A jam-packed opening day of the 2021 UK Open features 151 players battling it out across eight stages in Milton…
A jam-packed opening day of the 2021 UK Open features 151 players battling it out across eight stages in Milton Keynes.
This year’s UK Open will take place behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena from March 5-7, with play held simultaneously in the early rounds across eight stages in the same area of the venue.
Commonly referred to as the ‘FA Cup of Darts’, the UK Open features a unique open draw format from the outset, with all Tour Card holders invited to compete.
With no amateur qualifiers in this year’s field, the line-up is comprised of 151 players, including top-ups from the 2020 Development Tour and Challenge Tour Order of Merit, as well as 16 non-qualified players from the respective Qualifying School Orders of Merit.
Players will enter the tournament based on their ranking position, with the world’s top 32 joining in the Fourth Round on Friday night, including reigning champion Michael van Gerwen, world number one Gerwyn Price and former UK Open champions Peter Wright, Gary Anderson, James Wade, Nathan Aspinall and Adrian Lewis.
The afternoon session plays host to the opening three rounds, kicking off on the main stage with a clash between resurgent Dutchman Berry van Peer and German ace Martin Schindler – who recently regained his Tour Card at European Qualifying School.
A further two PDC newcomers then collide as Brett Claydon faces 2019 North American champion Danny Baggish – who secured his Tour Card in dramatic fashion on the final day at this very venue last month.
Elsewhere in Round One, former world finalist Kirk Shepherd faces Australian newcomer Gordon Mathers on Stage Two, while Russian number one Boris Koltsov meets Austrian youngster Rusty-Jake Rodriguez.
Jim Williams, the 2020 BDO World Championship runner-up, takes on Austria’s Zoran Lerchbacher, while former World Champion Richie Burnett meets Dutch left-hander Geert Nentjes.
Former World Youth finalist Adam Gawlas faces Dutchman Gino Vos on Stage Seven, while emerging Bristol star John Brown makes his UK Open debut against Northern Ireland’s Gavin Carlin.
The stand-out Second Round tie sees two-time UK Open champion Raymond van Barneveld mark his return to the event with a show-down against Scotland’s Alan Soutar.
In only his third event after regaining a Tour Card, Van Barneveld ended an eight-year wait for a PDC ranking title by claiming glory in the Super Series, defeating Soutar 6-2 in the Quarter-Finals along the way.
Soutar, a firefighter by day, defeated the likes of Peter Wright, Dave Chisnall and Adrian Lewis during his first ProTour campaign, picking up a healthy £4,750 in prize money across the four days.
Other notable Second Round ties include four-time Women’s World Champion Lisa Ashton versus Aaron Beeney – who pulled off a sensational scalp of Gerwyn Price in last week’s PDC Super Series
Ashton is eyeing her first win at the UK Open, while Beeney is making his debut in front of the television cameras as he looks to build on last week’s confidence-boosting upset.
Two-time BDO World Champion Scott Waites commences his campaign against Steve ‘Bomber’ Brown – whose sole PDC ranking title to date came in a UK Open qualifier a decade ago.
Rapid Dutchman Martijn Kleermaker faces Wayne Jones – one of only three ever-presents in the UK Open since the event began back in 2003.
Scotland’s Ryan Murray, who gave a fine account of himself against Michael van Gerwen in the recent World Championship, takes on Polish number two Krzysztof Kciuk on Stage Eight.
Confirmed Third Round ties include recent first-time ranking event winner Callan Rydz up against Ross Smith – who reached the Quarter-Finals of the UK Open two years ago.
Steve Beaton, who joins Jones and Wade as an ever-present in this prestigious competition, opens up against former BDO world finalist Mark McGeeney on Stage Two.
Former Lakeside Champion Jelle Klaasen faces a tough opener against Stoke ace Andy Boulton, while former World Youth champion Keegan Brown plays former World Trophy winner James Wilson.
John Henderson, who represented Scotland for the first time in last year’s World Cup, kicks off his campaign against Matthew Edgar in a repeat of their Super Series clash last week, in which ‘The Highlander’ prevailed 6-5.
The action gets underway from 11am GMT, with First, Second and Third Round matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs and Fourth Round best of 19.
