The European Tour returns after a six-month absence as the 32 qualifiers battle it out in Round One of the…
The European Tour returns after a six-month absence as the 32 qualifiers battle it out in Round One of the German Darts Championship in Hildesheim on Friday.
The first PDC European Tour event to be staged since March features 48 players competing over three days at Halle 39 in Hildesheim for £140,000 in prize money.
The top 16 players from the ProTour Order of Merit are seeded and enter at the Second Round stage, while 32 qualifiers battle it out for the right to join them.
There are 24 Tour Card Holder qualifiers, two Associate Member qualifiers, three Host Nation qualifiers and one East European Associate Member qualifier.
Friday’s afternoon session, held in front of a limited capacity crowd, kicks off with a clash between two-time BDO World Champion Scott Waites and Cornwall’s Darren Penhall, who also came through Qualifying School this year.
Multiple major finalist Mervyn King starts out against Steffen Siepmann – one of seven German representatives in the competition.
Russia’s Boris Koltsov faces Republic of Ireland’s Steve Lennon in one of the stand-out ties, while Lennon’s World Cup team-mate William O’Connor faces Sweden’s Daniel Larsson.
Dutch left-hander Ron Meulenkamp meets Richard North, while New Zealand’s Cody Harris looks to kick on from last week’s World Series Finals win over Dave Chisnall when he faces Host Nation qualifier Lukas Wenig.
Belgian veteran Ronny Huybrechts marks his return to action with a tie against German qualifier Dragutin Horvat, while Canada’s Jeff Smith comes up against Euro Tour debutant Franz Roetzsch.
Arguably the pick of the evening’s encounters sees in-form South African Devon Petersen, a recent finalist and nine-dart merchant on the ProTour, take on Premier League Challenger Jeffrey de Zwaan.
World number four Michael Smith is the highest ranked player in First Round action and he has been drawn to face fellow St Helens ace Alan Tabern.
Chris Dobey, who is bidding to safeguard a place in next month’s World Grand Prix, aims to overcome Scotland’s Ryan Murray, while Dobey’s fellow Tyneside thrower Adam Hunt faces a resurgent Steve Brown – who joined him in progressing through Q School in January.
Former Lakeside finalist Danny Noppert faces a tricky opener against former ProTour event winner Josh Payne, while German number two Gabriel Clemens aims to delight his home crowd by seeing off multiple major quarter-finalist Steve West.
Max Hopp, the only German to have ever claimed a European Tour title, will also look to feed off the crowd support when he takes on Hull’s Reece Robinson.
Emerging star Nico Kurz, who reached the Last 32 on his World Championship debut last December, faces 47-year-old Jason Lowe – a former ProTour event semi-finalist.
The action gets underway from 12pm BST, with First Round matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs.
German Darts Championship 2020 Match Schedule
Friday September 25
Afternoon Session (12pm-4pm)
Scott Waites v Darren Penhall
Daniel Larsson v William O’Connor
Ron Meulenkamp v Richard North
Boris Koltsov v Steve Lennon
Franz Roetzsch v Jeff Smith
Lukas Wenig v Cody Harris
Ronny Huybrechts v Dragutin Horvat
Steffen Siepmann v Mervyn King
Evening Session (6pm-10pm)
Danny Noppert v Josh Payne
Steve Brown v Adam Hunt
Steve West v Gabriel Clemens
Jason Lowe v Nico Kurz
Reece Robinson v Max Hopp
Jeffrey de Zwaan v Devon Petersen
Chris Dobey v Ryan Murray
Michael Smith v Alan Tabern