Gary Anderson secured his place in next month’s Coral UK Open with victory in Qualifier Four on Friday, defeating Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-2 in the final in Wigan.
Anderson had missed last weekend’s opening three UK Open Qualifiers due to his ongoing back injury, before returning to action with a victory over Gerwyn Price in Thursday’s Premier League.
Boosted by that success, the Scot travelled from Cardiff to Wigan to compete in Friday’s £60,000 PDC ProTour event, and battled through the field to claim the title.
The £10,000 prize secures his place in March’s Coral UK Open TV Finals in Minehead, and is Anderson’s first tournament win since August 2017, when he was victorious in the Perth Darts Masters.
Anderson dropped just one leg in his 6-1 win over Polish newcomer Tytus Kanik to open Friday’s event, before winning 6-3 against Martin Schindler and Richie Corner and 6-2 against Steve West to reach the quarter-finals.
There, he was a 6-4 winner against James Wade before surviving missed match darts in the semi-finals against World Champion Rob Cross.
Anderson then sealed the title with a dominant 6-2 win over young Dutchman Jeffrey de Zwaan in the final, taking command immediately with double 12 to break and an 11-darter to lead 2-0.
Anderson then took out 81 and double eight to move four legs clear, and though de Zwaan took two of the next three to keep his hopes alive, the Scot took out 102 in leg eight to complete the win.
“It’s been good today,” said Anderson after the final. “I can’t believe it – I said I was just going to see how I got on this weekend and I’m struggling now!
“I couldn’t have imagined this at the start of the week but it’s great. The darts that I played with last night I played with for my first two games today, and then I changed back to my old darts and I played okay.”
De Zwaan had to compete at the PDC Qualifying School last month to win back his Tour Card, but a confident showing on Friday saw him claim
He produced some brilliant deciding-leg darts to defeat Jan Dekker, Nathan Treadgold and Steve Beaton, and also overcame World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney and Matthew Edgar in reaching the last eight.
There, he overcame World Championship semi-finalist Jamie Lewis 6-4 before repeating the scoreline in the last four against Jason Lowe.
Lowe will make his debut at the UK Open next month after reaching his first ProTour semi-final on Friday, matching his recent run to the last four on the PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour.
The 45-year-old from Cradley Heath overcame Mario Robbe, Michael Rasztovits, John Henderson, Keegan Brown, Nathan Rafferty and Adrian Lewis during an impressive run.
World Champion Cross enjoyed a welcome return to winning ways as he bounced back from three early exits last weekend to secure his own spot at the Butlin’s Minehead Resort next month.
Cross defeated Christopher Bent, Mike De Decker, World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh, Robert Thornton and Krzysztof Ratajski as he won through to the semi-finals, only to suffer a narrow loss to Anderson.
Former UK Open champion Adrian Lewis and Poland’s Ratajski reached their second quarter-finals of the four UK Open Qualifiers held so far, while Jamie Lewis and Wade – a two-time UK Open winner – enjoyed their best finishes of the qualifying campaign.
Saturday sees the penultimate Coral UK Open Qualifier being held at Wigan’s Robin Park Tennis Centre ahead of Sunday’s final £60,000 tournament, after which the leading 96 players from the UK Open Order of Merit progress to compete in Minehead.
Watch the action live in PDCTV-HD at www.pdc.tv from 12pm on Saturday and Sunday, with streaming from two boards simultaneously available for all subscribers worldwide.
Coral UK Open Qualifier Four
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-5 Steve Beaton
Jamie Lewis 6-4 Nathan Aspinall
Adrian Lewis 6-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Jason Lowe 6-4 Nathan Rafferty
Rob Cross 6-3 Robert Thornton
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-3 Maik Langendorf
James Wade 6-5 Andrew Gilding
Gary Anderson 6-2 Steve West
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-4 Jamie Lewis
Jason Lowe 6-2 Adrian Lewis
Rob Cross 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Gary Anderson 6-4 James Wade
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-4 Jason Lowe
Gary Anderson 6-5 Rob Cross
Gary Anderson 6-2 Jeffrey de Zwaan