Nico Kurz secured his return to Alexandra Palace by winning the 2020 Hylo Care Super League Germany on Sunday, defeating Dragutin Horvat 10-9 in the final.
Kurz claimed the Super League title for the second successive year, as the exciting young talent survived a match dart in a thrilling decider to book his place in the 2020/21 World Championship.
The last four weekends have seen some of Germany’s top talents competing in the group stage of the PDC Europe event, with the top four players in each group progressing to Sunday’s Finals Day.
The day began with the quarter-finals in the afternoon, as world number 38 Gabriel Clemens and 2018 Grand Slam of Darts quarter-finalist Michael Unterbuchner joined Kurz and Horvat in reaching the final four.
Kurz overcame Clemens 9-7, while Horvat ran out a 9-3 victor over Unterbuchner to book their places in the final.
From 8-4 down, Kurz staged a dramatic comeback to force a last-leg decider, which saw Horvat narrowly miss double 12 for a 141 checkout, before Kurz held his nerve on double two to get over the line.
2020 Hylo Care PDC Europe Super League Germany Finals Day Sunday June 14 Quarter-Finals Gabriel Clemens 8-1 Manfred Bilderl Nico Kurz 8-5 Kevin Munch Dragutin Horvat 8-6 Steffen Siepmann Michael Unterbuchner 8-4 Daniel Klose
Semi-Finals Nico Kurz 9-7 Gabriel Clemens Dragutin Horvat 9-3 Michael Unterbuchner
Four PDC European Tour events are planned to be held in September and October, as Budapest, Jena, Gibraltar and Prague prepare to host tournaments.
The 2020 European Tour season had begun with the Belgian Darts Championship earlier this year, before the global Coronavirus pandemic led to a suspension of events.
Due to restrictions in place in Germany and the Netherlands, planned events in Sindelfingen, Leverkusen, Trier, Munich, Hildesheim, Riesa and Leeuwarden will not now be able to take place this year.
However, the following European Tour events will be able to take place later this year: Hungarian Darts Trophy (Budapest) – September 4-6 German Darts Open (Jena) – September 11-13 Gibraltar Darts Trophy (Gibraltar) – September 25-27 Czech Darts Open (Prague) – October 16-18.
These events will be followed from October 29-November 1 with the European Championship in Dortmund.
In addition, the World Series of Darts Finals remain planned to take place in Salzburg from September 18-20, while the rescheduled BetVictor World Cup of Darts in Graz from November 6-8 will conclude the year’s action in Europe.
Fans with tickets for events which have been affected by postponements will be contacted by PDC Europe in due course in relation to their booking.
IT’S Michael, er, Van Car Wash! The three-times World Champion is ready to return to the oche after the prolonged lockdown break by cleaning cars and vans.
The World No 1 is lined up to take part in the first Hannover Drive-in Darts Gala on June 24 against Dutch pal Raymond van Barneveld, German star Max Hopp, and South African Devon Petersen. It will be a four-hour open-air exhibition event with German families paying a maximum of €61.50 (£55.33) to watch from the safety of their own cars or vans. A limited number of punters can pay the VIP top price of €181.50 (£163.28) which involves a space in the first row, a sticker, a photo by their car, and their windscreen cleaned before the show by one of the four stars.
The Gala is a madcap way of bringing back top-class darts following the Covid-19 sporting shutdown. Players will do ‘walk-ons’ in golf buggies through the car park, there will be big screens erected and fans can tune into a special radio frequency for commentary. The only time fans can leave their cars is for toilet use, but they may be encouraged to honk their horns with each 180 hit. On the oche, players will observe social-distancing rules with one official rotating a ‘Stop-and-Go’ sign before each throw.
The event, which will be run by PDC Europe, will be held in a huge car park next to the stadium of Bundesliga 2 side Hannover 96. MVG has also hit out at Phil Taylor for suggesting that he could lose his top spot in the sport to Peter Wright. The Power recently claimed that Snakebite could take the mantle as the main man as MVG gets used to life as a father of two children. But Van Gerwen hit back at the 16-times world champion believing he makes big comments to “stay in the spotlight”.MVG told Bureau Sport:
“Taylor has always made statements like that about me, but I have always been very correct with him.
You know what it is, I am the only one who has made it difficult for him over a long period of time”
He was never used to getting such competition and he was never able to digest it well. He has always seen me as a major threat “I think he does this to stay in the spotlight. I’m breaking more and more of his records and before you know it, people will have forgotten about you; which is probably quite difficult for him.”
