St Helens darters in draw for UK Open

Lakeside champ Stephen Bunting

Lakeside champ Stephen Bunting

First published in Sport
Last updated

THE draw for the 2014 Coral UK Open's opening day at the Butlins Minehead Resort on Friday March 7 has been made, ahead of the ITV-televised event next month - and there are four St Helens darters in the mix.

The UK Open's Televised Finals have a new home in 2014 at the Butlins Minehead Resort, with eight stages in action simultaneously during the early rounds of the event, which features a mixture of professional stars and amateur qualifiers.

The tournament begins on Friday March 7, with the opening day seeing the preliminary, first and second rounds take place in the afternoon session.

The preliminary and first rounds feature the professional players ranked from 65-96 (plus ties) from the UK Open Order of Merit alongside the 32 Rileys Amateur Qualifiers.

The 32 first round winners then progress to the second round, where they join the players ranked from 33-64 in the UK Open Order of Merit.

The opening preliminary round game on the Main Stage sees Lionel Sams, who previously played in seven UK Opens during a stint on the PDC circuit, taking on fellow Rileys Amateur Qualifier Carl Green.

Brian Woods plays another of the 32 Rileys Amateur Qualifiers, Wolverhampton's Dean Stewart, on Stage Two, while experienced professionals Alan Tabern and Kevin McDine play Tony Randall and Aaron Holdstock respectively.

Dublin's Glenn Spearing, who is making his UK Open debut after turning professional at Qualifying School in January, will take on Spanish ace Antonio Alcinas on the Main Stage in the first round.

Former World Youth Champion Arron Monk then plays Rileys Amateur Qualifier Kevin Taylor before 2006 and 2007 UK Open champion Raymond van Barneveld plays Isle of Wight-based Tony Broughton, another amateur qualifier and Australia's Kyle Anderson takes on either McDine or Holdstock.

Dennis Smith meets left-hander Mark Hylton amongst the first round games on Stage Two, with Steve Brown meeting Scotland's Ewan Hyslop, Germany's Jyahn Artut facing Stoke's Alan Derrett and Northern Irish ace Michael Mansell playing Surrey's Rileys Amateur Qualifier Ben Burton.

Former World Youth Champion James Hubbard faces UK Open debutant Jeff Batham on Stage Three, while Canadian youngster Shaun Narain meets Swindon's Mark Cox on Stage Four.

Experienced Rileys Amateur Qualifier Andy Boulton is in action against Jonathan Worsley on Stage Six, where Northamptonshire's Matt Edgar takes on another veteran professional, Matt Clark and Austrian youngster Rowby-John Rodriguezfaces  either Alan Tabern or Tony Randall.

Alex Roy, one of 13 ever-present professionals in the history of the UK Open, drew Rileys Amateur Qualifier Jim Hill for his first round game.

Friday afternoon's second round games on the Main Stage begin as former Lakeside Champion Jelle Klaasen plays Scotland's John Henderson, before Isle of Wight youngster Keegan Brown faces Austria's Mensur Suljovic, Stoke's Ian White takes on Northern Irish ace Daryl Gurney and three-time World Champion John Part is drawn against either Adam Cousins or Paul Hogan.

Belgium's Ronny Huybrechts plays Adrian Gray in another tasty second round contest, while Stuart Kellett - the UK Masters runner-up at Minehead 12 months ago - takes on Michael Barnard.

Friday evening sees the top 32 players from the UK Open Order of Merit - headed by the six UK Open Qualifier winners Andy Hamilton, Stephen Bunting, Phil Taylor, Brendan Dolan, Gary Anderson and Michael van Gerwen - come into the fray alongside the 32 second round winners.

Taylor, the reigning UK Open champion, is drawn with the survivor of the afternoon's combination of Conan Whitehead, Aden Kirk, Nathan Derry, Jason Mold or Gerwyn Price - who need to win either two or three games just to earn a date with the 16-time World Champion.

