Live Darts on Friday March 2: UK Open 2018 Day One preview and order of play

John Part of Canada reacts (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

The 2018 UK Open gets underway in Minehead on Friday with more than 90 matches being held across eight boards in the opening three rounds.

Despite the adverse weather conditions which forced Thursday's Premier League to be cancelled in Exeter, the UK Open is set to go ahead as planned, with the exception of a clutch of players.

Travel disruption has led to seven players officially pulling out of the tournament at the time of writing and more are expected to follow suit before the start of play on Friday.

Notoriously the most chaotic day in the darting calendar, the afternoon session will play host to First and Second Round ties featuring the 32 amateur qualifiers and players ranked 33-96 on the UK Open Order of Merit, before the top 32 seeds enter at the Third Round stage in the evening.

Among the pick of the First Round ties is a clash between 2014 UK Open finalist Terry Jenkins and former Players Champion - Paul Nicholson.

Despite suggestions of retirement at the end of last season, Jenkins has unpacked his darts once again in pursuit of that elusive maiden major title and is looking for his first televised win since December 2016.

Nicholson has enjoyed a mini renaissance in his career since regaining his Tour Card at Qualifying School last year and a good run this weekend could see him return to the world's top 64.

John Part, the 2004 UK Open runner-up, narrowly secured his first appearance in this event since 2015 and will take on Rileys Wolverhampton qualifier John Morris on the Main Stage.

Alex Roy, one of five ever-presents in the UK Open since 2003, takes on fellow stalwart Mark Walsh - runner-up to Phil Taylor back in 2005.

Former Lakeside Champion Richie Burnett marks his return to the TV stage with a clash against Ryan Harrington - the son of former world number one Rod Harrington who secured his Tour Card at Q School in January.

World number 14 Benito van de Pas faces a tricky opener against Spanish star Cristo Reyes, while 2008 world finalist Kirk Shepherd meets highly-rated young gun Adam Hunt on Stage Five.

World Youth Champion Dimitri van den Bergh has been drawn to face Gloucestershire's Lee Evans, as 'Rapid' Ricky Evans faces South Benfleet amateur qualifier - Andreas Hajimena.

Stand-out Second Round ties include last year's runner-up Gerwyn Price's clash with world number 30 James Wilson on the Main Stage.

Two-time UK Open champion Raymond van Barneveld aims to avert a potential banana skin at the hands of Mike Norton - who reached the Last 16 of UK Open Qualifier Six.

Danny Noppert will make his television debut as a PDC player against either Harrington or Burnett, while Joe Cullen aims to shake off his recent injury scare when he plays dangerous Spaniard Jose Perales.

The likes of Dave Chisnall, Vincent van der Voort, Alan Norris, Stephen Bunting and Keegan Brown also enter the competition at the Second Round stages.

The top 32 seeds, including defending champion Peter Wright, two-time champion Michael van Gerwen, Rob Cross, Gary Anderson, Daryl Gurney and debutant Corey Cadby will enter the fray in Round Three in the evening session, with the draw to be made live at the close of play in the afternoon.

The action gets underway from 12pm GMT, with all matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs at the Butlins Minehead Resort.


Coral UK Open 2018 Schedule


Friday March 2

Afternoon Session (12pm-5pm)

First Round

Main Stage - Red’s
Paul Nicholson v Terry Jenkins
Ryan Harrington v Richie Burnett
Lee Evans v Dimitri Van den Bergh
John Morris v John Part

Board Three
Mark Walsh v Alex Roy
Michael Burgoine Bye (Andrew Davidson withdrew)
Rene Eidams v Andrew Johnson
Michael Barnard Bye (Scott Robertson withdrew)
Bradley Brooks v Chris Quantock

Board Four
Cristo Reyes v Benito van de Pas
Andrew Pullen Bye (Mark Rice withdrew)
Simon Tate v Michael Rasztovits
Liam Kelly v Luke Humphries
Robert Rickwood Bye (Rene Berndt withdrew)

Board Five
Dirk van Duijvenbode Bye (Mick McGowan withdrew)
Daniel Lee v Harry Ward
Kirk Shepherd v Adam Hunt
Mickey Mansell v Ryan Meikle
Darryl Pilgrim v Ian Jopling

Board Six
Dan Read v Joe Davis
Benjamin McClelland v David Airey
Chris Lacey v Martin Biggs
Ricky Evans v Andreas Hajiminia
Cody Harris v Tony Mitchell

Board Seven
Mark Craddock Bye (Craig Winstanley withdrew)
Andy Hamilton Bye (William O'Connor withdrew)
Martin Atkins v Paul Whitworth
Darren Brown v Paul Hogan

Board Eight
Ron Meulenkamp v Andy Hibbert
George Killington v Andy Jenkins
Jason Mold v Prakash Jiwa
Darren Johnson v John Scott

Second Round

Main Stage - Red’s
Toni Alcinas v Walsh/Roy
James Wilson v Gerwyn Price
Alan Norris v Dirk van Duijvenbode
Mike Norton v Raymond van Barneveld

Board Three
Vincent van der Voort v Lacey/Biggs
Richard North v Nicholson/T Jenkins
Reyes/Van de Pas v David Evans
L Evans/Van den Bergh v Chris Dobey
Brown/Hogan Bye (John Goldie withdrew)

Board Four
Danny Noppert v Harrington/Burnett
Stuart Kellett v McClelland/Airey
Dave Chisnall v Eidams/Johnson
Vincent Kamphuis v Shepherd/Hunt
Mold/Jiwa v Nathan Rafferty
Pilgrim/Jopling v Geert Nentjes

Board Five
Robert Owen v Michael Burgoine
Andy Hamilton v Jermaine Wattimena
Kelly/Humphries v Wayne Jones
Stephen Bunting v Brooks/Quantock
Atkins/Whitworth v Morris/Part

Board Six
Jose Justicia v Joe Cullen
Keegan Brown v Killington/A Jenkins
Andrew Gilding v Gabriel Clemens
Jason Lowe v Johnson/Scott

Board Seven
Nathan Aspinall v Andrew Pullen
Carl Wilkinson v R Evans/Hajiminia
Harris/Mitchell v Michael Barnard
Meulenkamp/Hibbert v Read/Davis

Board Eight
Lee/Ward v Ted Evetts
Tate/Rasztovits Bye (Maik Langendorf withdrew)
Mansell/Meikle v Mark Craddock
James Richardson v Robert Rickwood

Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
Third Round matches TBC


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Live Darts on Friday March 2: UK Open 2018 Day One preview and order of play

The 2018 UK Open gets underway in Minehead on Friday with more than 90 matches being held across eight boards in the opening three rounds.

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