Updated on 24/05/2017 01:59
Professional Darts Corporation

UK Open

Upcoming season 2018:
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From: Friday 2 March 2018
Till: Sunday 4 March 2018
Reigning champion:
Reigning champion of UK Open 2017
Photographer: TipTopPics/Chris Sargeant

Known as the FA Cup of darts, because players from all levels can participate. There are six qualifying tournaments for the PDC professionals known as the UK Open Qualifiers. The top 96 from these qualifiers go into the main event. They are accompanied by 32 qualifiers, who are recruited through so-called pub qualifiers. All qualifiers gather at the Butlins Resort in Minehead to play on eight stages simultaneously.

Because of the short format and random draw there are usually lots of surprises, especially in the early years. It has also proved to be a good breeding ground for new talent in the PDC. The tournament has been played in June at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton from 2003 until 2013. In 2014 the tournament switches from venue and date. The Butlins Resort in Minehead is the new venue and March is the new place on the calendar.

Proof of the surprising nature of the tournament can be obtained when you look at the run of finalists. Shayne Burgess gets to the final in 2003 in the latter stages of his career. Mark Walsh, Barrie Bates, Vincent van der Voort, Colin Osborne and Gary Mawson are further proof that the underdog is capable of having a good run to the final. Still, the tournament is almost always won by one of the big favourites.

In the fourteen times the tournament is played Phil Taylor lifts the trophy five times. Other multiple winners are James Wade, Raymond van Barneveld and Michael van Gerwen who claim the title twice. There are also a number of one-time winners. Roland Scholten wins in 2004, Adrian Lewis in 2014. Robert Thornton wins here in 2012, his first major PDC title; Peter Wright does the same in 2017.