The field for the World Grand Prix has been confirmed today, and Phil Taylor will not be taking part.
The Power started speculation earlier this week that he would not be taking part in the only double in start event of the PDC calendar. His absence was confirmed from the Citywest this morning when the official entry list was confirmed via the PDC website. He will still compete in the Champions League of Darts in Cardiff in next weekend though, as he continues to wind down in his retirement year.
Michael van Gerwen will head in as defending champion. The Dutchman and current world number 1 has won both European tour events since his return to the circuit after the birth of his child. He’ll be a firm favourite to defend his title, second and third seeds Gary Anderson and Peter Wright the main men likely to upset Mighty Mike.
2015 Champion Robert Thornton is the main beneficiary of Taylor’s absence. The Scot had dropped to world number 17 and looked set to miss out on a spot in Dublin. But the 16 time world champs absence has earned him a reprieve and a guaranteed £5k.
Raymond van Barneveld is the other beneficiary of Taylors absence, he moves into the top 8 seeds, keeping him away from the other top players for an additional round should he make it that far.
Elsewhere in the field there are 4 debutants for this years event. Rob Cross, this weekends German Darts Grand Prix finalist has qualified in his first season as a tour card holder. Voltage, as he is now nicknamed lost out to Michael van Gerwen in Sundays final, but such is the success of his debut season, hes the top ranked Pro tour qualifier.
Richard North has also qualified in his first season as a tour card holder, whist former Lakeside Champion Christian Kist, and the elder Huybrechts brother, Ronny, will be on the World Grand Prix stage for the first time.


 
 

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Author: Jack Garwood