Phil Lanning| 5-times award-winning journalist/publicist
In another superb effort to give spectators some live sport, and show darts at its very best light, the first Hannover Drive-In Darts Gala will be held on June 24th. Darts has been at the forefront of such innovations during the Covid-19 crisis and PDC Europe released the following information:
Darts is shifting into the next gear! Special times require special measures. That is why you no longer have to go without LIVE darts events and can be the first ones to see the greatest stars of darts again – from the safety of your own car.
Join us in Hanover for the first Drive-In Darts Gala in history and experience the Dutch legends Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld, Germany`s Number 1 Max Hopp and „The African Warrior“ Devon Petersen. The voice of German darts, Elmar Paulke, will be the MC.
Triple-20-Ticket: The price per car is 60 € plus 1,50 € system charge. Two persons per car + a maximum of two related kids.
VIP 180-Ticket Our limited VIP offer includes • a space in the first row • a prefessional photo with the players around your car • a 180 sign signed by all the players • a surprise package and a sticker for the Drive-In Darts Gala pioneers! • CAR-WASH SPECIAL !!! The new Meet & Greet … Prior to the show (6.30pm – 7pm) your windscreen will be cleaned by one of the stars – for an ideal view of the show 😉
VIP 180-Ticket: The price per car is 180 € plus 1,50 € system charge. Two persons per car + a maximum of two related kids.
The 2020 Hylo Care PDC Europe Super League Germany will be televised live on Sport1, DAZN and through PDCTV in May and June as 16 players compete for a place in the William Hill World Darts Championship.
The annual event for German-based players sees the champion secure a coveted spot at Alexandra Palace, with emerging prospect Nico Kurz having won last year’s event by defeating Martin Schindler in the final.
The 2020 event will see 16 players split into two groups of eight for the group stage, before the top four from each progress to the knockout stage.
Top-ranked German Gabriel Clemens will headline Group A, while Kurz lines up in Group B for the round-robin phase of the event.
PDC Europe Super League Germany will be broadcast live on Sport1 & DAZN across nine sessions, with coverage also to be available in PDCTV outside of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
2020 Hylo Care PDC Europe Super League Germany Group A Gabriel Clemens, Kai Gotthardt, Jens Kniest, Kevin Münch, Sascha Stein, Christian Bunse, Steffen Siepmann, Michael Unterbuchner
Group B Maik Langendorf, Rene Eidams, Karsten Koch, Nico Kurz, Thomas Köhnlein, Dragutin Horvat, Daniel Klose, Manfred Bilderl
Session Schedule Saturday May 16 (1400-2300 CET): Group A Sunday May 17 (1500-2300 CET): Group A Saturday May 23 (1400-2300 CET): Group B Sunday May 24 (1500-2300 CET): Group B Saturday May 30 (1400-2300 CET): Group A Sunday May 31 (1500-2300 CET): Group A Saturday June 6 (1400-2300 CET): Group B Sunday June 7 (1500-2300 CET): Group B Sunday June 14 (1500-2300 CET): Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals & Final
Format Group Matches: Best of 11 legs Quarter-Finals: Best of 15 legs Semi-Finals: Best of 17 legs Final: Best of 19 legs
The PDC calendar could suffer further postponements in the coming weeks due to the ongoing global situation, admits PDC Chief Executive Matt Porter.
The worldwide restrictions in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic have seen PDC events suspended since March 19, with all of April’s Unibet Premier League and other tour events being postponed.
Speaking to The Darts Show Podcast, Porter admitted that further postponements for the Premier League’s planned May dates are possible, with rearranged dates already seeing the season set to end on October 1 in Newcastle.
He said: “We’ve announced that all the Premier League nights up to the end of April are postponed [and it’s] more than likely the May ones will be as well but we’re working through the challenges associated with those and we’ll fit things back into our calendar as best we can, probably in the second half of 2020.
“So far, we’ve been fortunate in that we’ve been able to reschedule every night for a Thursday, which is good because I think people associate Thursdays with Premier League darts, so we can keep that continuity even if it does mean we’re in the second half of the year.
“We don’t want to go too late because of the other big events we have in the lead-up to Christmas, so we’ll get as much done throughout the summer and early part of the autumn as we can.
“It is difficult. Venue availability is key, things have got to fit in geographically, we can’t be in two places at once – we need time to build events and then take them down again afterwards – we’ve obviously got commitments to fans, broadcasters, sponsors, venues and all sorts of different stakeholders.
“We’re working through it. Fortunately, we were a bit ahead of the game, we spoke to a lot of venues three or four weeks ago on this just to pre-empt it, so we’ve had back-up dates held for longer than perhaps other promoters have.
