Anderson shines on Day one of the 2023 PDC UK Open
The top eight players in the world advanced to the fifth round of the 2023 Cazoo UK Open on Friday, as two former champions were eliminated on a dramatic first day in Minehead.
On the first day of the annual darts festival, 126 matches were played across eight stages at Butlin’s Minehead Resort on a frantic Friday.
The first four rounds were split into two sessions, and the 158-player field was reduced to 32 by the end of Friday’s action.
Gerwyn Price, a two-time runner-up, put on an imperious performance to end the fairy-tale run of teenage debutant Thomas Banks, one of two 16-year-old Rileys Amateur Qualifiers to reach round four.
Banks defeated Graham Hall and Conor Heneghan before falling 10-3 to Price, who averaged 103 and hit seven maximums to cap an outstanding performance in Friday’s curtain-raiser.
Meanwhile, Luke Littler, who competed in the Rileys Chorlton Qualifier on his 16th birthday, won a hat-trick of matches before losing in round four to Adam Gawlas, despite averaging over 100.
Three-time UK Open champion Michael van Gerwen held off a spirited rally from Dave Chisnall to advance to Saturday’s fifth round, firing in a timely 11-darter to win 10-8.
“It wasn’t an easy draw against Dave, but you need to make sure you win and I did that,” reflected Van Gerwen, who comes into Minehead fresh from back-to-back nightly wins in the Premier League.
“I don’t often have a lot of luck in the UK Open, but you have to produce your A-game, whoever you’re drawn against.
“I am winning games without playing well and that gives you confidence. That’s the only thing that matters at the moment.”
Reigning champion Danny Noppert also advanced with a 10-8 victory, overcoming a valiant fightback from Jim Williams to win in a high-quality match.
World Champion Michael Smith, who finished second in last year’s event, advanced in a more relaxed manner, averaging 101 and converting three ton-plus finishes in a 10-4 victory over Ian White.
“It was difficult being up there against one of my best mates and my practice partner, but I had a job to do,” admitted Smith, who has been struggling with a wrist injury in the last week.
“Ian made it 4-7 and he had darts for 5-7. If that had gone in, it could have been a different story, but I took out the 124 on the bull and then the 167 and 100 followed.
“I pulled it out from somewhere. Ian is a really good friend, but I wouldn’t have been happy if I’d lost that match and hopefully I can go all the way now.”
In a dramatic showdown against Stephen Bunting, Peter Wright won a last-leg shoot-out with a 14-dart break after Bunting missed double 12 for a nine-darter in the penultimate leg.
Chris Dobey missed double 12 for a nine-darter in his 10-6 victory over Ryan Searle, averaging 102 to join Premier League stars Dimitri Van den Bergh and Jonny Clayton in the last 32.
In his opener, Van den Bergh defeated World Championship semi-finalist Gabriel Clemens 10-5, while Clayton overcame nine 180s from European Champion Ross Smith to win in a deciding-leg thriller.
Nathan Aspinall won his first UK Open title since winning it in 2019. All eight Premier League players advanced to round five, with Aspinall coming back from 7-3 and 9-7 down to defeat Alan Soutar.
Raymond van Barneveld, a two-time winner, was one of two former champions to exit the tournament in the fourth round, after being defeated in a last-leg decider by 2018 World Champion Rob Cross.
Meanwhile, 2018 champion Gary Anderson turned in the performance of the night to defeat three-time champion James Wade, averaging nearly 105 points and crashing in eight 180s to secure a 10-8 victory.
On the outside boards, 2021 runner-up Luke Humphries prevailed in a last-leg decider over World Cup winner Damon Heta, after Joe Cullen demonstrated his credentials by defeating Irish newcomer Dylan Slevin.
In other news, 2014 champion Adrian Lewis stormed through to round five, averaging 102 to beat Canada’s Matt Campbell after a whitewash win over Joe Murnan.
Brendan Dolan came back from 9-5 down to beat 2007 runner-up Vincent van der Voort, who had his compatriot Dirk van Duijvenbode come through a tense battle with Krzysztof Ratajski.
