Australian Simon Whitlock powered past Michael van Gerwen 6-1 to win Saturday’s Speedy Services UK Open Qualifier Five in Wigan.

UK Open

The Wizard in PL Action – Lustig/PDC

The Wizard produced some superb darts as he picked up the £6,000 first prize in the fifth of eight qualifying tournaments for professionals to win places in June’s UK Open Televised Finals at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton.

Following early wins over Josh Payne and Terry Temple, the European Champion edged out Mark Walsh 6-5 to reach the last 16, producing a ten-darter in the deciding leg after his opponent had come from 5-1 down to level.

Whitlock then saw off Canada’s Ken MacNeil 6-2 before finding himself 5-1 down against Ian White in the quarter-finals, hitting back to edge through to the last four before claiming a 6-4 win over Peter Wright.

He punished a string of missed doubles at the start of the final by taking the opening four legs without reply, as the young Dutchman missed a total of 11 darts at doubles before winning the fifth leg with a 13-darter which featured two 180s.

However, Whitlock finished double 16 to reply with a 14-darter as he moved 5-1 up before landing a third 180 of the game and tops to seal the victory.

“This is one of the best wins I’ve ever had – I’m absolutely thrilled to bits,” said an elated Whitlock. “I had a bit of luck earlier on but I played really well in the final and I’m over the moon.

“At 5-1 down against Ian White you don’t expect to win, but I somehow pulled one out of the bag and got there. You need a little bit of luck sometimes and I got that today, and I just rode with it.

“I played solid darts in the final and I was very composed, and I was on a mission to win today.”

Van Gerwen’s run to the final continues his incredible form so far in the UK Open Qualifiers, having won the first three events and reached the semi-finals of Qualifier Four last month.

The world number two’s victims on the day included World Champion Phil Taylor for the second time inside three days, as he followed up Thursday’s McCoy’s Premier League Darts triumph with a 6-2 quarter-final victory.

Van Gerwen also saw off Kevin Thomas, Nigel Heydon, Arron Monk, Jim Walker and Lee Palfreyman, and averaged 105 in a fine 6-4 semi-final win over Gary Anderson.

Anderson reached the last four for the second successive UK Open Qualifier with his run in Wigan, which saw him defeat Michael Barnard, Mark Webster, Joey Palfreyman, Nick Fullwell and Jelle Klaasen on the day.

He was joined in the last four by in-form Peter Wright, who has now reached three semi-finals and a quarter-final in the five UK Open Qualifiers held so far this year.

Taylor’s run to the last eight – in his first UK Open Qualifier appearance of the year – saw him pick up £1,000 prize money, and he was joined in the quarter-finals by Klaasen, White and Mark Cox.

Brendan Dolan, Terry Jenkins, Steve West, Dave Chisnall and Stuart Kellett joined Fullwell, Lee Palfreyman and MacNeil in reaching the last 16 as they edged closer to securing places in the UK Open Televised Finals in June, with the top 96 players, plus ties, from the final UK Open Order of Merit qualifying to play in Bolton.

Sunday will see the sixth Speedy Services UK Open Qualifier held at Wigan’s Robin Park Tennis Centre, with over 200 players set to compete for the £35,000 prize fund.

