THE countdown is on to darts’ UK Open at the Reebok Stadium next month after the 138-player field for the tournament was finalised on Sunday.

The £200,000 UK Open sees the world’s top darts players battling it out from June 3-6 in front of the Sky Sports cameras for one of the sport’s most prestigious titles.

Nicknamed ‘The FA Cup of Darts’ because of the free draw format after each round, the UK Open features play on eight boards simultaneously in the early rounds in Bolton before play focuses on the main stage for the quarter-finals onwards.

Reigning UK Open champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor will enter the event alongside many of the other top names on Friday June 4 at the third round stage, mirroring football’s FA Cup.

However, stars such as Wayne Mardle, Peter Manley, former World Champions Steve Beaton and Richie Burnett and the 2004 UK Open winner Roland Scholten will all be in action on the opening night on Thursday June 3.

Bolton-born American star Gary Mawson will also feature on the opening night, returning to the scene of his finest hour after reaching the UK Open final two years ago, where he lost to James Wade.

Worsley-based Matt Clark will enter in round three, while Eccles’ Peter Hudson will make his debut in a major tournament after impressing in his first year on the Professional Darts Corporation circuit.

PDC players battled through a series of eight qualifiers to earn their places in the tournament, with 96 qualifying alongside 32 amateurs, who won through free-to-enter knockouts held in Rileys Clubs around the UK, and ten top County players.

Bolton’s Paul Williams, a former UK Open semi-finalist, agonisingly missed out on qualification in the final qualifier last Sunday, losing to eventual winner James Wade in the first round in his bid to get through at the final attempt.

Chorley’s Louis Blundell, Heywood’s Darren Latham and St Helens-based professionals Michael Smith, 19, and Alan Tabern – a quarter-finalist in Bolton last year – are other local qualifiers, with the latter enjoying his best performance of 2010 by reaching the last eight of Sunday’s final qualifier.

Prestwich’s Paul Whitworth is among the Rileys Qualifiers, along with former Widnes rugby league player John Bowles, Skelmersdale’s Bradley Williams and Liverpool’s 19-year-old Jamie Green, the son of former PDC player Robbie Green.

Tickets for the UK Open cost from £20 and are available by calling 0844 871 2932 or by visiting the Reebok Stadium Box Office.

The full field of qualifiers is listed below:

