European Tour Kicks-off in Leverkusen

European Tour Kicks-off in Leverkusen
Photo: Steve Welsh/PDC

The first of 13 events on the PDC’s European Tour commences in Germany this afternoon.
48 players spanning 11 different nationalities will share the £135,000 prize fund and look to scoop the £25,000 winners share.

Defending champion Peter Wright will hope happy memories of this tournament can spark an upturn in fortunes after a torrid few weeks in the Premier League spotlight.

He and top seed Michael van Gerwen dominated the Euro events last year, winning all but one of the 12 titles on offer between them before MVG scooped the biggest prize with a victory over World Champion Rob Cross at the end of season finals.

Charismatic Scot Cameron Menzies could be an early hurdle for ‘Mighty Mike’ if he can overcome his first round encounter with new tour card holder Mark Wilson.
Unlike Wilson, Menzies was desperately disappointed to miss out at Q-school in January after bursting into the limelight in November at the Grand slam. After almost pinching himself in disbelief as he squared off against his hero Gary Anderson he produced an exuberant display of utter joy and disbelief at the occasion, followed with a classy show of sportsmanship while Berry van Peer struggled with dartitis. This could be his big chance to shine brightly once again.

After rare outings in Europe over the past few years, back surgery, and lacklustre performances culminating in a shock early exit at the World’s, Adrian Lewis will seek to recapture his form and rightful place among the elite top 16.
A mouth-watering second-round encounter with one of his premier league replacements Rob Cross could be on the cards.

Other first-round highlights include ‘The Machine’ James Wade taking on ‘The Bronzed Adonis’ Steve Beaton. That former Lakeside Champion Beaton and seven-time major winner Wade face-off in the last 48 of a tournament highlights the current standard within the PDC ranks.

Ian White will once again attempt to take his scintillating Pro Tour form up onto the big stage, while an all-Dutch clash between up and coming talents Danny Noppert and Jeffrey de Zwaan should entertain all.

As for the home interest, there is guaranteed to be one German in the second round as recent Pro Tour quarter-final is Gabriel Clemens has been drawn against compatriot Thomas Junghens.

But all eyes and expectations will once again fall on their prodigal son Max Hopp.
Long touted as the future of German darts, Hopp has failed to progress to a quarter-final of any PDC event since the European Matchplay in May of 2016 – also held in Germany.
A resurgence this weekend would lift the lid off the Ostermann Arena.

2018 European Darts Open (ET1)
Draw Bracket
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Mark Wilson/Cameron Menzies
Alan Norris (16) v Jonny Clayton/Jermaine Wattiemena
Simon Whitlock (8) v Jan Dekker/Tytus Kanik
Dave Chisnall (9) v Marko Kantele/Vincent van der Voort
Daryl Gurney (5) v Ron Meulenkamp/Dimitri Van den Bergh
Ian White (12) v Michael Rasztovits/Justin Pipe
Rob Cross (4) v Adrian Lewis/Ritchie Edhouse
Gerwyn Price (13) v Martin Atkins/Richard North
Peter Wright (2) v Luke Woodhouse/Ryan Meikle
Kyle Anderson (15) v Maik Langendorf/John Henderson
Joe Cullen (7) v Danny Noppert/Jeffrey de Zwaan
Kim Huybrechts (10) v Wayne Jones/Chris Dobey
Mensur Suljovic (6) v Jamie Hughes/Max Hopp
Mervyn King (11) v Thomas Junghans/Gabriel Clemens
Michael Smith (3) v Luke Humphries/Darren Johnson
Jelle Klaasen (14) v James Wade/Steve Beaton

Schedule of Play
Friday March 23
First Round
Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm GMT)
Luke Woodhouse v Ryan Meikle
Martin Atkins v Richard North
Mark Wilson v Cameron Menzies
Jan Dekker v Tytus Kanik
Jamie Hughes v Max Hopp
Luke Humphries v Darren Johnson
Michael Rasztovits v Justin Pipe
Maik Langendorf v John Henderson

Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm GMT)
Marko Kantele v Vincent van der Voort
Ron Meulenkamp v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Wayne Jones v Chris Dobey
Danny Noppert v Jeffrey de Zwaan
Jonny Clayton v Jermaine Wattimena
Thomas Junghans v Gabriel Clemens
Adrian Lewis v Ritchie Edhouse
James Wade v Steve Beaton

Saturday March 24
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm GMT)
Ian White v Rasztovits/Pipe
Gerwyn Price v Atkins/North
Kyle Anderson v LangendorfHenderson
Dave Chisnall v Kantele/Van der Voort
Alan Norris v Clayton/Wattimena
Kim Huybrechts v Jones/Dobey
Joe Cullen v Noppert/De Zwaan
Mervyn King v Junghans/Clemens

Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm GMT)
Simon Whitlock v Dekker/Kanik
Daryl Gurney v Meulenkamp/Van den Bergh
Michael van Gerwen v Wilson/Menzies
Peter Wright v Woodhouse/Meikle
Rob Cross v Lewis/Edhouse
Jelle Klaasen v Wade/Beaton
Mensur Suljovic v Hughes/Hopp
Michael Smith v Humphries/Johnson

Sunday March 25
Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm GMT)
Third Round

Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm GMT)
Quarter-Finals
Semi-Finals
Final