Noppert headlines the list of qualifiers as the Grand Slam lineup is complete.

Danny Noppert, the 2022 UK Open champion, and Damon Heta, Australia’s past World Cup winner, were among the eight players that qualified for the 2023 Mr Vegas Grand Slam of Darts during Friday’s Tour Card Holder Qualifier.

Following the conclusion of the PDC ProTour season earlier this week, the Tour Card Holder Qualifier was held at the Barnsley Metrodome, with 101 players competing for the remaining eight seats in the £650,000 event.

Noppert, the world number seven who won two Players Championship titles in 2023, was the highest-ranked player in action in Barnsley, as he fought his way through the field to secure a fifth Grand Slam berth.

Following a whitewash win over Robert Owen, the Dutch number two defeated Rusty-Jake Rodriguez and last year’s quarter-finalist Alan Soutar, who averaged 110 earlier in the afternoon.

Noppert will be joined in Wolverhampton by Australian number one Heta, who averaged 103 in his decisive last 16 match against Connor Scutt.

Heta, who is also a two-time winner on the Players Championship circuit in 2023, began his campaign with a five-leg thrashing of Jeffrey de Zwaan, before dispatching Germany’s Daniel Klose in the last 32.

Noppert headlines the list of qualifiers as the Grand Slam lineup is complete
Noppert headlines the list of qualifiers as the Grand Slam lineup is complete

Stephen Bunting defeated Martin Schindler with a remarkable 111.06 average, confirming his Grand Slam of Darts return, after previously defeating Luc Peters and Arron Monk with 98 and 101 averages, respectively.

Ryan Searle came back from a 4-1 deficit to defeat Rowby-John Rodriguez in a thrilling last 16 match, surviving multiple match darts against the Austrian and Richie Burnett on his way to qualification.

Ireland’s Steve Lennon will play in his third Grand Slam final later this month, after averaging 106 in his past 16 victories over Daryl Gurney and America’s Jules van Dongen.

Brendan Dolan and Nathan Rafferty from Northern Ireland also advanced from Friday’s qualifying, with Dolan defeating Jamie Hughes, Mensur Suljovic, and Richard Veenstra.

Meanwhile, Rafferty survived match darts in his last 16 match against former European Champion Ross Smith to qualify for the third year in a row.

Martijn Kleermaker, who defeated 2014 semi-finalist Kim Huybrechts in the final round of qualification, is the last surviving participant in the 32-player field.

The Dutchman started his campaign by overcoming Keegan Brown, then went on to overcome previous TV champions Simon Whitlock and Dimitri Van den Bergh to set up his meeting with Huybrechts.

Van den Bergh was one of several high-profile figures that failed to qualify, including Ross Smith, Gurney, and the German team Gabriel Clemens and Schindler.

Former Grand Slam champions Raymond van Barneveld, Jose de Sousa, and Scott Waites were eliminated in the last 64, while previous year’s quarter-finalist Joe Cullen withdrew due to personal reasons.

Darius Labanauskas won his first round match against Darren Webster with a nine-darter, but Suljovic ended the Lithuanian’s qualification dreams in the last 64.

2023 Mr Vegas Grand Slam of Darts

Tour Card Holder Qualifier

Barnsley Metrodome, Friday November 3

Last 16

Danny Noppert 5-2 Alan Soutar

Stephen Bunting 5-2 Martin Schindler

Ryan Searle 5-4 Rowby-John Rodriguez

Nathan Rafferty 5-4 Ross Smith

Damon Heta 5-4 Connor Scutt

Steve Lennon 5-2 James Wilson

Martijn Kleermaker 5-2 Kim Huybrechts

Brendan Dolan 5-3 Richard Veenstra


Qualifying Players

Invited in the following order

TV Event Finalists, then European Tour Winners, then Players Championship winners (up to 16)

Michael Smith

Michael van Gerwen

Nathan Aspinall

Luke Humphries

Chris Dobey

Andrew Gilding

Peter Wright

Gerwyn Price

Jonny Clayton

Rob Cross

James Wade

Gary Anderson

Dave Chisnall

Krzysztof Ratajski

Ricardo Pietreczko

Dirk van Duijvenbode


PDC Tour Card Holder Qualifiers

Danny Noppert

Stephen Bunting

Ryan Searle

Nathan Rafferty

Damon Heta

Steve Lennon

Martijn Kleermaker

Brendan Dolan


Additional Qualifiers

Josh Rock – 2022 World Youth Champion

Nathan Girvan – 2022 World Youth Championship runner-up

Berry van Peer – 2023 Challenge Tour Order of Merit winner

Gian van Veen – 2023 Development Tour Order of Merit winner

Beau Greaves – 2023 Women’s World Matchplay winner

Fallon Sherrock – 2023 Women’s Series Order of Merit qualifier

Haruki Muramatsu – 2023 PDC Asian Championship winner

Stowe Buntz – 2023 CDC Continental Cup winner