2024 World Matchplay qualifying race nears denouement: James Wade's series hangs by a thread

The European Darts Open this weekend is one of the final tournaments in the qualifying race for the World Matchplay. After the European Tour tournament, two more Players Championship tournaments will be played before the field of participants is complete.

However, most of the money can be earned on the European Tour, so players can still make a big hit in the qualifying race with a good result in Leverkusen. Normally, 29 of the 32 starting spots have now been distributed.

The field of participants for the World Matchplay consists of the top-16 in the world rankings and the top-16 in the Pro Tour Order of Merit. Currently, Luke Humphries, Michael van Gerwen, Michael Smith, Gerwyn Price, Nathan Aspinall, Rob Cross, Dimitri van den Bergh, Dave Chisnall, Peter Wright, Jonny Clayton, Damon Heta, Danny Noppert, Chris Dobey, Joe Cullen, Ross Smith and Stephen Bunting have qualified via the PDC Order of Merit.

Bunting's 16th spot can still be taken away by Dirk van Duijvenbode, Josh Rock, Andrew Gilding and Ryan Searle, but they will need substantial prize money to do so. If Bunting falls outside the top-16, he can still fall back on his Pro Tour ranking. Through this ranking, Rock, Gilding and Searle have currently qualified. Van Duijvenbode is currently ranked 20th on the cleaned Pro Tour Order of Merit, so for now he is not yet competing in the World Matchplay.

In addition to Rock, Gilding and Searle, Gary Anderson, Luke Littler, Martin Schindler, Ricardo Pietreczko, Gian van Veen, Daryl Gurney, Ryan Joyce, Brendan Dolan, Ritchie Edhouse, Krzysztof Ratajski, Raymond van Barneveld, Luke Woodhouse and James Wade have virtually qualified.

Wade holds the final qualifying spot. 'The Machine' has always been there at the World Matchplay since 2006, but Wade has to pull out all the stops to not let that run end. The Englishman will compete this weekend in Leverkusen, but so will his four closest challengers Kevin Doets, Mike de Decker, Callan Rydz and Dirk van Duijvenbode. Wade's lead over number seventeen Doets is 2250 pounds, while De Decker and Rydz are 4250 pounds behind. Van Duijvenbode's deficit is a lot larger with 7,000 pounds. Wade is not the only one who still has to fear for his spot, Woodhouse and Gilding are also not one hundred percent sure of participating.

Virtual field of participants World Matchplay 2024

PDC Order of Merit

Rank - Name - Prize money (in units of £1,000)

1 Luke Humphries 1458.25

2 Michael van Gerwen 1060.5

3 Michael Smith 1018.25

4 Gerwyn Price 615.75

5 Nathan Aspinall 590.5

6 Rob Cross 589.25

7 Dimitri Van den Bergh 490.25

8 Dave Chisnall 486

9 Peter Wright 482

10 Jonny Clayton 479

11 Damon Heta 461.25

12 Danny Noppert 442.5

13 Chris Dobey 415.5

14 Joe Cullen 411.5

15 Ross Smith 411.25

16 Stephen Bunting 396.25


17 Dirk van Duijvenbode 383.75

18 Josh Rock 367.25

19 Andrew Gilding 340.25

20 Ryan Searle 340

PDC Pro Tour Order of Merit.

Rank - Name - Prize money (in units of £1,000)

1 Gary Anderson 115

2 Josh Rock 102.75

3 Ryan Searle 97

4 Luke Littler 86

5 Martin Schindler 85.75

6 Ricardo Pietreczko 84

7 Gian van Veen 82.50

8 Daryl Gurney 79

9 Ryan Joyce 72

10 Brendan Dolan 63.25

11 Ritchie Edhouse 61

12 Krzysztof Ratajski 59.50

13 Raymond van Barneveld 58.75

14 Luke Woodhouse 55

15 Andrew Gilding 52.25

16 James Wade 50.50


17 Kevin Doets 48.25

18 Mike de Decker 46.25

19 Callan Rydz 46.25

20 Dirk van Duijvenbode 43.50

21 Jermaine Wattimena 40.75

22 Cameron Menzies 40.75

23 Gabriel Clemens 39.50

24 Richard Veenstra 38.50

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