International Darts Open 2020 preview and schedule: Friday afternoon session, including Dolan, West and Noppert
2020 has just been one of those years. The fourth European Tour event is the final one, and so some opportunities are there to be grabbed. The International Darts Open winner could claim and Grand Slam spot, while there is a gang of European Championship hopefuls in the mix. And if you love home nation qualifiers then oh boy, we've got a bunch of 'em! A raft of dropouts, most notably Glen Durrant, have given us a few first-timers to watch.
There's a debutant in three of the first five ties. One of them is Scott Marsh, the Associate Member qualifier. Marsh will take on fellow Englishman Jason Lowe, who performed quite well against Scott Waites at the European Darts Grand Prix but fell to a narrow defeat.
Swede Andreas Harryson steps onto his first European Tour stage, and will clash with 2015 International Darts Open runner-up Benito van de Pas in Riesa. That's followed by former world finalist Andy Hamilton. The Hammer squares up against Simeon Heinz, who makes his first European outing since his debut two years ago. That ended in a 6-1 hammering, so this one is almost certain to be better.
You may remember Mario Vandenbogaerde as being the first Belgian ever to reach the semi-finals of a World Championship. The former BDO star now gets to showcase his immense talent on the PDC stage. Vandenbogaerde meets Ross Smith, fresh off making the final group stage of the PDC Home Tour II - though Smith did end up finishing last in that group.
Brendan Dolan is out to bounce back after a disappointing return to the World Grand Prix. In the first round in Riesa, he'll meet Franz Rötsch, who makes his second European Tour outing of the year. That's followed by the Bomb, Ron Meulenkamp, taking on Michael Rosenauer.
Steve West is right on the cusp of European Championship qualification; on the other end of the scale, Toni Alcinas is sweating over losing his Tour Card. That makes this International Darts Open opener a must-win for varying reasons.
In the last tie, Danny Noppert takes on Sebastian Pohl. This is a good chance for the Dutchman to get some form ahead of a World Cup debut and the upcoming TV events. 25-year-old Pohl, having averaged in the low 80s and the low 70s in the two home nation qualifiers needed to get here, must find a whole new level to guarantee a competitive debut.
International Darts Open 2020 schedule
Play starts 12:00 GMT
12:00 Scott Marsh v Jason Lowe
12:30 Benito van de Pas v Andreas Harrysson
13:00 Simeon Heinz v Andy Hamilton
13:30 Mario Vandenbogaerde v Ross Smith
14:00 Franz Roetsch v Brendan Dolan
14:30 Michael Rosenauer v Ron Meulenkamp
15:00 Steve West v Toni Alcinas
15:30 Danny Noppert v Sebastian Pohl