Defending champion Gary Anderson has yet to make a decision on whether he will participate in the 2019 UK Open at Butlins, Minehead next month.

The Scotsman recently withdrew from the Premier League Darts through advice from his physio due to a back injury which has been causing Anderson trouble over the past few weeks.

The PDC opted to hand Anderson’s place in the Premier League to nine different players who will all compete across different venues over the course of the competition. Chris Dobey was the first player to feature in the spot of the Scotsman last week in Newcastle where he drew with Mensur Suljovic 6-6.

PDC

Photo: PDC

Anderson won the UK Open for the maiden time in 2018 when he defeated Corey Cadby 11-7 in the final. He then followed that success up with wins in the World Matchplay and Champions League of Darts later in the campaign, while he reached the last four of the World Championship at the Alexandra Palace.

The Flying Scotsman did not participate in the Masters in Milton Keynes last month which was the first major tournament of the 2019/20 campaign. A decision on whether he will attempt to defend his UK Open crown could come on the eve of the tournament to give himself the best chance to recover in time.

As ranked number four in the PDC Order of Merit, Anderson would receive a bye into the fourth round of the draw and would need to win six matches to retain his trophy on March 3.

Mighty Mike Looking For First UK Open Title Since 2016

World number one Michael van Gerwen has not been successful in UK Open since 2016, however, victory for him next month would mean only Phil Taylor has won this competition more times. The Dutchman is the 5/6 favourite with the bookmakers in the darts betting on the tournament where he is sure to be very popular with punters.

Van Gerwen carried his form from World Championship to the Masters where he beat James Wade 11-5 in the final to win the event for the fifth consecutive year. He will now have his sights on adding to his major tally in 2019 in Minehead in the competition with features a number of amateur players from around the country.

The number one seed won the UK Open for the first time in 2015 when he defeated Peter Wright in the final 11-5. Twelve months later the same two men met for the trophy and on that occasion van Gerwen defended his title with an 11-4 success.

Mighty Mike did not participate in the 2017 competition due to a back injury. He did return last year though but sadly for the three-time world champion, he was dumped out in the third round by fellow Dutch compatriot Jeffrey de Zwaan.

Van Gerwen has the chance to warm up for the UK Open with a number of Premier League appearances before then and if he can claim his second major of the campaign, he will be on course for his best-ever start to a season.

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Author: Pieter