EXCLUSIVE: Van Barneveld set to make Pro Tour and European Tour comeback

Raymond van Barneveld will make a return to Pro Tour and European Tour action in 2018, following a change of manager.

The 50-year-old darting legend cut ties with main sponsor Bengi and manager Ben de Kok on New Year's Day. Under the direction of new manager Jaco van Bodegom, Van Barneveld will increase his activity on the PDC circuit. 'Barney' will play all Euro Tour qualifying tournaments this year, his management has told . This intention reflects a remarkable change of tact, as Van Barneveld said in a conversation with the Dutch newspaper two months ago that he would refuse to play qualifying tournaments in the Netherlands. Van Barneveld will also be making a return to floor tournaments. Only in March will the five-time world champion opt out of Players Championship tournaments, due to other obligations. 'Barney' is therefore currently planning to participate in the six UK Open Qualifiers, and the eighteen remaining Players Championship tournaments. The Dutch master made fleeting appearances on the Pro Tour events in 2016 and therefore has little money to defend in the Order of Merit. By going the Pro Tour route this year, Van Barneveld hopes to rise again on the world ranking. The former postman is currently 11th in the PDC Order of Merit. After the retiring Phil Taylor dropped out of the rankings, the gap between Barney and the top five is almost 140,000 pounds.

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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