerwen/King v Wattimena/Durrant
Smith/Ratajski v Price/Taylor
Suljovic/Dennant v Cullen/Van der Voort
Wade/Plaisier v Chisnall/Evetts
White/Pipe v Webster/Jirkal
Cross/Beaton v Clayton/Hunt
Lewis/Van den Bergh v Gurney/De Zwaan
Wright/Huybrechts v Whitlock/Smith

Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 GMT)

Sunday’s games played in Draw Bracket order

All games up to and including the quarter-finals are the best of 11 legs, with the semi-finals the best of 13 legs and the final the best of 15 legs.

Prize Fund
Winner: £25,000
Runner-up: £10,000
Semi-Finalists: £6,500
Quarter-Finalists: £5,000
Last 16: £3,000
Last 32: £2,000
Last 48: £1,000
Total: £140,000 

Watch Online

PDC European Tour events can be watched online through PDCTV-HD for all subscribers worldwide.

Live coverage with faster streams may also be available at the following bookmakers' websites:
bet365 - www.bet365.com - Worldwide
Bet90 - www.bet90.com - Brazil, Germany
Betfair - www.betfair.com - Brazil, Denmark, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Wales
Betfred - www.betfred.com - England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales
bwin - www.bwin.com - Worldwide
FDJ - www.fdj-gaming-solutions.com - France
Fonbet - www.fonbet.com - Armenia, Belarus, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Russian federation, Ukraine
Fortuna - www.fortunagroup.eu - Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia
Legolasbet - www.legolas.bet - Sweden
Ligastavok - www.ligastavok.ru/ - Russia
Marathonbet - www.betmarathon.com - Belarus, Russian federation, Spain, Ukraine
Nike - www.nike.sk - Slovakia
Olimp - www.betolimp.com - Kazakhstan, Russian federation
Paddy Power - www.paddypower.com/ - England, Ireland, Northern ireland, Scotland, Wales
Stoiximan - www.stoiximan.gr - Cyprus, Greece, Romania
Supabets - www.supabets.com.gh - Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa
Superbet - www.superbet.ro/ - Romania, Poland
Tempobet - www.tempobet.org - Europe
Totogaming - www.totogaming.am/en/ - Armenia
Tipsport - www.tipsport.cz - Czech Republic & Slovakia
Unibet - www.unibet.com - Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, United Kingdom
William Hill - www.williamhill.com - Great Britain, Ireland, Spain
Winlinebet - www.winlinebet.ru - Russia
World Sports Betting - www.worldsportsbetting.co.za - Namibia, South Africa