Michael van Gerwen and Chris Dobey produced the performances of the day on a thrilling opening to the Ladbrokes UK Open at Butlin’s Minehead Resort on Friday.
The 159-player, multi-board tournament began with a bumper day of darts, with the opening four rounds seeing the field whittled down to 32 competitors who will return on Saturday afternoon to continue the battle for the £100,000 title.
Friday afternoon’s early rounds included first round defeats for female duo Lisa Ashton and Fallon Sherrock – to Mike De Decker and Kyle McKinstry respectively – as well as Brisbane Darts Masters champion Damon Heta, against Scott Waites.
2012 UK Open champion Robert Thornton was a third round casualty, while former finalists Barrie Bates and Andy Hamilton lost out in round two.
The arrival of the world’s top 32 players in Friday evening’s fourth round saw the drama increase further as reigning champion Nathan Aspinall drew world number one Van Gerwen in a crunch clash.
A high-quality affair saw neither player able to open up more than a two-leg lead throughout, before two-time champion Van Gerwen eventually closed out a 10-8 success with a 105.5 average.
Van Gerwen will now play Jason Lowe in Saturday afternoon’s fifth round, after the Cradley Heath thrower – a Tour Card winner at Qualifying School in January – defeated Cody Harris, Jonathan Worsley and 2014 UK Open champion Adrian Lewis to reach the last 32.
Chris Dobey and Krzysztof Ratajski both averaged over 105 in an outstanding fourth round tie which saw the Bedlington ace come from 9-8 down to win 10-9, taking out a 91 bull finish in the deciding leg of a thriller.
World number three Gerwyn Price was another impressive performer as he averaged 104 in his dominant 10-3 defeat of Danny Noppert, and the Welshman will now play Ricky Evans after the Kettering ace overcame Joe Murnan 10-4.
2017 UK Open champion Peter Wright emerged victorious from another tight contest, averaging over 102 in his 10-8 win over Glen Durrant.
The World Champion now plays Ian White, who averaged almost 100 in a 10-6 win over emerging talent Harry Ward.
2018 UK Open winner Gary Anderson gained revenge for his loss to Steve Beaton in this event 12 months ago with a 10-7 victory as he progressed to a tie with Plymouth’s Simon Stevenson, who saw off both Kevin Doets and Darren Webster in a deciding leg.
Former World Champion Rob Cross, last year’s runner-up to Aspinall in Minehead, hit back from 6-5 down to win 10-7 against Dutch youngster Niels Zonneveld.
Cross will now face Michael Smith in another plum fifth round tie, with the world number five having overcome James Wilson 10-4.
Ireland’s Willie O’Connor fought off a strong fightback from Dave Chisnall to claim a narrow 10-8 win, with the Morecambe ace having begun the game wearing glasses, removed them at 5-0 down before hitting back from a seven-leg deficit to trail 8-7 at one stage.
Stephen Bunting survived three missed match darts from Vincent van der Voort as he progressed to a meeting with St Helens rival Alan Tabern, who won four games on Friday to reach the last 32.
Welsh student Lewis Williams and Essex decorator Rhys Hayden were the best-performing players from the 16 Rileys Amateur Qualifiers, as both won through to the last 64.
Williams saw off Robert Owen, Adrian Gray and Jose De Sousa before losing out 10-9 to Steve West, while Hayden saw off Jamie Clark, James Richardson and Toni Alcinas before his run was ended by Dimitri Van den Bergh.
Northern Ireland’s McKinstry followed up his win over Sherrock with defeats of Jason Heaver, Stephen Burton and Bradley Brooks as he moved through to the last 32.
He now plays Martin Schindler, who averaged over 102 in a superb performance against Justin Pipe in round four as the German moved into Saturday’s second day.
Two-time UK Open champion James Wade saw off Scotland’s John Henderson 10-5, and the left-hander now comes up against Kim Huybrechts after the Belgian ace saw off Robert Thornton and Ryan Searle on Friday.
Daryl Gurney, Jamie Hughes, Dirk van Duijvenbode and Gabriel Clemens were other 10-9 winners in the fourth round, while Jonny Clayton ended the hopes of two-time Lakeside Champion Waites.
Max Hopp withdrew from the event on Friday morning due to glandular fever. As a result, Martin Atkins – who won three games in the afternoon session – received a Bye in the fourth round draw.