Speedy Services UK Open Qualifier Five Results

First Round
Gary Anderson Bye
Michael Barnard Bye
Mark Webster 6-1 Dean Winstanley
Stuart White 6-3 Ryan Maher
Brett Claydon 6-4 Neville Roberts
Dennis Smith 6-5 Paul Nicholson
Joey Palfreyman 6-3 Lee Hayes
Andrew Cornwall 6-3 Brandon Walsh
Nick Fullwell Bye
Matt Clark Bye
Shaun Liptrot 6-4 Jack Tweddell
Connie Finnan 6-2 Paul Amos
Kurt Van De Rijck 6-3 James Wade
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Ross Smith
Gino Vos 6-3 Andy Smith
Paddy Meaney 6-0 Andrew Johnson
Matthew Dennant Bye
Sean Ryan Bye
Co Stompe 6-3 Jamie Atkins
Mark Jones (Worcs) 6-4 Dave Ladley
Gaz Cousins 6-4 Ryan Palmer
David Pallett 6-4 Joe Cullen
Steve Beaton 6-3 Prakash Jiwa
Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Par Riihonen
Royden Lam Bye
Roland Scholten Bye
Phil Henshaw Bye
Vincent van der Voort 6-4 Adrian Lewis
Jarkko Komula 6-1 Dafydd Edwards
Michael Mansell 6-2 Mike Gorst
Steve West 6-3 Chris Aubrey
Dan Russell 6-3 Jamie Lewis
Mareno Michels Bye
Steve Grubb Bye
Phil Taylor 6-0 Christopher Dale
Jerry Hendriks 6-5 Paul Rowley
Steve Hine 6-3 Jake Patchett
Jamie Caven 6-0 Jani Haavisto
John Scott 6-3 Jonathan Worsley
Ronny Huybrechts 6-0 Tony Tasker
Sam Hill Bye
Kevin McDine Bye
Andrew Hibbert 6-3 Dave Place
Paul Barham 6-4 Dyson Parody
Josh Jones 6-5 Nigel Birch
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Patrick Pace
Jamie Robinson 6-1 Chris Hartrey
Leon De Geus 6-2 Dylan Duo
Mike Norton Bye
Lee Palfreyman Bye
Darren Whittingham Bye
William O’Connor 6-3 Joe Murnan
Jyhan Artut 6-2 Geoff Whitworth
Steve Maish 6-5 Pete Dyos
Steve Brown 6-5 Antonio Alcinas
Alex Roy 6-5 James Hubbard
Norman Fletcher Bye
Adrian Gray Bye
Jim Walker Bye
Ricky Evans 6-1 Richie Burnett
Nigel Heydon 6-5 Mick Todd
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Kevin Thomas
Scott Coleman 6-2 Andy Hutchings
Arron Monk 6-3 Justin Pipe
John Henderson Bye
Max Hopp Bye
Kevin Dowling 6-5 Dave Honey
Matthew Edgar 6-1 Colin Lloyd
Rocco Maes 6-3 Andrew Gilding
Wes Newton Bye (Brian Startin withdrew through illness)
Peter Hudson 6-0 Mark Gordon
Ian White 6-1 Ricky Sudale
Terry Jenkins Bye
Mark Dudbridge Bye
Vernon Sheppard 6-0 Steve Randall
James Richardson 6-2 Ewan Hyslop
Dave Weston 6-0 Lee Moffat
Jason Wilson 6-5 Adam Hunt
Keith Rooney 6-4 Matthew Dicken
Tom Martin 6-5 Chris Wickenden
Kentaro Suzuki Bye
Terry Temple Bye
Simon Whitlock Bye
Josh Payne 6-0 Martin Perring
Mark Walsh 6-3 Andy Hamilton
Martyn Turner 6-0 Nathan Richards
Tomas Seyler 6-5 Steve Farmer
Kim Huybrechts 6-0 Matt Padgett
Darren Johnson Bye
Lee White Bye
Ian Walters Bye
Stephen Hardy 6-3 Steve McNally
Ken MacNeil 6-2 Glen Miller
Alan Cliffe 6-2 Paul Schofield
Alan Tabern 6-2 Mark Forman
John Part 6-3 Gareth Pass
Mark Jones Bye
Jason Hogg Bye
Andy Jenkins 6-0 Peter Evison
Mervyn King 6-1 Jordy Terburg
Scott Rand 6-5 Darron Brown
Robert Thornton 6-3 Reece Robinson
Daryl Gurney 6-1 Denis Ovens
Mark Cox 6-1 Craig Pope
Campbell Jackson Bye
Daniel Day Bye
Colin Fowler 6-1 Andy Pearson
Michael Smith 6-2 Keegan Brown
Aden Kirk 6-4 Jamie Gemmell
Mark Lawrence 6-3 Steve Coote
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Marc Dewsbury
Mark Hylton 6-3 David Dodds
Chris Mason Bye
Andy Pearce Bye
Ronnie Baxter Bye
Wayne Jones 6-4 Kevin Painter
Keith Stephen 6-1 Barrie Bates
Jon Jukes 6-5 Ryan Harrington
Peter Wright 6-0 Stuart Millar
Bernd Roith 6-4 Ryan De Vreede
Andy Relf Bye
Richie Howson Bye
Shaun Griffiths Bye
Mark Frost 6-2 John Bowles
Matthew Medhurst 6-4 Colin Osborne
Kirk Shepherd 6-4 Johnny Haines
Stuart Kellett 6-5 Brian Woods
Ted Hankey 6-1 Ian Jopling

