How the PDC’s rankings update has affected the Race to the World Matchplay

As the PDC gets ready to stage their first ranking events since the Coronavirus pandemic next week, here’s a look at how the race to qualify for the 2020 World Matchplay is shaping up…

Almost four months have passed since Ian White’s victory in Players Championship 8, back on March 15, the last ranking event held by the PDC. From July 8, the Summer Series will be held in Milton Keynes, consisting of five Players Championship events.

An update from the PDC before the weekend revealed that the player who pockets the most prize money across the five events will earn a spot at the Grand Slam of Darts, but also that these quintet of tournaments will be ranked.

These events will also be the last chance for players to move into the qualifying spots for the World Matchplay, due to be held on July 18-26, although its usual location of the Winter Gardens, in Blackpool, is yet to be confirmed.

All prize money that was due to drop off between March 15 and now has been removed from the Order of Merits, and it has resulted in a few changes to the provisional 32-player line up for the World Matchplay.

PDC Order of Merit (top 16 qualify)

Position Name Prize Money
1 Michael van Gerwen £1,505,750
2 Peter Wright £906,000
3 Gerwyn Price £796,000
4 Rob Cross £538,750
5 Michael Smith £516,000
6 Nathan Aspinall £468,250
7 Daryl Gurney £442,000
8 Gary Anderson £431,750
9 James Wade £404,750
10 Dave Chisnall £372,500
11 Ian White £351,750
12 Mensur Suljovic £311,500
13 Adrian Lewis £247,750
14 Simon Whitlock £244,250
15 Krzysztof Ratajski £242,000
16 Glen Durrant £240,500
17 Stephen Bunting £226,250
18 Joe Cullen £223,000
19 Jonny Clayton £218,500
20 Chris Dobey £218,250
21 Jeffrey De Zwaan £210,750
22 Mervyn King £195,250
23 Jermaine Wattimena £188,500
24 Steve Beaton £186,000
25 Danny Noppert £185,250
26 Dimitri Van den Bergh £183,750
27 Ricky Evans £176,250
28 Max Hopp £173,250
29 Darren Webster £162,500
30 Keegan Brown £155,250
31 John Henderson £151,500
32 Brendan Dolan £145,500

Home Tour champion Nathan Aspinall has climbed up one place on the overall Order of Merit, to a career-high of number six, with Daryl Gurney dropping one place to seventh.

Gary Anderson, who will be defending the prize money he won for winning the 2018 World Matchplay next month, has switched places with James Wade from ninth to eighth, while Dave Chisnall has risen back into the top 10, as Ian White has slipped to 11th.

There are two new entrants into the PDC’s top 16, as Krzysztof Ratajski and Glen Durrant both make their debuts, in 15th and 16th respectively. Joe Cullen and Jonny Clayton are the two players who have dropped out of the top 16, but are both well placed to still qualify for the World Matchplay via the ProTour Order of Merit.

ProTour Order of Merit (Top 16 players not already qualified via the Order of Merit qualify)

Position Name Prize Money
1 Joe Cullen £54,750
2 Brendan Dolan £37,500
3 Danny Noppert £31,250
4 Jose De Sousa £30,500
5 Jermaine Wattimena £29,000
6 Jeffrey De Zwaan £24,500
7 Jonny Clayton £24,250
8 Gabriel Clemens £24,250
9 Justin Pipe £23,500
10 Jamie Hughes £22,750
11 Keegan Brown £22,250
12 Dimitri Van den Bergh £22,000
13 Steve Beaton £21,500
14 Vincent van der Voort £21,250
15 Ryan Searle £19,000
16 Kim Huybrechts £18,750
17 Steve West £18,500
18 Ricky Evans £18,000
19 John Henderson £17,750
20 Luke Humphries £17,500
21 Ron Meulenkamp £15,750
22 Stephen Bunting £15,500
23 William O’Connor £15,250
24 Ryan Joyce £15,250
25 Mervyn King £15,000
26 Devon Petersen £13,250
27 Mickey Mansell £13,000
28 Dirk van Duijvenbode £13,000
29 Ross Smith £13,000
30 Steve Lennon £12,000
31 Luke Woodhouse £11,750
32 Chris Dobey £11,250
33 Josh Payne £11,000
34 Joe Murnan £11,000
35 Maik Kuivenhoven £11,000

Here’s where things start to get interesting. The next top 16 players on the ProTour Order of Merit will join the top 16 on the overall Order of Merit, and as things stand four players are in line to make their World Matchplay debuts.

Jose De Sousa, Gabriel Clemens, Dimitri Van den Bergh and Ryan Searle are the quartet all currently in qualifying positions. Meanwhile, Brendan Dolan looks in a strong position to qualify for the first time since 2016, along with Justin Pipe (2017) and Kim Huybrechts (2018) in being the only current changes from the 2019 line up. Huybrechts has a narrow £250 lead over Steve West for the 16th and final spot available.

Stephen Bunting, the world number 17, is the highest-ranked player set to miss out. He trails Durrant by £14,250 for 16th spot on the Order of Merit, while he is £3,250 adrift on the ProTour Order of Merit.

Steve Beaton is on course for his 20th consecutive World Matchplay appearance, but Mervyn King, who has made the field for the last 13 years, has work to do.

With five Players Championship events being played next week, before the cut off, each offering £10,000 to the winner, expect to see positions swap hands a few more times as the race to the World Matchplay reaches its conclusion.

Picture: Chris Dean/PDC

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