World Grand Prix
The PDC World Grand Prix, is the only double in, double out tournament on the calendar. Unlike every other competition players must start and finish on a double. Only playing this once a year does throw up problems for players adjusting to the format. Couple with the very short first-round format throws up a lot of shocks.
The World Grand Prix is a PDC tournament held every year in Dublin, Ireland. Originally taking place in Rochester Kent at its inception in 1998 and again in 1999, the World Grand Prix then moved to Rosslare, County Wexford in 200 for a year before eventually coming to its permanent home in 2001.
Sponsorship for the event has changed a lot throughout the years, with BoyleSports being the most recent sponsor in 2019. Phil Taylor has been the most dominant player at the World Grand Prix since 1998 but does hold the unusual record of having been eliminated at the first round stage on five separate occasions.
The World Grand Prix is unique as it is the only televised PDC event that requires players to hit a double or bullseye to commence scoring, following the “double in, double out” format. There were two different formats used in 1998 and 1999 before the current format was decided on in 2000, where the World Grand Prix became a straight knockout tournament.
A total of 32 players enter the World Grand Prix each year, starting with the top 16 players in the PDC Order of Merit, with the top eight ranked players also becoming the only seeded players in the tournament. The remaining 16 entrants are made up of the top 16 non-qualified players from the ProTour Order of Merit.
The World Grand Prix is also scored by sets rather than legs, with players needing to win three games to win a set. The number of sets required to win a match increase throughout the tournament and are increased as follows:
- First Round – Best of 3 Sets
- Second Round – Best Of 5 Sets
- Quarter-Finals – Best of 5 Sets
- Semi-Finals – Best of 7 Sets
- Final – Best of 9 Sets
As previously mentioned, Phil Taylor has been the most dominant player in the World Grand Prix’s history, winning the tournament on 11 separate occasions. Incredibly, Taylor also boasts a 100% record in the final of the World Grand Prix, having never been on the losing side when getting to the Sunday showpiece. Michael van Gerwen is next on the list with five wins from six appearances in the final, while James Wade is the only other player with more than one victory in the World Grand Prix with two victories.
Other players with World Grand Prix victories are Colin Lloyd, Alan Warriner, Robert Thornton and Daryl Gurney. Both Wade and Thornton made history in their second round match in 2014 when the pair both hit nine-darters in the same game, with it being the first time that it had happened in a televised event. What makes the achievement all the more impressive is the fact there has only ever been three nine-darters hit in the tournament’s history, the other by Brendan Dolan, due to the double-in format making it more difficult due to the fact it limits the combinations a player can hit.