Saturday will see the afternoon session’s fifth round followed in the evening session by the sixth round, before Sunday sees the remaining eight players return to compete for the £100,000 title.
2020 Ladbrokes UK Open – Results
Friday March 6
- First Round
- Mike De Decker 6-2 Lisa Ashton
- Scott Waites 6-4 Damon Heta
- Kyle McKinstry 6-1 Fallon Sherrock
- Cody Harris 6-5 Scott Taylor
- Kai Fan Leung 6-3 Kelvin Self
- Karel Sedlacek 6-0 Adam Hunt
- Alan Tabern 6-2 Keane Barry
- Andy Hamilton 6-3 Patrick Lynskey
- Steffen Siepmann 6-4 Krzysztof Kciuk
- Peter Jacques 6-4 Ciaran Teehan
- Steve Brown 6-5 Michael Barnard
- Daniel Larsson 6-5 Ryan Meikle
- Jason Askew 6-4 Greg Ritchie
- Jason Heaver 6-0 Jesus Noguera
- Adam Smith-Neale 6-4 Ben Cheeseman
- Nathan Rafferty 6-3 Darren Beveridge
- Stephen Burton 6-1 Adam Huckvale
- Rhys Hayden 6-5 James Clark
- Bradley Brooks 6-5 Cameron Menzies
- Harald Leitinger 6-1 Kevin Burness
- Wesley Harms 6-3 Aaron Beeney
- Danny van Trijp 6-4 Boris Koltsov
- William Borland 6-2 Andrew Davidson
- Lewis Williams 6-5 Robert Owen
- Martin Atkins 6-5 Ryan Murray
- Callan Rydz 6-5 Shane McGuirk
- Wayne Jones 6-1 Gary Blades
- Berry van Peer 6-3 Owen Roelofs
- Justin Smith 6-3 Andy Jenkins
- Derk Telnekes 6-3 Martijn Kleermaker
- James Richardson 6-4 Darren Penhall
- Kevin Doets 6-1 Alfie Thompson
- Second Round
- Mark McGeeney 6-5 Scott Baker
- John Michael 6-5 Jeff Smith
- Kevin Doets 6-3 David Pallett
- Kyle McKinstry 6-4 Jason Heaver
- Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-0 Marko Kantele
- Scott Waites 6-1 Geert Nentjes
- Mike De Decker 6-5 Daniel Larsson
- Bradley Brooks 6-2 Nick Kenny
- Harry Ward 6-5 Gavin Carlin
- Kai Fan Leung 6-2 Kirk Shepherd
- Karel Sedlacek 6-2 Barrie Bates
- Rhys Hayden 6-4 James Richardson
- Andy Boulton 6-2 Reece Robinson
- Maik Kuivenhoven 6-3 Nathan Derry
- Wesley Harms 6-5 Justin Smith
- Madars Razma 6-4 Derk Telnekes
- Jonathan Worsley 6-4 Matt Clark
- Steffen Siepmann 6-2 Carl Wilkinson
- Ted Evetts 6-1 Berry van Peer
- Alan Tabern 6-3 Steve Brown
- Jason Lowe 6-1 Cody Harris
- Martin Atkins 6-2 Christian Bunse
- Nathan Rafferty 6-1 Mike van Duivenbode
- Niels Zonneveld 6-4 Andy Hamilton
- Jason Askew 6-5 Rowby-John Rodriguez
- Yordi Meeuwisse 6-3 Peter Jacques
- Lewis Williams 6-3 Adrian Gray
- Joe Murnan 6-3 Harald Leitinger
- Stephen Burton 6-4 Vincent van der Meer
- Conan Whitehead 6-3 Wayne Jones
- William Borland 6-0 Danny van Trijp
- Callan Rydz 6-3 Adam Smith-Neale
- Third Round
- Luke Humphries 6-5 Kyle Anderson
- Kim Huybrechts 6-1 Robert Thornton
- Josh Payne 6-4 Luke Woodhouse
- Ryan Searle 6-5 Cristo Reyes
- William O’Connor 6-2 Jan Dekker
- Vincent van der Voort 6-4 John Michael
- William Borland 6-5 Mike De Decker
- Richard North 6-4 Ron Meulenkamp
- Steve West 6-2 Conan Whitehead
