Barneveld Back at The Grand Slam

​Former champion Raymond van Barneveld was among the eight Tour Card Holders to secure a place in the 2022 Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts on Sunday.

Van Barneveld – who defeated Michael van Gerwen to lift the title in 2012 – came through the last-chance qualifier for PDC Tour Card Holders at the Barnsley Metrodome.

The five-time World Champion navigated his way through last year’s Tour Card Holder Qualifier, and the 55-year-old repeated the feat in Barnsley to book his spot in Wolverhampton for the 2022 event, which takes place from November 12-20.

Van Barneveld came through three deciding-leg tussles against Keegan Brown, Darren Webster and George Killington to set up a showdown against his old adversary Mervyn King, who averaged 99 and 107 in reaching the last 16.

However, the Dutch veteran produced a classy display to edge out King in their decisive tie, averaging 94 and closing out a 5-3 success with a 14-dart hold.

German star Martin Schindler also came through the Tour Card Holder Qualifier for the second straight year, edging out Martin Lukeman in a decider, averaging 102 in victory over Joe Murnan and overcoming Mike De Decker in another last-leg shoot-out.

Elsewhere, 2018 semi-finalist Mensur Suljovic will make his Grand Slam return after defying a spirited comeback from Steve Lennon to complete a 5-4 success in their last 16 tussle.

Jermaine Wattimena – a back-to-back ProTour quarter-finalist in Barnsley this weekend – won four matches throughout the afternoon to confirm his second Grand Slam appearance.

The Dutchman posted 101 averages in wins over Jon Worsley and Shaun Wilkinson, before following up a deciding-leg victory over Brendan Dolan with an emphatic 5-1 win over Radek Szaganski.

Alan Soutar was one of four debutants to prevail in Sunday’s qualifier, whitewashing Ian White with a 107 average, battling past Vincent van der Voort and posting another ton-topping average to edge out Stephen Bunting in their final clash.

Luke Woodhouse also registered a 107 average en route to qualification, denying Danny Baggish in a nine-leg thriller, while also seeing off German duo Florian Hempel and Gabriel Clemens.

Ritchie Edhouse dumped out two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis in the last 64, and wins over Dutch trio Martijn Kleermaker, Geert Nentjes and Niels Zonneveld also sealed his spot.

Meanwhile, former World Youth Championship runner-up Adam Gawlas was the final player to clinch his place in Wolverhampton, courtesy of a hard-fought 5-3 success against James Wilson.

However, three-time runner-up James Wade will lose his ever-present record at the Grand Slam of Darts after succumbing to Zonneveld in the last 32.

Jose De Sousa – the 2020 champion – will also miss out on this year’s Wolverhampton showpiece, with two-time finalist Lewis, Dimitri Van den Bergh and Daryl Gurney also failing to qualify.


Images: PDC

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