Reigning World Champion van Gerwen plays either Hubbard or Batham, while World Championship finalist Peter Wright takes on reigning World Youth Champion Michael Smith and Ronnie Baxter faces world number four Adrian Lewis on the main stage.

Somerset's Justin Pipe plays world number five on Stage Two, which also features Kevin Painter against Richie Burnett and two-time UK Open champion James Wade's meeting with either Ben Burton, Michael Mansell, Brian Woods, Dean Stewart or Graham Dando.

Steve Beaton is drawn against in-form Dolan on Stage Three, where reigning Lakeside Champion Bunting comes into the draw against either Jamie Caven, Kevin Dowling or Chris Dobey.

Two former UK Open finalists, Mark Walsh and Gary Anderson, play Mark Webster and Andy Smith respectively in their openers on Stage Four, while world number eight Wes Newton drew Andrew Gilding.

Robert Thornton, the 2012 UK Open champion, begins his bid for a second title against either Jason Hogg or Wayne Jones, while Andy Hamilton - last year's runner-up to Phil Taylor - opens his account against Henderson or Klaasen.

The fourth round draw, for the games to take place on Saturday afternoon, will be made on Friday night following the conclusion of the third round.

Saturday evening sees the fifth round take place as the last 16 do battle for places in Sunday's final stages, with the quarter-finals in the afternoon session and the semi-finals and final in the evening session.

A small number of packages - including accommodation at the Butlins Minehead Resort and tickets for all six sessions of the tournament - remain available for sale through the Butlins website at www.bigweekends.com/splash-pages/darts-2014.aspx or by calling 0845 070 4734.

2014 Coral UK Open Friday March 7 Afternoon Session (11.45am-5pm) Preliminary, First & Second Rounds, Main Stage.

Preliminary Round: Carl Green v Lionel Sams.

First Round: Glenn Spearing v Antonio Alcinas Kevin Taylor v Arron Monk Raymond van Barneveld v Tony Broughton Kyle Anderson v McDine/Holdstock.

Second Round: John Henderson v Jelle Klaasen Keegan Brown v Mensur Suljovic Ian White v Daryl Gurney Cousins/Hogan v John Part.

Stage Two Preliminary Round: Brian Woods v Dean Stewart.

First Round: Dennis Smith v Mark Hylton Ewan Hyslop v Steve Brown Alan Derrett v Jyhan Artut Ben Burton v Michael Mansell.

Second Round: Steve Maish v Ben Ward Ronny Huybrechts v Adrian Gray Jason Hogg v Wayne Jones Reynolds/Stead/Casey v van Barneveld/Broughton.

Stage Three Preliminary Round: Paul Whitworth v Rhys Griffin.

First Round: Steve Douglas v Johnny Haines James Hubbard v Jeff Batham Joe Murnan v Shaun Lovett Dean Reynolds v Stead/Casey.

Second Round: Garry Spedding v David Pallett D Smith/Hylton v Peter Hudson Hyslop/S Brown v K Anderson/McDine/Holdstock Hill/Roy v Tony Newell.

Stage Four Preliminary Round: Alan Tabern v Tony Randall.

First Round: Conan Whitehead v Aden Kirk Mark Cox v Shaun Narain Green/Sams v Chris Aubrey Whitworth/Griffin v Karl Merchant.

Second Round: John Bowles v Dirk van Duijvenbode Rocco Maes v Daniels/Bennett Derrett/Artut v Hunt/Malone Naylor/Allen/Mackie v Ross Smith.

Stage Five Preliminary Round:  Martin Stead v Alan Casey.

First Round: Adam Cousins v Paul Hogan Pete Dyos v William O'Connor Adam Hunt v Michael Malone Woods/Stewart v Graham Dando.

Second Round: Boulton/Worsley v Josh Payne Hubbard/Batham v Steve Hine K Taylor/Monk v Whitworth/Griffin/Merchant van de Pas/Thompson v Dodds/Young/O'Brien.

