Ahead of the resumption of the 2023 ProTour season, we take a look at the top five players on the PDC Order of Merit yet to have won a ranking title.
This weekend's action will see Players Championships 17-18 take place at Halle 39 in Hildesheim on August 26-27, broadcast live on PDCTV.
The two £100,000 events will see a field of 128 players - comprised of PDC Tour Card Holders and PDPA Associate Members - competing across two days of action, with £12,000 on offer to the winner each day.
With a host of big-name absentees - including World Champion Michael Smith and Premier League champion Michael van Gerwen - opportunity knocks for several players to claim their maiden ranking titles.
1. Gabriel Clemens (world number 20)
Germany’s number one Clemens has made consistent progress since joining the PDC in 2018, reaching the World Darts Championship semi-finals in January.
Clemens broke into the world’s top 20 following his Alexandra Palace exploits, and he is still ranked above the likes of Gary Anderson and Andrew Gilding, despite his inauspicious start to 2023.
The two-time World Cup semi-finalist has lost in seven PDC ranking finals – the most recent defeat coming at a Players Championship event back in February, but can he break his duck on home soil?
2. Martin Schindler (world number 24)
Clemens’ World Cup partner Martin Schindler will also be hoping to break new ground in Hildesheim, as the diminutive German bids to continue his impressive progress in the sport.
Schindler has enjoyed a surge back up the rankings since regaining his Tour Card in January 2021, reaching his first and only PDC ranking final in a Players Championship event in March 2022.
The 29-year-old has maintained his upward trajectory in 2023, progressing to a maiden European Tour semi-final in April, while steering Germany to the last four at June's World Cup of Darts, alongside Clemens.
3. Alan Soutar (world number 33)
Soutar enjoyed a dream start to life on the professional circuit, winning his Tour Card at the first attempt in January 2021, before defeating Dutch legend Raymond van Barneveld on his televised debut at the UK Open.
The popular Scot – a firefighter by trade – has impressed on the big stage, twice reaching the last 16 at the World Championship, while also enjoying a run to the quarter-finals of last year’s Grand Slam of Darts.
However, Soutar is outside of the provisional qualification places for the Players Championship Finals following a lacklustre start to 2023, and he’ll be desperate to revive his campaign with a strong showing this weekend.
4. Madars Razma (world number 35)
Razma has been a regular fixture on the big stage since joining the PDC ranks in 2017, enjoying a steady climb up the rankings to close in on a place inside the world’s top 32.
The Latvian trailblazer achieved another milestone in his career last October, defeating Ryan Searle and Daryl Gurney at the World Grand Prix to seal a spot in his maiden televised quarter-final.
Razma has featured in three Players Championship Finals during his fledgling PDC career, and a landmark title in Germany would see him break into the top 32 for the first time.
5. Martin Lukeman (world number 38)
Lukeman elevated his game to another level in 2022, featuring in a first European Tour final at the German Darts Grand Prix, while later reaching the last eight of October’s World Grand Prix.
The Watford thrower decided to take up the sport professionally after playing online during the lockdown of 2020, and his remarkable rise saw him break into the world’s top 40.
Lukeman has been unable to replicate that form in 2023, failing to progress beyond the last 32 on the ProTour circuit, although he’ll be hoping the summer break has inspired a change in his fortunes.