The PDC International Darts Open is going to be an important tournament, for all sorts of reasons.

48 players congregate in Riesa for a weekend of action that could have plenty of ramifications. The PDC International Darts Open 2018 champion won’t be Michael van Gerwen – that means that only Max Hopp, Jonny Clayton, Mensur Suljovic and Ian White could prevent there being a sixth European Tour event winner this season. In the wider PDC context, the race to the Grand Prix, the European Championship and all manner of tournaments beyond could hinge on the money won here.

With this being the final tournament before the Grand Prix cut-off, plenty of players are sweating over their spot in Dublin. Steve Lennon is one of those looking likely to make it. A return to his homeland would be sealed with victory over Patrik Kovacs. Terry Temple takes on James Richardson, before Dirk van Duijvenbode becomes the first of the eight-strong Dutch contingent to start their Riesa campaign. He meets Mickey Mansell, shortly before Ron Meulenkamp takes on Martin Schindler with the aim of securing his Grand Prix berth.

Ricardo Pietreczko makes his European Tour debut at the International Darts Open against Ryan Searle. Barry Lynn then clashes with Dawson Murschell, who is yet to win a European Tour match. Steve West returns to the European stage for a tie with Michael Plooy, and Jelle Klaasen rounds off the session against Jose Justicia. The Cobra needs at least a win to reach the Grand Prix.

Friday afternoon schedule

12:00 Steve Lennon v Patrik Kovacs
12:30 Terry Temple v James Richardson
13:00 Dirk van Duijvenbode v Mickey Mansell
13:30 Ron Meulenkamp v Martin Schindler
14:00 Ricardo Pietreczko v Ryan Searle
14:30 Barry Lynn v Dawson Murschell
15:00 Michael Plooy v Steve West
15:30 Jose Justicia v Jelle Klaasen

Kelly Deckers/PDC Europe

Photo: Kelly Deckers/PDC Europe

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Author: Edward McCosh