“It might be that a couple of events away from the top tier have to bite the bullet for this year, and that might be something we look at, because ultimately there’s only so many weekends in the year. We hope to put on as much of it on as possible.”
He added: “It’s unprecedented times, challenging times, not just for us but the wider world, not just sport.
“It’s important to get a sense of perspective, because when sport’s up and running, we all treat it as if it’s the most important thing out there for us, and then of course things that are genuinely important come along and puts everything else in its place.”
Alongside the popular Premier League nights, the PDC also hope to be able to stage European Tour and Players Championship events as soon as possible, enabling players to secure prize money.
“At the moment, we don’t want to look too long-term,” added Porter. “It’s a new situation, an ever-changing situation and we don’t know what it’s going to be like in six weeks, six months.
“I think it’s fair to say that you can write off most of the next three months, that’s going to be a difficult position to try and get anything up and running again.
“Whether the restrictions are relaxed at some point in the future and we’re able to put events on – tour events for the players’ benefit only in controlled situations with extremely limited numbers of people and certain health and safety regulations in place – that’s just speculation.
“None of us know, but we’re conscious of the fact that darts players are self-employed and that, technically, they’re not really earning any sort of income at the moment.
“Some of them might be fortunate enough to have sponsors who are still paying them, but those who rely on prize money and exhibition income are going to be struggling.
“We’ll speak to the PDPA about that and we don’t want to see anybody fall off the radar in that respect – it’s important that players are communicating with us if they do find themselves in a difficult position, and if we have to look at putting things together to help them through these times then so be it.”
Porter also discussed the possibility of introducing events in a controlled environment once restrictions on movement and travel are lifted.
“In theory, darts can be played behind closed doors as long as there’s two players and somebody to keep score,” he said.
“It could be possible, we’d obviously have to bear in mind Government advice and restrictions – would venues be open, what would the conditions be like?
“It’s not impossible, but I don’t think anything’s going to be happening for a while.”
With no ranking events being held at present, the PDC and PDPA are in discussions over the PDC Order of Merit ranking system, with Porter adding: “We are looking at what we’re doing with the rankings.
“It’s not something we’ve come to any sort of decision over yet, we’re in the early stages of disruption but obviously we will work with the PDPA, who are very good on the fairness and looking out for all the different categories of member.
“Although everybody’s got a Tour Card on the main tour, not everybody’s in the same boat; some people are extremely comfortable, others less so, some are defending a lot from two years ago, others less so.
“So we have to make sure that changes, if we make any at all, are completely transparent and fair for everybody. But hopefully if we can get as many events staged as possible, then we can still give players as much chance as possible to top their rankings up.”
For full details of the PDC’s Coronavirus rearrangements and up to date news go here.
Gerwyn Price became the inaugural winner of the Belgian Darts Championship in Hasselt on Sunday, defeating Michael Smith 8-3 in the final.
In-form Price averaged over 100 in three of his five matches across two days at Expo Hasselt, as the Welsh number one claimed his third European Tour title on St David’s Day.
With the final level at 2-2, world number three Price won five consecutive legs to take full control of the contest before hitting his favourite double top to land his 11th PDC ranking title and the £25,000 top prize.
The only undefeated player in the 2020 Premier League, Price is now also the only player with two PDC ranking titles to his name for the year.
“The crowd were fantastic all weekend, I appreciate everything from them,” said Price, who won his first title of 2020 seven days earlier.
“I think my checkouts this weekend kept me in the games.
“I hit some big shots when I needed them most to change the way some games were going.
“I think I played pretty well all the way through the tournament and hopefully I can keep this form going into the Premier League and UK Open next week.”
Sunday saw the £140,000 event reach its climax, with the last 16 taking place in the afternoon session, followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in the evening.
Having whitewashed Jamie Hughes with a 105.93 average in the last 16, Price then defeated Mensur Suljovic 6-2 before recovering from 3-0 down to overcome Dirk van Duijvenbode 7-4.
Improving Dutchman Van Duijvenbode engaged and entertained the Belgian crowd throughout the weekend as a string of sparking displays saw him reach his first European Tour semi-final.
Meanwhile, Michael van Gerwen’s wait for a first PDC title of 2020 goes on after he lost a deciding leg to Smith in the last 16.
The European Tour will return with the European Darts Grand Prix in Sindelfingen, Germany across the weekend of March 20-22, with all the action shown on PDCTV.