Jeffrey de Zwaan and Karel Sedlacek were the only two players who started their campaigns in round one to make it to Saturday’s action, while veteran trio Steve Beaton, Mervyn King, and Riche Burnett also made it.
Luke Woodhouse was one of Friday’s standout performers, posting ton-plus averages in convincing wins over Josh Rock and Jelle Klaasen to secure his place in Saturday’s draw while dropping only four legs.
At the conclusion of Friday night’s action, the draw for the fifth round was made live on the Main Stage, with reigning champion Noppert facing William O’Connor in a rematch of last year’s semi-finals.
Van Gerwen will face his countryman Martijn Kleermaker, while world number one Smith will face Humphries in an exciting match.
Price will face De Zwaan, Anderson will face a resurgent Kim Huybrechts, and Wright will face Callan Rydz, a former World Championship quarter-finalist.
The draw for the sixth round will be made following the conclusion of the fifth round, which will take place in two stages on Saturday evening.
2023 Cazoo UK Open
Friday March 3
Luke Littler 6-0 Nick Fullwell
Jelle Klaasen 6-2 Josh Payne
Gian van Veen 6-4 Robert Owen
James Richardson 6-4 Thibault Tricole
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-3 Lukas Wenig
Joshua Richardson 6-4 Sebastian Bialecki
Jurjen van der Velde 6-4 Brett Claydon
Geert Nentjes 6-5 Christian Kist
Arron Monk 6-5 Vladimir Andersen
Dan Read 6-5 Callum Loose
Conor Heneghan 6-2 Daniel Lee
Graham Hall 6-4 Jeffrey Sparidaans
Daniel Klose 6-3 Jacques Labre
Karel Sedlacek 6-2 Harry Lane
Adam Warner 6-2 Andy Jenkins
Graham Usher 6-4 Noel Grant
Niels Zonneveld 6-2 Nathan Girvan
Michael Flynn 6-4 Jonathan Wynn
Robbie Knops 6-2 Callum Goffin
Nick Kenny 6-5 Pascal Rupprecht
Jitse Van der Wal 6-5 Jarred Cole
Jim McEwan 6-1 Danny Lauby
Jim Moston 6-4 Kenny Neyens
Dylan Slevin 6-0 Maik Kuivenhoven
Gary Davey 6-4 Lee Evans
Christopher Holt 6-3 Danny van Trijp
Darren Webster 6-4 Dom Taylor
Lewis Gurney 6-5 Darryl Pilgrim
Owen Roelofs 6-3 Stuart White
Stephen Burton 6-5 Adam Smith-Neale
Danny Jansen 6-4 Bradley Brooks
Connor Scutt 6-3 Jimmy Hendriks
Richie Burnett 6-2 James Richardson
Niels Zonneveld 6-3 Keegan Brown
Kevin Doets 6-4 Jules van Dongen
Luke Littler 6-2 Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
Matt Campbell 6-4 Christopher Holt
Mario Vandenbogaerde 6-3 Daniel Klose
Mickey Mansell 6-4 Jose Justicia
Cameron Menzies 6-2 Jim Moston
Ted Evetts 6-2 Jim McEwan
Lewis Gurney 6-5 Stephen Burton
James Wilson 6-0 Luc Peters
Damian Mol 6-4 Gary Davey
Dan Read 6-4 Brian Raman
Owen Roelofs 6-3 Joshua Richardson
Richard Veenstra 6-1 Jamie Clark
Darren Webster 6-5 Tony Martinez
Conor Heneghan 6-5 Nick Kenny
Thomas Banks 6-3 Graham Hall
Nathan Rafferty 6-2 Kevin Burness
Graham Usher 6-5 John O’Shea
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-3 Geert Nentjes
Jelle Klaasen 6-1 Ricardo Pietreczko
Radek Szaganski 6-3 Krzysztof Kciuk
Gian van Veen 6-5 Scott Waites
Jurjen van der Velde 6-4 Ronny Huybrechts
Karel Sedlacek 6-1 Michael Flynn
