Race to Blackpool: Jeffrey de Zwaan and Gabriel Clemens replace Mervyn King and Steve West in provisional ProTour qualifiers with nine events to go

It has been a busy week on the ProTour with a European Tour event in Germany at the weekend followed by a midweek Players Championship double-header in Barnsley on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The race to qualify for this year’s World Matchplay continues to provide an interesting subplot, and following that trio of tournaments, there have been two changes to the provisional line-up for the Winter Gardens in July.

Jeffrey de Zwaan’s victory in Players Championship 14 on Wednesday has propelled him into a provisional qualifying spot, via the ProTour Order of Merit, while Tuesday’s winner of Players Championship 13, William O’Connor, has moved to within £7,000 of a place at Blackpool.

Two first-round exits in the Players Championship events this week from Steve West has seen him drop out of the provisional spots, along with Mervyn King, who went out first round on Tuesday and then the second round on Wednesday.

Germany’s Gabriel Clemens has moved into the provisional spots, following his run to the last 16 of Players Championship 14.

There are now just nine events left before the cut-off. Next up is the Austrian Darts Open, which starts this afternoon.

King, Keegan Brown and Chris Dobey, currently just outside the provisional ProTour top 16, and are all in the first round in Premstätten today.

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

ET3: Ricky Evans whitewashes Michael Smith in 10 minutes and 12 seconds; van Gerwen and Cross both advance to last 16 of German Darts Grand Prix

Ricky Evans took less than 11 minutes to whitewash eighth seed Michael Smith 6-0 in the second round of the German Darts Grand Prix, in Munich on Sunday.

The world number 45 reeled off six straight legs in just 10 minutes and 12 seconds to beat the World Championship runner-up and advance to the last 16.

On a day which saw seven of the 16 seeds fall at their first hurdle, world number one Michael van Gerwen started his title defence with a 6-4 win against Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski.

The top seed was made to work hard, but a 114 match-winning checkout sealed the world champion’s place in the final day of action.

World number two Rob Cross, the fifth seed, began his latest bid for a maiden European Tour title with a 6-3 victory over Austria’s Michael Rasztovits.

Third seed Peter Wright was knocked out 6-4 by Ross Smith, while second seed Ian White was also dumped out, losing by the same scoreline to Karel Sedlacek, of the Czech Republic.

Crowd favourite Mensur Suljovic, the fourth seed, breezed into the last 16 with a 6-2 triumph over Josh Payne, while sixth seed Adrian Lewis saw Ritchie Edhouse fire in a stunning 160 checkout to win their clash in a last-leg decider.

Premier League play-off hopeful James Wade, the seventh seed, missed a match dart in a 6-5 defeat to Kim Huybrechts, while Development Tour star Ted Evetts hit two ton-plus checkouts to beat ninth seed Jonny Clayton 6-2.

Home favourite Max Hopp, the 10th seed, delighted the Munich crowd with a 6-3 win over Keegan Brown, while Joe Cullen produced an impressive comeback from 4-1 down to defeat BDO world champion Glen Durrant 6-5. The 11th seed won the decider with a maximum and a 130 checkout.

Recent European Tour winner Daryl Gurney, the 12th seed, saw off Kyle Anderson 6-4, 13th seed Dave Chisnall hit the highest average of the tournament so far, a 108.96 in a 6-2 win against Arron Monk.

Simon Whitlock picked up a much-needed win, the 14th seed getting past Cristo Reyes 6-4, 15th seed Darren Webster returned to form with a 6-1 victory over Nathan Derry, and Stephen Bunting caught the eye after beating 16th seed Danny Noppert 6-1.

2019 German Darts Grand Prix
Second Round
Afternoon Session
Karel Sedlacek 6-4 Ian White
Ted Evetts 6-2 Jonny Clayton
Darren Webster 6-1 Nathan Derry
Stephen Bunting 6-1 Danny Noppert
Daryl Gurney 6-4 Kyle Anderson
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Arron Monk
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 James Wade
Ritchie Edhouse 6-5 Adrian Lewis

Evening Session
Max Hopp 6-3 Keegan Brown
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Rob Cross 6-3 Michael Rasztovits
Ricky Evans 6-0 Michael Smith
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Josh Payne
Joe Cullen 6-5 Glen Durrant
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Cristo Reyes
Ross Smith 6-4 Peter Wright

Third Round
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Stephen Bunting
Ricky Evans v Ted Evetts
Rob Cross (5) v Daryl Gurney (12)
Mensur Suljovic (4) v Dave Chisnall (13)
Karel Sedlacek v Darren Webster (15)
Kim Huybrechts v Max Hopp (10)
Ritchie Edhouse v Joe Cullen (11)
Ross Smith v Simon Whitlock (14)

Picture: PDC