Hometown hero Dimitri van den Bergh joins a star-studded lineup in Belgium for the Belgian Darts Open this weekend with a £25,000 first prize for the winner.
Belgian Darts Open
Oktoberhallen, Wieze, Belgium
Friday 23rd September 2022
|How to watch|
Van den Bergh was beaten by Peter Wright in the final of the last European Tour event, the German Darts Open, earlier in the month and Dancing Dimi will be hoping to go one better in front of his home crowd.
The world number 14 will be looking to add to his Nordic Darts Masters and Dutch Darts Masters titles from this year.
The Belgian will be joined by compatriots Kim Huybrechts and Mike De Decker, along with two host nation qualifiers, Brian Raman and Kenny Neyens.
He'll be aiming to atone for his two losses in European Tour finals this year, after he was beaten in both the recent German Darts Open and the European Darts Open in May by Michael van Gerwen.
There is not just this tournament to think about for many of the players lining up this weekend, but their place on the European Tour Order of Merit.
The top 32 from that ranking qualify for the European Championship in Germany, which starts on 27th October and has a winning prize of £120,000.
Even for those who have already qualified, there is incentive to keep performing as they will be seeded for the European Championship based on their position on the Order of Merit.
For players like Chris Dobey and Andrew Gilding, their performances this weekend could be crucial, the pair are currently 31st and 32nd respectively on the European Tour Order of Merit.
World number one Gerwyn Price was victorious in the World Series of Darts Finals last weekend, edging out Dirk van Duijvenbode 11-10 in a thrilling final.
The Iceman decided to pull out of the Belgian Darts Open to focus on the World Grand Prix, which begins in Dublin on 3rd October, a tournament he lost in the final to Wales teammate Jonny Clayton last year.
With Price comfortably qualified for the European Championship, he is using this opportunity to rest.
The European Tour's 11 events to have taken place so far this year have largely been dominated by two men, Luke Humphries and Michael van Gerwen.
Between them the pair have won seven of those events, with Cool Hand Luke taking the German Darts Grand Prix, the Czech Darts Open, European Darts Grand Prix and the European Darts Matchplay.
MvG has been victorious in the German Darts Championship, Austrian Darts Open and European Darts Open.
With just two events remaining the pair are first and second on the European Tour Order of Merit and will be battling it out all the way to the finish, starting in Belgium.
Since his fairytale victory in the 2018 World Championships, Rob Cross has developed a reputation as one of the nearly men of the PDC roster, failing to quite live up to the enormous potential he demonstrated during his meteoric rise.
Voltage has since won three majors, two of which have been a tournament he clearly enjoys, the upcoming European Championships.
Cross was victorious in both 2019 and 2021 and will be looking for a victory in Belgium to set him up for that tournament.
The 32-year-old has reached three European Tour finals this year, losing all three and will be hoping to get over the line to set himself up for his big latter season targets.
Given the withdrawal of Price, the bottom quarter of the draw for the Belgian Darts Open has a much more open look and the three seeds will all fancy their chances of progressing.
Hometown hero Van den Bergh will begin the tournament against the winner of Alan Soutar's clash with Steve Beaton and then will face one of Jamie Hughes or Kevin Doets in the next round thanks to Price’s absence.
A win there would set up a likely quarter-final against one of the other two seeds in the section, Damon Heta and Joe Cullen.
The bottom quarter could therefore be the place to look to find the winner, given the stacked nature of the other three quarters.