Race to Blackpool: Ross Smith back in the provisional line-up with five events to go before the cut-off

Ross Smith has moved back into a provisional place for the World Matchplay following the weekend’s Players Championship double-header in Barnsley.

The recent UK Open quarter-finalist has edged ahead of Keegan Brown on count back with five events left to go before the cut-off.

On Friday, Smith defeated Simon Stevenson and Justin Pipe to qualify for the Dutch Darts Masters, which takes place this weekend, while on Sunday he reached the last 32 of Players Championship 16.

Brown, a recent semi-finalist on the European Tour, also qualified for the Dutch Darts Masters, but suffered back-to-back first-round defeats in the two Players Championship events on Saturday and Sunday.

Mervyn King and Vincent van der Voort, in 18th and 19th places on the Pro Tour provisional list, are just £750 and £1,000 adrift of Smith respectively, but have both qualified for the next two European Tour events.

Willie O’Connor, who recently won his maiden PDC ranking title, is in 25th spot, £8,250 behind Smith, but has also qualified for both of the next two European Tour events.

Saturday’s Players Championship 15 winner, Glen Durrant, is up to fourth on the provisional Pro Tour list, and looks certain now to secure a debut at the Winter Gardens in his first year on the PDC tour.

Harry Ward, the winner of Players Championship 16 on Sunday, has propelled himself up to 24th on the Pro Tour provisional list. The 21-year-old is £8,000 behind Smith.

Follow the latest PDC order of merits via Weekly Dartscast co-host Burton DeWitt on Twitter!

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