It was all change in the PDC Order of Merit following the UK Open, as the two year rolling system adjusted to take this weekend’s prize money into account. theknightlyblog looks at the five winners and losers in the latest Order of Merit update.
Perhaps the biggest winner at Minehead this weekend was Gerwyn Price who’s run to the final earned him £35,000 and has seen him move three places in the Order of Merit to 17th. He is now just over £16,000 off of Simon Whitlock and on current form looks very likely to break into the world’s top 16 before the end of the year.
Fan favourite Raymond van Barneveld’s impressive recent form has seen him return to the top eight for the first time since 2013. The Dutchman seems to have finally found consistency on the tour and five consecutive quarter-final appearances along with his run to the semi-finals of the World Championships have seen him rise from outside the top 10 to within £90,000 of the top four. Barney won’t be settling for eighth though and is set to play more Pro Tour events in order to improve his ranking and receive better draws at the major tournaments.
Northern Irish thrower Daryl Gurney played some great darts in reaching the semi-finals of the UK Open and has been rewarded with his highest ever place in the Order of Merit. His prize money of £17,500 was enough to see him rise to 19th and put pressure on the top 16.
Elsewhere, Ronnie Baxter and Alan Tabern have been rolling back the years to re-enter the world’s top 100. Tabern, who admits he doesn’t even practice anymore has joined the top 100 courtesy of his impressive run to the last 16 of the UK Open. Baxter, a two-time runner-up in PDC majors, won back his Tour Card at Q-School in January and has started to look like the Rocket of old. His run to the fourth round at the UK Open sees him up to 97th in the Order of Merit.
The slide continues for Stephen Bunting, who made it three consecutive first round defeats at PDC majors, as he lost to Mark Webster in the second round of the UK Open. Bunting was the biggest loser of the weekend, failing to defend the £17,500 that he made in making the semi-finals in 2015. The Bullet will be keen to stop the slide, which has previously proved fatal for PDC pros, just ask former Premier League players Andy Hamilton and Wes Newton, who now sit 54th and 62nd in the Order of Merit.
Whilst Darren Webster didn’t fall in the Order of Merit, his position in the world’s top 32 is in danger. Spaniard Cristo Reyes didn’t win a single game at the UK Open but courtesy of a bye, due to Michael van Gerwen’s injury, he reached the fourth round, which was enough to put him within just £3,250 of Webster, who lost in round three to Baxter.
Phil Taylor opted not to play in the UK Open for the first time in its 15 year history this weekend and he fell to his lowest career ranking as a result. The Power now sits seventh in the Order of Merit as heads towards retirement at the end of the year.
Mensur Suljovic was ineligible to play at the UK Open having missed all six UK Open qualifiers due to family reasons. The Austrian had reached the quarter-finals two years ago and his failure to defend the £10,000 prize money saw him drop two places to tenth.
Finally, the Bull, Terry Jenkins, saw his position in the Order of Merit fall to twentieth as he lost to Wayne Jones in the second round of the UK Open. The charge of Alan Norris, Daryl Gurney and Gerywn Price looked a danger to the top 16 but it also had consequences for Jenkins too, as all three men moved above him in the Order of Merit.