Stage Six Preliminary Round: Kevin McDine v Aaron Holdstock.

First Round: Andy Boulton v Jonathan Worsley Matthew Edgar v Matt Clark Jason Lovett v I Jones/Stevenson Tabern/Randall v Rowby-John Rodriguez.

Second Round: Nigel Heydon v Douglas/Haines Dave Weston v Baker/Todd Spearing/Alcinas v Edgar/M Clark Green/Sams/Aubrey v Murnan/S Lovett.

Stage Seven Preliminary Round: Ian Jones v Simon Stevenson James Young v David O'Brien.

First Round: Benito van de Pas v Doug Thompson Jim Hill v Alex Roy Naylor/Allen v Chris Mackie Derry/Mold v Gerwyn Price.

Second Round: Michael Barnard v Stuart Kellett Tabern/Randall/Rodriguez v Steve West Jamie Caven v Dowling/Dobey Burton/Mansell v Woods/Stewart/Dando.

Stage Eight Preliminary Round: Nathan Derry v Jason Mold William Naylor v Sam Allen.

First Round: Nigel Daniels v Scott Bennett Mick Baker v Mick Todd Kevin Dowling v Chris Dobey David Dodds v Young/O'Brien.

Second Round:Cox/Narain v Darren Webster Ian Lever v Dyos/O'Connor Whitehead/Kirk v Derry/Mold/Price J Lovett/I Jones/Stevenson v Mark Barilli.

Evening Session (7pm-11pm) Third Round, Main Stage: Peter Wright v Michael Smith Ronnie Baxter v Adrian Lewis Whitehead/Kirk/Derry/Mold/Price v Phil Taylor Michael van Gerwen v Hubbard/Batham/Hine.

Stage Two: Justin Pipe v Dave Chisnall Kevin Painter v Richie Burnett Reynolds/Stead/Casey/van Barneveld/Broughton v Weston/Baker/Todd James Wade v Burton/Mansell/Woods/Stewart/Dando.

Stage Three: Steve Beaton v Brendan Dolan Derrett/Artut/Hunt/Malone v Paul Nicholson Terry Jenkins v Barnard/Kellett Caven/Dowling/Dobey v Stephen Bunting.

Stage Four: Mark Webster v Mark Walsh Hyslop/S Brown/K Anderson/McDine/Holdstock v Spedding/Pallett Andy Smith v Gary Anderson Maish/Ward v Heydon/Douglas/Haines.

Stage Five: R Huybrechts/Gray v Simon Whitlock Jamie Lewis v Lever/Dyos/O'Connor Robert Thornton v Hogg/W Jones K Brown/Suljovic v Tabern/Randall/Rodriguez/West.

Stage Six: Cousins/Hogan/Part v van de Pas/Thompson/Dodds/Young/O'Brien Christian Kist v Spearing/Alcinas/Edgar/M Clark Wes Newton v Andrew Gilding Bowles/van Duijvenbode v Green/Sams/Aubrey/Murnan/S Lovett Stage Seven Kim Huybrechts v Naylor/Allen/Mackie/R Smith D Smith/Hylton/Hudson v White/Gurney Boulton/Worsley/Payne v Dean Winstanley Nick Fullwell v Hill/Roy/Newell.

Stage Eight: Cox/Narain/D Webster v Vincent van der Voort Maes/Daniels/Bennett v J Lovett/I Jones/Stevenson/Barilli K Taylor/Monk/Whitworth/Griffin/Merchant v Mervyn King Andy Hamilton v Henderson/Klaasen.

Saturday March 8 Afternoon Session (11.45am-5pm), Fourth Round (Last 32) 16 Games on Four Stages Evening Session (7pm-11pm).

Fifth Round (Last 16) Eight Games on Two Stages.

Sunday March 9 Afternoon Session (11.45am-5pm), Quarter-Finals Evening Session (7pm-11pm) Semi-Finals and Final.

All games on Sunday March 9 will be played on the Main Stage in the Skyline Pavilion.

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