Germany’s Unterbucher is among the notable absentees (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
A number of the BDO’s big names have opted out of entering the 2019 World Masters amid changes to the qualifying criteria.
As reported last month
, some of the BDO’s top ranked players were said to be considering boycotting the event following the announcement that all players must start out from the floor stages regardless of their world ranking.
The prestigious major, which has been an annual fixture since 1974, will be held at The Circus Tavern in Purfleet for the first time and has been rebranded the One80 L-style World Masters after Winmau recently ended their 45-year association with the BDO.
Previously, the top 16 ranked men and top four ranked ladies were seeded automatically into the live finals, but a controversial u-turn now sees all players required to enter the qualifiers in Grays on Wednesday (Men’s) and Thursday (Women’s, Boys and Girls).
All players in the qualifiers are also now required to pay £20 in entry fees.
A host of decorated names will be absent from the qualifying rounds, including two-time Lakeside semi-finalist Michael Unterbuchner, World Trophy quarter-finalist Daniel Day, BDO number six Martijn Kleermaker and BDO number 15 Gary Robson.
Darryl Fitton, the 2007 World Masters runner-up, 2004 and 2012 finalist Tony O’Shea, 2011 semi-finalist Ross Montgomery, Chris Landman and Derk Telnekes are among the other notable absentees.
Adam Smith-Neale and Lisa Ashton will be looking to defend their respective titles, while World Trophy winner Jim Williams, Wesley Harms, Scott Waites, Scott Mitchell, Martin Adams, Andy Hamilton, Wes Newton and Ted Hankey are also in action.
PDC Tour Card holder Scott Baker is another notable entrant, alongside PDC Challenge Tour regulars Kyle McKinstry, Krzysztof Kciuk, Jesus Noguera and Cameron Menzies and 1994 World Matchplay champion Larry Butler.
The televised stages of the World Masters run from October 25-27 at the Circus Tavern in Purfleet and will be shown live on Eurosport, with the prize fund yet to be confirmed.
Click here to view the Mens and Ladies qualifying draws