We’ve got a total of four world champions taking part in a star-studded evening session of the European Darts Open.
More on them later. First up is a former major winner in Krzysztof Ratajski, who has made the transition from BDO player to PDC Tour Card holder at last after a year causing havoc as an associate member. He kicks off against TV star Matthew Edgar, who takes a Primetime spot in the European Darts Open evening session.
One game that looks genuinely tough to call is Jeffrey de Zwaan’s meeting with Josh Payne. The Englishman has perhaps been the better player in 2019, but he will be more than aware of the Black Cobra’s capabilities.
King eyeing MVG rematch
Kim Huybrechts has to settle for being a non-seed in Leverkusen. He’ll want to be back in the seeds soon, and that means performing when it counts. His bid for success in Germany starts against a home nation qualifier and debutant, the promising youngster Nico Kurz.
Jason Wilson goes head-to-head with Mervyn King, with the winner playing Michael van Gerwen in round two. King will be very keen on a rematch against a man with whom he has a very interesting recent history. Then Glen Durrant makes another significant step on his PDC journey. The three-time BDO world champion’s European bow comes against another home nation qualifier, Michael Rosenauer, who is a former Tour Card holder himself.
The second of our cabal of world champions is Dimitri van den Bergh – though he’s only claimed that gong at youth level so far. He meets Ritchie Edhouse in the opening round.
Finally, we’re seeing Raymond van Barneveld on the European stage. He promised it last year, but didn’t deliver. Now in a mad rush for ranking money so he can cap off his farewell year at the Ally Pally, Barney is back on a tour that has become hard to ignore for players chasing all-important payouts. His return comes at the only European Tour event he has won to date. It’s a tough start for the five-time world champion though. Steve Beaton – the Lakeside winner in 1996 – will be tough to overcome. And the winner plays Rob Cross, meaning van Barneveld will have to pull out the sort of performances he managed at Players Championship 8 last weekend to survive.
Another well-known Dutchman take to the oche to round off the session. Vincent van der Voort meets Wayne Jones, with the winner to play Joe Cullen in round two.
Evening session schedule
Matthew Edgar v Krzysztof Ratajski
Jeffrey de Zwaan v Josh Payne
Kim Huybrechts v Nico Kurz
Jason Wilson v Mervyn King
Michael Rosenauer v Glen Durrant
Ritchie Edhouse v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Steve Beaton v Raymond van Barneveld
Wayne Jones v Vincent van der Voort
Author: Ed McCosh