UK Open

Known as the FA Cup of darts, because players from all levels can participate. Until 2019 there were a number of qualifying tournaments for the PDC professionals known as the UK Open Qualifiers. The top 96 from these qualifiers would go into the main event. A number of qualifiers, who are recruited through so-called pub qualifiers, accompany them. All qualifiers gather at the Butlins Resort in Minehead to play on eight stages simultaneously. Since 2019 all 128 tour card holders are invited into the main event. They compete against the Challenge Tour top 16 and 16 pubqualifiers.

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. Nathan Aspinall is a surprise champion when he wins in 2019, he is outside the world’s top 32 before the tournament.

In the seventeen times the tournament has been 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 and Gary Anderson in 2018. Robert Thornton wins here in 2012, his first major PDC title; Peter Wright does the same in 2017 and Nathan Aspinall in 2019.

In the UK Open there have been eight nine darters thrown. Phil Taylor does it four times. Mervyn King, Gary Anderson, Michael van Gerwen and Wes Newton also reach darting perfection in this tournament. Wes Newton is the only player to do this outside the view of the cameras on one of the outside boards.

Upcoming season (2020)

Tournament starts in

Reigning champion

Nathan Aspinall
Photographer: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
UK Open - 2019

List of finals

Year Winner Result Runner-Up
2019 11 - 5
(84.79)
5
2018
(96.08)
11
11 - 7
(99.78)
7
2017
(100.55)
11
11 - 6
(97.78)
6
2016 11 - 4
(98.33)
4
2015 11 - 5
(99.33)
5
2014
(109.13)
11
11 - 1
(93.15)
1
2013
(107.04)
11
11 - 4
(97.95)
4
2012 11 - 5
(98.58)
5
2011
(96.25)
11
11 - 8
(88.51)
8
2010
(97.71)
11
11 - 5
(92.41)
5
2009
(100.80)
11
11 - 6
(93.24)
6
2008
(94.65)
11
11 - 7
(87.33)
7
2007 16 - 8
2006 13 - 7
(82.98)
7
2005
(97.80)
13
13 - 7
(89.52)
7
2004 11 - 6
(85.98)
6
2003
(98.03)
18
18 - 8