Darts royalty ready to hit Blackpool

Michael van Gerwen
Michael van Gerwen
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The 32 qualifiers for the BetVictor World Matchplay tournament at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool this month have been decided, with the field containing the global darts elite.

Now all attention will be trained on Thursday’s draw, which will be televised on Sky Sports News at 9.45am.

Sadly, there is no place for Fleetwood’s Wes Newton, a Winter Gardens regular in recent years.

The top 16 in the Professional Darts Corporation order of merit will be joined at Blackpool by 16 qualifiers from the Pro-Tour.

Newton’s serious dip in form has cost the two-time quarter-finalist a place in this year’s Matchplay, which takes place from July 16 to 24.

World championship quarter-finalist Alan Norris heads a trio of World Matchplay debutants, who have qualified through the Pro-Tour order of merit

Northern Ireland’s Daryl Gurney and Kent youngster Josh Payne, who won his maiden Players Championship in April, will also make their Blackpool debuts, with Australia’s emerging Kyle Anderson set to compete in Blackpool for a second successive year.

Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen heads the 16 seeded players, with Gary Anderson seeded second, 15-time winner Phil Taylor third and Adrian Lewis fourth.

James Wade, the only other previous World Matchplay champion in the field, is the sixth seed, while Dutch ace Vincent van der Voort held on to 16th place on the PDC order of merit to secure his seeded place.

Robbie Green clinched the final qualifying spot in Sunday’s Players’ Championship in Barnsley.

Seeds (from 1-16): Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis, Peter Wright, James Wade, Michael Smith, Robert Thonrton, Dave Chisnall, Jelle Klaasen, Ryamond van Barneveld, Ian White, Kim Huybrechts, Stephen Bunting, Terry Jenkins, Vincent van der Voort

Qualifiers: Benito van de Pas, Mensur Suljovic, Gerwyn Price, Alan Norris, Simon Whitlock, Joe Cullen, Daryl Gurney, Mervyn King, Steve Beaton, Justin Pipe, Mark Webster, Jamie Caven, Kyle Anderson, Brendan Dolan, Josh Payne, Robbie Green.

Tickets are available now from the Winter Gardens box-office on Church Str eet. Call 0844 856 1111 or book online at www.ticketmaster.co.uk.