Second Round
Gary Anderson 6-2 Michael Barnard
Mark Webster 6-4 Stuart White
Dennis Smith 6-3 Brett Claydon
Joey Palfreyman 6-0 Andrew Cornwall
Nick Fullwell 6-3 Matt Clark
Connie Finnan 6-4 Shaun Liptrot
Mensur Suljovic 6-0 Kurt Van De Rijck
Gino Vos 6-3 Paddy Meaney
Sean Ryan 6-3 Matthew Dennant
Co Stompe 6-5 Mark Jones (Worcs)
Gaz Cousins 6-4 David Pallett
Jelle Klaasen 6-3 Steve Beaton
Roland Scholten 6-3 Royden Lam
Vincent van der Voort 6-1 Phil Henshaw
Michael Mansell 6-3 Jarkko Komula
Steve West 6-5 Dan Russell
Mareno Michels 6-5 Steve Grubb
Phil Taylor 6-3 Jerry Hendriks
Jamie Caven 6-2 Steve Hine
Ronny Huybrechts 6-0 John Scott
Kevin McDine 6-1 Sam Hill
Paul Barham 6-4 Andrew Hibbert
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Josh Jones
Leon De Geus 6-4 Jamie Robinson
Lee Palfreyman 6-4 Mike Norton
William O’Connor 6-3 Darren Whittingham
Jyhan Artut 6-4 Steve Maish
Steve Brown 6-3 Alex Roy
Adrian Gray 6-1 Norman Fletcher
Jim Walker 6-4 Ricky Evans
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Nigel Heydon
Arron Monk 6-3 Scott Coleman
John Henderson 6-5 Max Hopp
Matthew Edgar 6-4 Kevin Dowling
Wes Newton 6-4 Rocco Maes
Ian White 6-2 Peter Hudson
Terry Jenkins 6-1 Mark Dudbridge
James Richardson 6-3 Vernon Sheppard
Dave Weston 6-5 Jason Wilson
Keith Rooney 6-1 Tom Martin
Terry Temple 6-4 Kentaro Suzuki
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Josh Payne
Mark Walsh 6-4 Martyn Turner
Tomas Seyler 6-3 Kim Huybrechts
Darren Johnson 6-0 Lee White
Ian Walters 6-3 Stephen Hardy
Ken MacNeil 6-0 Alan Cliffe
Alan Tabern 6-5 John Part
Jason Hogg 6-3 Mark Jones
Andy Jenkins 6-5 Mervyn King
Scott Rand 6-2 Robert Thornton
Mark Cox 6-5 Daryl Gurney
Campbell Jackson 6-0 Daniel Day
Colin Fowler 6-4 Michael Smith
Mark Lawrence 6-3 Aden Kirk
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Mark Hylton
Chris Mason 6-2 Andy Pearce
Ronnie Baxter 6-3 Wayne Jones
Jon Jukes 6-0 Keith Stephen
Peter Wright 6-1 Bernd Roith
Richie Howson 6-4 Andy Relf
Shaun Griffiths 6-3 Mark Frost
Kirk Shepherd 6-3 Matthew Medhurst
Stuart Kellett 6-5 Ted Hankey