Sunday March 1 Afternoon Session Third Round Michael Smith 6-5 Michael van Gerwen Mervyn King 6-3 Martijn Kleermaker Peter Wright 6-3 Danny Noppert Krzysztof Ratajski 6-3 Rob Cross Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 Jeffrey de Zwaan Nathan Aspinall 6-4 James Wade Gerwyn Price 6-0 Jamie Hughes Mensur Suljovic 6-4 Steve West
Evening Session Quarter-Finals Michael Smith 6-1 Mervyn King Peter Wright 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Nathan Aspinall Gerwyn Price 6-2 Mensur Suljovic
Semi-Finals Michael Smith 7-5 Peter Wright Gerwyn Price 7-4 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Michael van Gerwen will meet Michael Smith in the last 16 of the 2020 Belgian Darts Championship, as host nation hopes were ended in Hasselt on Saturday.
Both Van Gerwen and Smith saw off Belgian opponents to set up Sunday afternoon’s exciting opening third round match.
World number one van Gerwen missed double 12 for a nine-darter in the final leg of his 6-3 victory over Mike De Decker, while Smith enjoyed a 6-1 win against Ronny Huybrechts.
Belgian number one Dimitri Van Den Bergh came the closest out of his countrymen to reaching the final day but lost out 6-5 to Jamie Hughes, while Kim Huybrechts was beaten 6-4 by Dutch ace Jeffrey de Zwaan.
Danny Noppert produced the performance of the second round as he averaged 108.96 in a 6-2 success over fellow Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena.
Noppert hit five 180s in an outstanding display to reach the last 16, where he will meet World Champion Peter Wright.
Wright was below his best but was untroubled by Andy Hamilton as the Scotsman went on to complete a comfortable 6-2 win.
Noppert’s fellow Dutch talents Dirk van Duijvenbode and Martijn Kleermaker also progressed to the final day with victories against seeded opposition.
Van Duijvenbode moved into the last 16 of a European Tour event for the first time after defeating number two seed Ian White 6-3, while Kleermaker reached the third round stage on his first attempt with a 6-3 success over Joe Cullen.
Kleermaker’s last 16 opponent will be Mervyn King, who produced a stunning performance to defeat number eight seed Glen Durrant 6-4 with an average of 105.98.
Mensur Suljovic defeated Ryan Searle 6-4 in an entertaining encounter, which saw the pair share four three-figure finishes – including checkouts of 170 and 145 by Searle despite defeat.
Steve West will face Suljovic on Sunday after defying a 104.14 average from Jonny Clayton in a 6-2 success over the Welshman.
Gerwyn Price made light work of Dutch qualifier Wesley Plaisier, who completed a fabulous 154 checkout in the only leg he won against the world number three.
Polish star Krzysztof Ratajski kicked off his 2020 European Tour campaign with a 6-2 triumph over Germany’s Gabriel Clemens.
Ratajski will take on Rob Cross in round three after the 2019 European Champion eased past Australia’s Damon Heta 6-1.
James Wade defeated Steve Lennon 6-3 to set up a third round clash with Nathan Aspinall, who produced a pivotal 167 checkout in a 6-3 victory over Steve Beaton.
The Belgian Darts Championship concludes with two sessions on Sunday March 1, with live streaming on PDCTV, as well as through a series of bookmakers’ websites worldwide.
Sunday afternoon will see the remaining 16 players battle it out for places in the evening session, which hosts the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final -where the winner will earn £25,000.
2020 Belgian Darts Championship Saturday February 29 Second Round Afternoon Session Michael Smith 6-1 Ronny Huybrechts Martijn Kleermaker 6-3 Joe Cullen Krzysztof Ratajski 6-2 Gabriel Clemens Mervyn King 6-4 Glen Durrant Rob Cross 6-1 Damon Heta Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-3 Ian White Danny Noppert 6-2 Jermaine Wattimena James Wade 6-3 Steve Lennon
Evening Session Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Steve Beaton Gerwyn Price 6-1 Wesley Plaisier Peter Wright 6-2 Andy Hamilton Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Mike De Decker Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-4 Kim Huybrechts Jamie Hughes 6-5 Dimitri Van den Bergh Mensur Suljovic 6-4 Ryan Searle Steve West 6-2 Jonny Clayton
The qualification structure for the PDC European Tour has been confirmed for 2020 ahead of the widest-reaching season of events since the series was introduced.
A total of 13 European Tour events are set to take place during 2020, including visits to Belgium and Hungary for the first time alongside tournaments in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic and Gibraltar.
As in recent years, each event will feature 48 players and sees the top 16 players from the ProTour Order of Merit seeded through to the second round.
PDC Tour Card Holders will now compete in one combined qualifier for a total of 24 places in the tournament, having previously been split into UK and European Qualifiers.
