Race to Blackpool: Mervyn King and Vincent van der Voort replace Kyle Anderson and Ross Smith in provisional line-up with four events to go

Mervyn King and Vincent van der Voort have moved into provisional places for the World Matchplay – replacing Kyle Anderson and Ross Smith – with four events left to go before the cut off.

All four players mentioned were in action in Zwolle this past weekend in the Dutch Darts Masters, the seventh European Tour event of the 2019 season.

But, while Anderson and Smith both bowed out in the first round, King and van der Voort enjoyed runs to the quarter-finals, which earned them £5,000 each and pushed them both into the provisional top 16 of the ProTour Order of Merit qualifiers for the World Matchplay.

Smith, a recent quarter-finalist at the UK Open, is aiming to qualify for the Blackpool showpiece for the first time, and averaged 99.51 in a 6-3 defeat to Krzysztof Ratajski on Friday.

Meanwhile, Anderson, who has appeared in each of the last four stagings of the World Matchplay, lost 6-4 to Mickey Mansell in his opening game in Zwolle.

King, a semi-finalist in the 2009 World Matchplay, has qualified for the Winter Gardens event for the last 12 years, dating back to his debut in 2007.

Wins over Luke Woodhouse (6-2), Daryl Gurney (6-1) and Rowby-John Rodriguez (6-5) saw him progress to the last eight in Zwolle, before he lost 6-4 to Peter Wright, but it was enough to move him into a provisional qualifying place.

Van der Voort was the other player to climb into the provisional top 16 at the weekend, as the Dutchman bids to make it into the 32-player field in Blackpool for the first time since 2016.

He claimed wins in his home country against Andy Boulton (6-2), Mensur Suljovic (6-3) and Max Hopp (6-4), before his run was ended by eventual winner Ian White (6-3) in the quarter-finals.

The race to Blackpool resumes in less than three weeks time, when the Danish Darts Open takes place on June 14-16.

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

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