Third Round
Gary Anderson 6-3 Mark Webster
Joey Palfreyman 6-5 Dennis Smith
Nick Fullwell 6-5 Connie Finnan
Mensur Suljovic 6-0 Gino Vos
Co Stompe 6-0 Sean Ryan
Jelle Klaasen 6-2 Gaz Cousins
Vincent van der Voort 6-3 Roland Scholten
Steve West 6-2 Michael Mansell
Phil Taylor 6-2 Mareno Michels
Ronny Huybrechts 6-2 Jamie Caven
Kevin McDine 6-0 Paul Barham
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Leon De Geus
Lee Palfreyman 6-2 William O’Connor
Jyhan Artut 6-5 Steve Brown
Jim Walker 6-4 Adrian Gray
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Arron Monk
John Henderson 6-1 Matthew Edgar
Ian White 6-5 Wes Newton
Terry Jenkins 6-5 James Richardson
Dave Weston 6-4 Keith Rooney
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Terry Temple
Mark Walsh 6-2 Tomas Seyler
Darren Johnson 6-3 Ian Walters
Ken MacNeil 6-4 Alan Tabern
Andy Jenkins 6-4 Jason Hogg
Mark Cox 6-2 Scott Rand
Campbell Jackson 6-4 Colin Fowler
Dave Chisnall 6-1 Mark Lawrence
Ronnie Baxter 6-5 Chris Mason
Peter Wright 6-5 Jon Jukes
Shaun Griffiths 6-1 Richie Howson
Stuart Kellett 6-5 Kirk Shepherd
Losers £200

Fourth Round
Gary Anderson 6-4 Joey Palfreyman
Nick Fullwell 6-3 Mensur Suljovic
Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Co Stompe
Steve West 6-4 Vincent van der Voort
Phil Taylor 6-5 Ronny Huybrechts
Brendan Dolan 6-3 Kevin McDine
Lee Palfreyman 6-3 Jyhan Artut
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Jim Walker
Ian White 6-0 John Henderson
Terry Jenkins 6-2 Dave Weston
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Mark Walsh
Ken MacNeil 6-4 Darren Johnson
Mark Cox 6-4 Andy Jenkins
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Campbell Jackson
Peter Wright 6-1 Ronnie Baxter
Stuart Kellett 6-5 Shaun Griffiths
Losers £400

Fifth Round
Gary Anderson 6-3 Nick Fullwell
Jelle Klaasen 6-3 Steve West
Phil Taylor 6-4 Brendan Dolan
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Lee Palfreyman
Ian White 6-5 Terry Jenkins
Simon Whitlock 6-2 Ken MacNeil
Mark Cox 6-5 Dave Chisnall
Peter Wright 6-1 Stuart Kellett
Losers £600

Gary Anderson 6-1 Jelle Klaasen
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Phil Taylor
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Ian White
Peter Wright 6-5 Mark Cox
Losers £1,000

Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Gary Anderson
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Peter Wright
Losers £2,000

Simon Whitlock 6-1 Michael van Gerwen
Winner £6,000
Runner-Up £3,000

Final – Leg-By-Leg
Michael van Gerwen v Simon Whitlock
0-0 – Michael van Gerwen wins the bull and throws first.
0-1 – Whitlock hits two 180s, and when van Gerwen misses a pair of darts at double 16, the Australian lands tops for a 13-darter to break throw immediately.
0-2 – van Gerwen opens with a 180 before Whitlock misses the bull for a 170 finish and van Gerwen fails to land the middle double for a 121 checkout, with the Australian returning to land double eight.
0-3 – van Gerwen misses double 18 for a 121 finish before Whitlock fails to land the same bed for a 144 checkout – but two further misses from the Dutchman allow him in to win a third successive leg, landing double nine with his third dart.
0-4 – van Gerwen opens the leg with 180 and 140 but misses five darts at double top, ten and five to break throw, and Whitlock finishes tops at the first time of asking to maintain his charge.
1-4 – van Gerwen this time opens with back-to-back 180s, with hopes of a nine-darter ended when he misses a seventh successive treble 20, but he returns to land tops for a 13-darter to finally get off the mark.
1-5 – Whitlock finishes double 16 for a 14-darter to move a leg away from victory.
1-6 – Whitlock opens the leg with a 180 and takes out 65 on tops to seal the win.

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