The top two ranked players from each Host Nation will also qualify by right, where applicable, as two of four players representing each Host Nation.
Further qualifiers will come from the PDC Nordic & Baltic and East Europe regions (one place per tournament), with two places reserved for an Associate Member Qualifier, which will be open to players who competed at the 2020 PDC Qualifying School but did not win a Tour Card.
“The European Tour is a hugely popular and important part of the PDC circuit now and the expansion into two new territories next year is accompanied by this exciting update to the qualification structure,” said PDC Chief Executive Matthew Porter.
“We have reviewed the European Tour with partners including PDC Europe and the PDPA and believe that this new qualifying structure provides a great balance for fans attending across Europe as well as players competing in the events.”
Tickets for the 2020 PDC European Tour are available through PDC Europe via https://www.pdc-europe.de/tickets/
The full qualification structure is as follows:
16 Seeded Players – top 16 entered players from ProTour Order of Merit at time of entry deadline. Will enter each event at the second-round stage, and need to win their second-round match in order for prize money to count to the relevant Orders of Merit.
Up to two ranked players from the Host Nation, outside of the top 16 seeds, from the ProTour Order of Merit at the time of entry deadline. Will enter each event at first-round stage, and need to win their first-round match in order for prize money to count to the relevant Orders of Merit. Should there be less than two ranked players from the Host Nation, additional places would be on offer at the Host Nation Qualifier.
24 Tour Card Holder Qualifiers – from one knockout qualifier featuring all Tour Card Holders
One PDC Nordic & Baltic Qualifier
One East Europe Qualifier
Two Host Nation Qualifiers – from events for Associate and Day Members from the Host Nation. Day Members can participate in up to two Host Nation Qualifiers per year.
Two Associate Member Qualifiers – from events open to any Associate Member who competed at the 2020 Qualifying Schools.
Rob Cross claimed a third televised ranking title, the second this year, and the £120,000 top prize on Sunday night as the 2019 Unibet European Championship came to a dramatic conclusion in Göttingen, Germany.
The world number two denied Gerwyn Price of a second televised title in the decider beating his Welsh opponent 11-6 in front of a packed crowd.
The final began with Cross striking the opening blow, breaking the throw in leg three to take a 3-2 lead in to the first break.
A further break of throw followed with Cross moving 7-3 clear and four legs away from securing the European title.
It was a 4th televised final for Gerwyn Price, who would have moved up to a career-high world number 3 with a win. However, the 34-year-old was unable to find the same kind of form that won him the Grand Slam title almost a year ago as Cross continued to edge closer to the victory.
Cross, who had made three previous TV finals in 2019, having been runner-up in the Premier League and UK Open before going on to win the World Matchplay, secured his first European Championship on double 16.
The victory sets up a fascinating end to 2019 with the World Series Finals, Grand Slam and Players Championship Finals all to come before the year ending World Championship, with Cross looking to put pressure on world number one Michael van Gerwen.
“I’m here to be number one in the world. I don’t play to make up the numbers and I believe I will be number one at some point,” said a bullish Cross after the final.
“In fairness to Gerwyn he wasn’t his normal self in the final but I’m delighted to walk away with this title.
“It’s also another learning experience for me, they’re long gruelling days and I’m happy to prove that I can win matches with a C or B game now.
“I’m playing great, I’m having to dig deep at times and I’m more feeling like myself. It’s amazing and it’s everything I wanted it to be.”
Cross began the day with a 10-6 win over Ricky Evans where the former World Champion averaged nearly 100 to progress to the semi-finals where he would meet Daryl Gurney.
The encounter between the pair was arguably the match of the day with the pendulum swinging both ways before Cross eventually secured an 11-9 win.
Gerwyn Price awaited in the final after the Welshman had first defeated Vincent van der Voort 10-8 and then World Championship runner-up Michael Smith 11-7 in the last four.
The final was a match Cross always seemed in control of but a run to another final for Price signifies that he will be a threat to the field in the remaining events in 2019.
Televised darts returns on Friday as the World Series Finals heads to Amsterdam for the first time in what will be Raymond van Barneveld’s final competitive appearance in Holland before retiring.
Sunday October 27
Afternoon SessionQuarter-Finals Rob Cross 10-6 Ricky Evans Daryl Gurney 10-5 Dave Chisnall Michael Smith 10-5 Jeffrey de Zwaan Gerwyn Price 10-8 Vincent van der Voort
Evening Session Semi-Finals Rob Cross 11-9 Daryl Gurney Gerwyn Price 11-7 Michael Smith
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