- Bradley Brooks 6-4 Devon Petersen
- Martin Atkins 6-5 Wesley Harms
- Jamie Lewis 6-5 Ross Smith
- James Wilson 6-4 Ted Evetts
- Alan Tabern 6-4 Steve Lennon
- Niels Zonneveld 6-2 Mickey Mansell
- Justin Pipe 6-3 Kai Fan Leung
- Ryan Joyce 6-2 Yordi Meeuwisse
- Lewis Williams 6-4 Jose De Sousa
- Jamie Hughes 6-2 Nathan Rafferty
- Gabriel Clemens 6-3 Maik Kuivenhoven
- Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-3 Darius Labanauskas
- Rhys Hayden 6-2 Toni Alcinas
- Matthew Edgar 6-3 Callan Rydz
- Martin Schindler 6-4 Benito van de Pas
- Andy Boulton 6-4 Mark McGeeney
- Jason Lowe 6-3 Jonathan Worsley
- Scott Waites 6-2 Madars Razma
- Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Jason Askew
- Harry Ward 6-3 Steffen Siepmann
- Joe Murnan 6-3 Karel Sedlacek
- Simon Stevenson 6-5 Kevin Doets
- Kyle McKinstry 6-2 Stephen Burton
- Evening Session
- Fourth Round
- Gerwyn Price 10-3 Danny Noppert
- Peter Wright 10-8 Glen Durrant
- Michael van Gerwen 10-8 Nathan Aspinall
- Gary Anderson 10-7 Steve Beaton
- Dimitri Van den Bergh 10-5 Rhys Hayden
- William O’Connor 10-8 Dave Chisnall
- Stephen Bunting 10-9 Vincent van der Voort
- Chris Dobey 10-9 Krzysztof Ratajski
- Ian White 10-6 Harry Ward
- Mensur Suljovic 10-4 Jamie Lewis
- Gabriel Clemens 10-9 Ryan Joyce
- Michael Smith 10-4 James Wilson
- Kim Huybrechts 10-8 Ryan Searle
- Alan Tabern 10-6 Richard North
- Dirk van Duijvenbode 10-9 Jermaine Wattimena
- Simon Whitlock 10-7 Jeffrey de Zwaan
- Kyle McKinstry 10-8 Bradley Brooks
- Rob Cross 10-7 Niels Zonneveld
- Joe Cullen 10-7 Mervyn King
- Jason Lowe 10-4 Adrian Lewis
- Jelle Klaasen 10-5 William Borland
- Ricky Evans 10-4 Joe Murnan
- Simon Stevenson 10-9 Darren Webster
- Jonny Clayton 10-7 Scott Waites
- Andy Boulton 10-8 Luke Humphries
- Steve West 10-9 Lewis Williams
- Matthew Edgar 10-5 Josh Payne
- James Wade 10-5 John Henderson
- Daryl Gurney 10-9 Keegan Brown
- Martin Schindler 10-2 Justin Pipe
- Jamie Hughes 10-9 Brendan Dolan
- Bye – Martin Atkins
- Saturday March 7
- Afternoon Session (1230 GMT start)
- Fifth Round
- Main Stage
- Simon Whitlock v Chris Dobey
- Jason Lowe v Michael van Gerwen
- Peter Wright v Ian White
- Rob Cross v Michael Smith
- Stage Two
- William O’Connor v Daryl Gurney
- Gerwyn Price v Ricky Evans
- James Wade v Kim Huybrechts
- Gary Anderson v Simon Stevenson
- Stage Three
- Jonny Clayton v Joe Cullen
- Dirk van Duijvenbode v Mensur Suljovic
- Stephen Bunting v Alan Tabern
- Matthew Edgar v Dimitri Van den Bergh
- Stage Four
- Martin Atkins v Jamie Hughes
- Jelle Klaasen v Steve West
- Kyle McKinstry v Martin Schindler
- Andy Boulton v Gabriel Clemens
- Evening Session (1900 GMT start)
- Sixth Round
- Main Stage & Stage Two
- Sunday March 8
- Afternoon Session (1245 GMT start)
- Main Stage
- Evening Session (1900 GMT start)
- Semi-Finals & Final
- Main Stage