UK Open Draw Confirmed

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New Zealand’s Haupai Puha will take on former semi-finalist Jelle Klaasen in the first round of the 2024 Ladbrokes UK Open, with the draw confirmed for the opening session of next weekend’s Minehead event.

Klaasen will take on New Zealand’s former World Cup quarter-finalist Puha in one of the stand-out ties confirmed for the festival of darts, which will take place at Butlin’s Minehead Resort from March 1-3.

The unique multi-board tournament will see PDC Tour Card Holders competing across three days alongside Rileys Amateur Qualifiers and top players from the 2023 PDC Winmau Challenge Tour and Development Tour Orders of Merit.

The 158-player field will see Tour Card Holders enter across the first four rounds, based on PDC Order of Merit position following this week’s Players Championship double-header in Leicester.

The opening three rounds will take place in an action-packed afternoon session on Friday March 1, before the world’s top 32 enter the fray at the fourth round stage in the evening session.

The first round will see Tour Card Holders ranked from 97-126 joined by 16 Rileys Amateur Qualifiers, and 16 players from the 2023 Challenge Tour and Development Tour.

2016 semi-finalist Klaasen – who returned to the PDC circuit after coming through European Qualifying School in January – will open his bid against trailblazer Puha, who became the first New Zealander to win a PDC Tour Card last month.

Klaasen’s fellow former Lakeside Champions Scott Mitchell and Christian Kist will also be among the names in first round action, as they take on debutant duo Leighton Bennett and Patrick Geeraets respectively.

Scotland’s former World Cup winner John Henderson will also make his big stage return when he plays Northern Ireland’s Kevin Burness – a two-time World Championship qualifier.

Tour Card Holders ranked 65-96 will enter in round two, as Ireland’s former World Cup runner-up Steve Lennon plays Frenchman Jacques Labre.

Former World Youth Champion Arron Monk will play young Irishman Dylan Slevin for a place in round three, while Dutch duo Berry van Peer and Maik Kuivenhoven also go head-to-head.

Players ranked from 33-64 will then join the tournament in round three, with former UK Open runner-up Vincent van der Voort set to face his compatriot Jeffrey Sparidaans or former PDC Asian Champion Christian Perez.

Steve Beaton will maintain his ever-present record at the UK Open when he plays Josh Payne, Rusty-Jake Rodriguez or Ron Meulenkamp, while 2014 semi-finalist Mervyn King also enters at the third round stage.

Australian stalwart Simon Whitlock will meet Van Peer or Kuivenhoven for a place in round four, as last year’s semi-finalist Adam Gawlas bids to replicate his breakthrough run on his Minehead return.

Former semi-finalist William O’Connor locks horns with two-time quarter-finalist Mensur Suljovic in another eye-catching tussle, while Wales’ Jim Williams faces a potential tie against American qualifier Leonard Gates – one of the 16 Rileys Amateur Qualifiers.

The sport’s biggest names then begin their title bids in round four, including reigning champion Andrew Gilding, World Champion Luke Humphries and teenage sensation Luke Littler.

Former champions Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright, Nathan Aspinall, Danny Noppert, James Wade, Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld will also enter the event at the fourth round stage.

Tour Card Holders Adrian Lewis and Adam Hunt will not compete in Minehead, therefore two players will receive a first round bye.

At the conclusion of the third round on Friday afternoon, an open draw will be made live on the Main Stage for the fourth round, with further draws to be made following each subsequent round.

Main Stage matches across all three days will be broadcast live on ITV3 and ITV4 for UK viewers, through the PDC’s international broadcast partners, including DAZN and Viaplay, and on PDCTV for Rest of the World Subscribers.

Stage Two action on Friday and Saturday will be streamed exclusively for all PDCTV Subscribers worldwide, with commentary from Dan Dawson and Paul Nicholson.

In addition, matches from Stages Three to Eight will be broadcast live on PDCTV on Friday and Saturday, with the stage allocations set to be confirmed in due course.

Players will compete for a £110,000 top prize, with a total prize fund of £600,000 on offer being paid down to the last 128.

The stage allocations for Friday’s afternoon session will be confirmed in due course.


Images: PDC

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