World Matchplay: Keegan Brown, Vincent van der Voort and Jamie Hughes clinch last three spots as 32-player field for Blackpool is confirmed

The race to qualify for the 2019 World Matchplay went right down to the wire, as Jamie Hughes secured his place as one of seven debutants in the field by winning the Czech Darts Open on Sunday.

The PDC’s inaugural tournament in the Czech Republic was the final event before the cut-off for the World Matchplay.

Only three spots were left to be decided for the prestigious event, which has been held every summer in Blackpool since 1994, and boasts a top prize of £150,000 from a £700,000 prize fund.

For Hughes, who won his tour card in January this year, to sneak into the field, he needed to win the £25,000 title in Prague. And the 33-year-old, former Finder Darts Masters champion, pulled it off, beating Stephen Bunting 8-3 in the final to win his maiden PDC ranking title and the last of the 32 places in this year’s World Matchplay.

Hughes’ late surge meant James Wilson missed out, while Keegan Brown also broke into the qualifying places on the final weekend, at the expense of Kyle Anderson. Vincent van der Voort, who was not in action in Prague, held onto his place in the field.

Hughes will be one of seven debutants in this year’s World Matchplay, which takes place on July 20-28, along with UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall, Krzysztof Ratajski, Ricky Evans, Glen Durrant, Chris Dobey and Danny Noppert.

World number one Michael van Gerwen will once again be the top seed, and he is joined by last year’s winner Gary Anderson and Rob Cross, Daryl Gurney, Michael Smith, Peter Wright, Gerwyn Price and James Wade, who make up the top eight seeds.

2019 World Matchplay Field
PDC Order of Merit Qualifiers
(Seeded for first round draw)
1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Rob Cross
3 Daryl Gurney
4 Gary Anderson
5 Michael Smith
6 Peter Wright
7 Gerwyn Price
8 James Wade
9 Mensur Suljovic
10 Ian White
11 Simon Whitlock
12 Dave Chisnall
13 Nathan Aspinall
14 Jonny Clayton
15 Darren Webster
16 Adrian Lewis

ProTour Order of Merit Qualifiers
Krzysztof Ratajski
Ricky Evans
Glen Durrant
Joe Cullen
Steve Beaton
Stephen Bunting
Jermaine Wattimena
Jamie Hughes
Jeffrey de Zwaan
Chris Dobey
Danny Noppert
Max Hopp
Mervyn King
John Henderson
Keegan Brown
Vincent van der Voort

Picture: Kevin Powell Photography

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