Pipe secured the final ProTour qualifying place (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
The field of players for the 2017 World Matchplay has been confirmed following Players Championship 16, with Justin Pipe claiming the final qualifying spot.
The summer’s darting show-piece takes place from July 22-30 at the iconic Winter Gardens in Blackpool and will feature a record prize fund of £500,000.
The top 16 players from the PDC Order of Merit qualify by right for the World Matchplay and are joined by 16 qualifiers from the one-year ProTour Order of Merit.
The weekend’s final qualifying events in Barnsley saw two Players Championship events held, as Pipe climbed above emerging youngster Chris Dobey to secure his seventh successive Blackpool appearance.
Pipe had overhauled Dobey in the rankings by reaching the semi-finals of Saturday’s Players Championship 15, and though he lost in the second round of Sunday’s event he held onto the final qualifying place ahead of Jonny Clayton and Dobey.
Rob Cross’ amazing debut year on the PDC circuit sees him qualify for his first World Matchplay after accumulating over £60,000 in ProTour events already in 2017, including two Players Championship wins.
Spain’s Cristo Reyes, Huddersfield’s James Wilson, Essex-based Steve West and Dutchman Christian Kist will also make their World Matchplay debuts after being among the 16 ProTour Qualifiers.
Players Championship wins for Steve Beaton and Darren Webster in recent weeks has secured their qualifying places, with the latter having gone into the Barnsley weekend with an outside chance of being overhauled before taking victory on Saturday.
With the world’s top 16 players seeded, reigning champion Michael van Gerwen will be the number one seed in his bid to win a third successive World Matchplay title.
Gary Anderson and Peter Wright are seeded second and third respectively, with former finalist Adrian Lewis seeded fourth and Dave Chisnall the fifth seed.
2007 World Matchplay winner James Wade, also a five-time runner-up in Blackpool, will be the sixth seed, with Austria’s Mensur Suljovic seeded seventh.
Fifteen-time World Matchplay champion Phil Taylor will be seeded eighth for his final Winter Gardens challenge – with the potential for a second round match-up with great rival Raymond van Barneveld, who is seeded ninth.
The draw will be made in the week commencing July 10. Click here
to view available tickets for selected sessions.
PDC Order of Merit Qualifiers
1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Gary Anderson
3 Peter Wright
4 Adrian Lewis
5 Dave Chisnall
6 James Wade
7 Mensur Suljovic
8 Phil Taylor
9 Raymond van Barneveld
10 Jelle Klaasen
11 Michael Smith
12 Kim Huybrechts
13 Ian White
14 Robert Thornton
15 Benito van de Pas
16 Simon Whitlock
ProTour Order of Merit Qualifiers