Monday 29 October 2018

Grand Slam qualification

This has suddenly become a lot messier. If I'm reading things correctly, this is a Tour Card only qualifier, which is even worse news for Ratajski following Max Hopp's three missed match darts which would have seen him still have the last place in the qualification list. Oh well, at least he'll be at Minehead - but surely to be at Minehead he'd need to be a full member. Oh, PDC, your tour card system is so silly at times.

Still, we have 14 out of 16 players confirmed. Let's look at the form guide of who's scoring the most points per turn since we returned from the break, and see if it can give us some sort of guide as to who might make it through the qualifier. I'm just going to list Tour Card holders, so let's go:

1 Michael van Gerwen 98.63
2 Gary Anderson 96.76
3 Ian White 94.13 - Q1*
4 Mensur Suljovic 93.46
5 Jeffrey de Zwaan 93.43 - Q2
6 Michael Smith 92.84
7 Daryl Gurney 92.79 - Q3
8 Kyle Anderson 92.66 - Q4
9 Brendan Dolan 92.66 - Q5
10 Rob Cross 92.63
11 Stephen Burton 92.14 - Q6
12 Stephen Bunting 91.96 - Q7
13 Benito van de Pas 91.39 - Q8
14 Gerwyn Price 91.38
15 Simon Whitlock 91.36
16 Steve Beaton 91.34 - Q9
17 Dave Chisnall 91.30 - Q10

Now White is the fifteenth man in based on his European Tour win, hence the asterisk, so he's only going to be relevant if we get two random players grab the last two spots from the World Series. Both would need to be from the unseeded players, and you have Price, van den Bergh and Wade already in from the first round, so realistically you're looking at one of Gurney, Chisnall, White, Anderson or Beaton from the top half, whereas from the bottom it's much slimmer pickings, with only Jamie Lewis and Keegan Brown maybe doing something - this in a half with the world number one and the world champion. So you've got to think that White is safe. Which leaves you with numbers 2-9 from there.

Now alarm bells should be ringing when you read Benito's name, so if we filter it down to over 100 legs played since the break, he gets punted and Chisnall gets the last spot. But the qualifier is seeded - so who will the top eight seeds be? You're looking at, assuming White and Hopp hold on, Adrian Lewis, Daryl Gurney, Joe Cullen, Darren Webster, Dave Chisnall, Mervyn King, James Wilson and Danny Noppert. It's very, very possible that you have an absolutely brutal draw and get several of these players in the same section - dependent on how far down the seedings go.

I'm going to update the Second Division Darts table now, with not long left in the season we should be getting close to a final winner.

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