Ladbrokes UK Open 2021 Schedule
Friday March 5
Afternoon Session (11am Start, 12pm Main Stage)
Berry van Peer v Martin Schindler (R1)
Brett Claydon v Danny Baggish (R1)
Aaron Beeney v Lisa Ashton (R2)
Maik Kuivenhoven v Koltsov/Rusty-Jake Rodriguez (R2)
Alan Soutar v Raymond van Barneveld (R2)
Keane Barry v Nentjes/Burnett (R2)
Max Hopp v William O’Connor (R3)
Damon Heta v Siepmann/D Evans (R3)
Soutar/Van Barneveld v Mickey Mansell (R3)
Gordon Mathers v Kirk Shepherd (R1)
Boris Koltsov v Rusty-Jake Rodriguez (R1)
Zoran Lerchbacher v Jim Williams (R1)
Geert Nentjes v Richie Burnett (R1)
Martin Atkins v Bradley Brooks (R2)
Martijn Kleermaker v Wayne Jones (R2)
Peters/L Williams v Scott Mitchell (R2)
Ciaran Teehan v Claydon/Baggish (R2)
Mark McGeeney v Steve Beaton (R3)
Ross Smith v Callan Rydz (R3)
Beeney/Ashton v Darius Labanauskas (R3)
Murray/Kciuk v Kim Huybrechts (R3)
Rhys Griffin v Sean Fisher (R1)
Matt Jackson v Nathan Rafferty (R1)
Keelan Kay v Kevin McDine (R1)
Rowby-John Rodriguez v Brian Raman (R1)
Nick Kenny v Ryan Meikle (R2)
Jeff Smith v Van Peer/Schindler (R2)
Andy Hamilton v Edhouse/Mol (R2)
Lerchbacher/J Williams v Mathers/Shepherd (R2)
James Wilson v Keegan Brown (R3)
Atkins/Brooks v Waites/S Brown (R3)
Barry/Nentjes/Burnett v Luke Woodhouse (R3)
S Taylor/Michael/Lukeman/Verberk v Adam Hunt (R3)
Geert De Vos v Niels Zonneveld (R1)
Martin Lukeman v Maikel Verberk (R1)
Scott Taylor v John Michael (R1)
Michael Rasztovits v Peter Jacques (R2)
Hudson/De Vreede v Jesus Noguera (R2)
Scott Waites v Steve Brown (R2)
Kay/McDine v Rowby-John Rodriguez/Raman (R2)
Heaver/Pronk/Lovely v Ron Meulenkamp (R3)
Murnan/Dennant/Leung v Kenny/Meikle (R3)
Lerchbacher/J Williams/Mathers/Shepherd v Madars Razma (R3)
Shane McGuirk v Jack Main (R1)
Jason Heaver v Lorenzo Pronk (R1)
Luc Peters v Lewis Williams (R1)
Steffen Siepmann v David Evans (R2)
De Vos/Zonneveld v Derk Telnekes (R2)
Alan Tabern v Gawlas/Vos (R2)
Murnan/Dennant v Kai Fan Leung (R2)
Steve West v Jason Lowe (R3)
Andy Boulton v Jelle Klaasen (R3)
Borland/Davis/Doets v Steve Lennon (R3)
Leitinger/Sedlacek v De Decker/Griffin/Fisher (R3)
Raztovits/Jacques v Teehan/Claydon/Baggish (R3)
Jim McEwan v Sebastian Bialecki (R1)
Chas Barstow v Lukas Wenig (R1)
Joe Murnan v Matthew Dennant (R1)
Jon Worsley v Andrew Gilding (R2)
McGuirk/Main v Robert Collins (R2)
Mike De Decker v Griffin/Fisher (R2)
S Taylor/Michael v Lukeman/Verberk (R2)
John Henderson v Matt Edgar (R3)
Hamilton/Edhouse/Mol v J Jones/D Taylor/Blades (R3)
J Smith/Van Peer/Schindler v Kleermaker/W Jones (R3)
J Brown/Carlin/Jackson/Rafferty v Barstow/Wenig/Thomas (R3)
Joe Davis v Kevin Doets (R1)
Adam Gawlas v Gino Vos (R1)
Ritchie Edhouse v Damian Mol (R1)
Harald Leitinger v Karel Sedlacek (R2)
J Jones/D Taylor v Gary Blades (R2)
J Brown/Carlin v Jackson/Rafferty (R2)
Barstow/Wenig v Martin Thomas (R2)
Kuivenhoven/Koltsov/Rusty-Jake Rodriguez v Brendan Dolan (R3)
Hudson/De Vreede/Noguera v Tabern/Gawlas/Vos (R3)
Kay/McDine/Rowby-John Rodriguez/Raman v Josh Payne (R3)
Jake Jones v Dom Taylor (R1)
Peter Hudson v Ryan De Vreede (R1)
John Brown v Gavin Carlin (R1)
Ryan Murray v Krzysztof Kciuk (R2)
William Borland v Davis/Doets (R2)
McEwan/Bialecki v Jitse van der Wal (R2)
Heaver/Pronk v Eddie Lovely (R2)
Ted Evetts v Darren Webster (R3)
McGuirk/Main/Collins v Ryan Searle (R3)
Peters/L Williams/Mitchell v Worsley/Gilding (R3)
McEwan/Bialecki/Van der Wal v De Vos/Zonneveld/Telnekes (R3)
Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
Main Stage, Stage Two & Stages Three-Eight