Pro Tour season draws to a close with 64-player event behind closed doors at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena – the final event before this year’s World Darts Championship gets underway on December 15.
Last Updated: 26/11/20 12:34pm
Mensur Suljovic and Jeff Smith have withdrawn from this weekend’s Players Championship Finals, handing Ryan Meikle and Darren Webster a place in the field.
Smith was the first player to withdraw as he returns to Canada to prepare for the World Championship, with his sport handing Meikle a chance to move into the field. He was joined by former semi-finalist Webster after a family bereavement meant world no 18 Suljovic would not be competing.
World No 1 Michael van Gerwen is the defending champion having won his fifth Players Championship title last year, but with just four titles across the truncated PDC season, he is enduring his toughest campaign since his major PDC breakthrough in 2012.
Did you know?
Over the past four seasons Michael van Gerwen has won 77 individual titles – but he has not gone beyond the semi-finals of his last seven TV events
The three-time world champion has just a solitary TV title to his name, having beaten Gerwyn Price at the UK Open in March, and has added just three more Pro Tour titles across the Summer and Autumn Series, with a third defeat to Simon Whitlock at the Grand Slam week the latest early exit.
Having boasted a cumulative tally of 77 individual titles across the previous four years he is out to end a barren spell as the PDC regular season reaches its conclusion in the now familiar surroundings of the Ricoh Arena – and he kicks off against Lithuania’s Darius Labanauskas.
Jose De Sousa, the PDC’s newest champion having won the Grand Slam of Darts on Tuesday night, plays Mike De Dekker, while World Matchplay winner Dimitri Van den Bergh plays Ryan Searle and Premier League champion Glen Durrant meets Wayne Jones.
2020 PDC televised champions
|UK Open||Michael van Gerwen|
|World Matchplay||Dimitri Van den Bergh|
|World Series of Darts Finals||Gerwyn Price|
|World Grand Prix||Gerwyn Price|
|Premier League||Glen Durrant|
|European Championship||Peter Wright|
|World Cup||Wales (Gerwyn Price & Jonny Clayton)|
|Grand Slam of Darts||Jose De Sousa|
The tournament gets under way on Friday afternoon with Price, alongside Van Gerwen, the join favourite for the event having won more titles that anyone else across the year.
Price is an eight-time winner this year, with the World Grand Prix, the World Series of Darts and the World Cup alongside Jonny Clayton all coming in the last couple of months and the Welshman will kick off his title bid against John Henderson in the first round.
Peter Wright will play the last event before heading to Alexandra Palace to defend his world title and he faces late replacement Meikle
The £500,000 three-day tournament, traditionally held at the Butlin’s Minehead Resort, has been switched to the Ricoh Arena and as well as title contenders represents final chances to earn ranking money that will affect a place at the World Championship.
PDC Titles 2021 Season
|4||Michael van Gerwen|
|2||Nathan Aspinall, Joe Cullen,|
The PDC World Darts Championship is on after the news on Monday that Alexandra Palace would host the event, and that the PDC has begun talks with the venue with the hope of fans being able to attend, in line with the latest UK government advice.
The 96-player field will be confirmed next Monday after the Tour Card holders qualifier and the conclusion of the regular season at the Players Championship Finals this weekend. The draw will take place on Sky Sports News on Thursday December 3.
You won’t miss a dart this Christmas thanks to the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel which returns from December 15 until January 4 for every session from the World Darts Championship as Peter Wright defends the Sid Waddell Trophy