Top 96 Players

Mark Walsh

Abbots Langley, Herts

Phil Taylor

Stoke-on-Trent

Gary Anderson

Rooksbridge, Somerset

James Wade

Aldershot

Colin Lloyd

Chelmsford

Mervyn King

Bradwell, Norfolk

Jamie Caven

Derby

Wes Newton

Fleetwood

John Part

Oshawa, Canda

Colin Osborne

Derby

Andy Hamilton

Derby

Simon Whitlock

Australia/Isle of Wight

Vincent van der Voort

Purmerend, Holland

Wayne Jones

Wolverhampton

Mark Webster

Denbigh

Peter Wright

Lowestoft, Suffolk

Jelle Klaasen

Breda, Holland

Kevin Painter

Daventry

Co Stompe

Leylstad, Holland

Adrian Lewis

Stoke-on-Trent

Michael van Gerwen

Boxtel, Holland

Mark Dudbridge

Bristol

Alan Tabern

St Helens

Steve Maish

Southend-on-Sea

Brendan Dolan

Belcoo, Northern Ireland

Terry Jenkins

Ledbury

Dennis Priestley

Mexborough

Matt Clark

Worsley

Ronnie Baxter

Blackpool

Denis Ovens

Stevenage

Tony Eccles

Hartlepool

Nigel Heydon

Leamington Spa

Andy Smith

Studley, Warwickshire

Paul Nicholson

Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Chris Thompson

York

Mark Frost

Stoke-on-Trent

Justin Pipe

Taunton

Mark Lawrence

South Elmsall

Nick Fullwell

Stourbridge

Colin Monk

Basingstoke

Steve Beaton

Earl Shilton, Leics

Barrie Bates

Bedlinog, Wales

Darren Johnson

Mexborough

Dennis Smith

Swindon

Adrian Gray

St Leonards-on-Sea

Robert Thornton

Stevenston, Ayrshire

Chris Mason

Wolverhampton

Roland Scholten

Den Haag, Holland

Steve Evans

Pennal, Wales

Steve Brown

Bristol

Mark Cox

Swindon

Michael Barnard

Romford

Wayne Mardle

Romford

Mick McGowan

Balbriggan, Ireland

Kirk Shepherd

Birmingham

Arron Monk

Basingstoke

Michael Smith

St Helens

Kevin McDine

Irthlingborough, Northants

Stephen Hardy

Ilford, Essex

Peter Manley

Carlisle

Wayne Atwood

Caerphilly

Tony Ayres

Billingshurst, Sussex

Alex Roy

Watford

Stuart Dutton

Milton Keynes

Steve Farmer

Church Stretton, Shropshire

Gary Mawson

Cleveland, USA

Kevin Dowling

Coventry

Steve Hine

Coventry

Peter Hudson

Eccles, Manchester

Dave Smith

Knottingley

Simon Cunningham

Plymouth

John Quantock

York

Jyhan Artut

Germany

Joe Cullen

Bradford

Mark Stephenson

Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Matt Padgett

Derby

Dave Honey

Droitwich

Gary Eastwood

Wokingham, Berkshire

Darren Webster

Norwich

Louis Blundell

Chorley

Dylan Duo

Gibraltar

Jason Clark

Shepherd’s Bush, London

William O’Connor

Limerick, Ireland

Scott Rand

Coventry

Par Riihonen

Stockholm, Sweden

Sam Allen

Bristol

Anton Liscsey

Kings Lynn, Norfolk

Danny Pinhorne

Havant, Hampshire

Paul Rowley

Shrewsbury

Martyn Turner

York

Darren Latham

Heywood

Robbie Newland

Havant, Hampshire

Richie Burnett

Cwmparc, Wales

Matt Draper

Bristol

Chris Loudon

Glasgow

Andy Hutchings

Birmingham

Rileys Qualifiers

Home Town

Rileys Club

Melvyn Johnston

Aberdeen

Aberdeen

Paul Gibbs

Alresford, Hampshire

Bournemouth

Tony Broughton

Cowes

Bournemouth

Dean Edlin

Burgess Hill, West Sussex

Brighton

Michael Hammond

Brighton

Brighton

Darren Sullivan

Derby

Burton

Ricky Evans

Kettering

Burton

Alex Harrison

Gloucester

Cardiff

David Martin

Cardiff

Cardiff

John Bowles

Widnes

Chester

Noel Grant

Coventry

Coventry

Henry Murphy

Battersea, London

Croydon

Paul Neate

Chertsey

Croydon

John Robertson

Law Village, Lanarkshire

Edinburgh

Ryan Murray

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

John Lakeman

South Molton, Devon

Exeter

Barrie Knight

Maidstone

Gillingham

Mark Wilson

Brigg, South Humberside

Hull

Reece Robinson

Hull

Hull

Bradley Williams

Skelmersdale

Liverpool

Jamie Green

Seacombe, Merseyside

Liverpool

Ashley Whisker

Basildon

London

Paul Warwick

Milton Keynes

London

Paul Whitworth

Prestwich, Manchester

Manchester

Stuart Monaghan

Leeds

Manchester

Barrie Webb

Attleborough, Norfolk

Norwich

Joe Palmer

Oxford

Oxford

Pete Fisher

Oxford

Oxford

Simon Jones

Birmingham

Solihull

Dean Stewart

Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton

Nicky Bache

Stourbridge

Wolverhampton

Dean Harris

Redditch

Worcester

BDO County Qualifiers

Mike Nott

Bristol

Avon

Andy Murray

Carronshore, Falkirk

East Stirlingshire

Tony Hutchinson

Gosport, Hampshire

Hampshire

Hugh Ringland

Port Seton, East Lothian

Lothian

Ian Gleeson

Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Northumberland

Jay Foreman

Shirebrook, Notts

Nottinghamshire

Mark Harris

Worcester Park, Surrey

Surrey

Prakash Jiwa

Rugby

Warwickshire

Kevin Lowe

Flitwick

Bedfordshire

Henry O’Neill

Stonehouse

Gloucestershire

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