Ross Montgomery 6-5 Adam Warner
Dylan Slevin 6-4 Shaun Wilkinson
George Killington 6-1 Jitse Van der Wal
Robbie Knops 6-0 Arron Monk
Adrian Lewis 6-0 Joe Murnan
Luke Woodhouse 6-2 Josh Rock
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Ross Montgomery
Florian Hempel 6-3 Jamie Hughes
Jermaine Wattimena 6-4 Boris Krcmar
Steve Beaton 6-4 Connor Scutt
Jelle Klaasen 6-5 Scott Williams
William O’Connor 6-2 Devon Petersen
Danny Jansen 6-1 Lewy Williams
Kevin Doets 6-3 Radek Szaganski
Adam Gawlas 6-4 Mario Vandenbogaerde
Luke Littler 6-5 Ritchie Edhouse
Mike De Decker 6-5 Ryan Joyce
Ian White 6-2 Cameron Menzies
Jim Williams 6-3 Gian van Veen
Dylan Slevin 6-2 Robbie Knops
Martijn Kleermaker 6-4 Steve Lennon
Martin Lukeman 6-4 Dan Read
George Killington 6-5 Madars Razma
Richie Burnett 6-1 Jurjen van der Velde
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Mickey Mansell
Keane Barry 6-3 Damian Mol
Matt Campbell 6-1 Jeff Smith
Karel Sedlacek 6-1 Lewis Gurney
Nathan Rafferty 6-5 Ryan Meikle
Andrew Gilding 6-2 Darren Webster
Darius Labanauskas 6-3 Niels Zonneveld
Ted Evetts 6-3 Owen Roelofs
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-2 Richard Veenstra
Ricky Evans 6-5 Graham Usher
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-5 James Wilson
Thomas Banks 6-2 Conor Heneghan
Gerwyn Price 10-3 Thomas Banks
Michael van Gerwen 10-8 Dave Chisnall
Michael Smith 10-4 Ian White
Gary Anderson 10-8 James Wade
Dimitri Van den Bergh 10-5 Gabriel Clemens
Rob Cross 10-9 Raymond van Barneveld
Jonny Clayton 10-9 Ross Smith
Peter Wright 10-9 Stephen Bunting
Jose de Sousa 10-8 Darius Labanauskas
Luke Woodhouse 10-2 Jelle Klaasen
Martijn Kleermaker 10-6 George Killington
Karel Sedlacek 10-4 Mensur Suljovic
Adam Gawlas 10-8 Luke Littler
Adrian Lewis 10-4 Matt Campbell
William O’Connor 10-1 Jermaine Wattimena
Dirk van Duijvenbode 10-8 Krzysztof Ratajski
Jeffrey de Zwaan 10-9 Danny Jansen
Mervyn King 10-7 Keane Barry
Ted Evetts 10-8 Nathan Rafferty
Danny Noppert 10-8 Jim Williams
Joe Cullen 10-7 Dylan Slevin
Martin Schindler 10-7 Simon Whitlock
Callan Rydz 10-7 Daryl Gurney
Kim Huybrechts 10-8 Mike De Decker
Kevin Doets 10-9 Martin Lukeman
Richie Burnett 10-9 Florian Hempel
Steve Beaton 10-4 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Brendan Dolan 10-9 Vincent van der Voort
Chris Dobey 10-6 Ryan Searle
Andrew Gilding 10-5 Ricky Evans
Nathan Aspinall 10-9 Alan Soutar
Luke Humphries 10-9 Damon Heta
Cazoo UK Open
Fifth Round Schedule
Saturday March 4 (1245 GMT)
Gerwyn Price v Jeffrey de Zwaan
Michael Smith v Luke Humphries
Martijn Kleermaker v Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright v Callan Rydz
William O’Connor v Danny Noppert
Kim Huybrechts v Gary Anderson
Dirk van Duijvenbode v Nathan Aspinall
Mervyn King v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Richie Burnett v Ted Evetts
Adrian Lewis v Martin Schindler
Joe Cullen v Karel Sedlacek
Jonny Clayton v Jose de Sousa
Adam Gawlas v Kevin Doets
Luke Woodhouse v Andrew Gilding
Chris Dobey v Brendan Dolan
Steve Beaton v Rob Cross