The World Darts Federation (WDF) and Darts Australia are pleased to confirm the 16 Men and 8 Women that have accepted their invitations for the 2023 Australian Darts Open.
Scheduled to take place from Monday, August 14th to Saturday, August 19th at the Moama Bowling Club in Moama, New South Wales, the Platinum-ranked event remains one of the richest on the WDF calendar with a total prize fund of $50,000 AUD.
‘The Guru’ returning to Moama to defend his Open title
Last year's runner-up Haupai Puha, meanwhile, has been in good form this year, winning four WDF titles in his native New Zealand, and he figures to be a strong contender once again.
Those four are joined as seeds by the top players from the Australia and New Zealand regional race tables.
Qualifying from the Australia race table are the experienced international Peter Machin and the 2023 Australian Masters champion Danny Porter. New Zealand, meanwhile, will be represented by Jonny Tata and Tahuna Irwin in light of Puha qualifying elsewhere and regional number two Ben Robb declining his invitation.
The other eight confirmed invitees in the Men's draw are from the Australian State Qualifiers that have been held in recent weeks.
Two states, Northern Territory and New South Wales, were not able to run qualifiers, however. In their place, the third and fourth ranked players on the Australian race table, Aaron Morrison and Brandon Weening, have been invited.
The final eight places will be filled by the finalists of four qualifiers scheduled to take place on Monday, August 14th - Wednesday, August 16th. Entries for those qualifiers can be made here.
Men's Confirmed Field
1. Andy Baetens
2. Haupai Puha
3. Neil Duff
4. Peter Machin
5. Raymond Smith
6. Danny Porter
7. Jonny Tata
8. Ky Smith (replacing Ben Robb/Tahuna Irwin)
Darren Carson - Australian Capital Territory
Rob Modra - Queensland
Karl Schaefer - South Australia
Brad Thorp - Tasmania
Harley Kemp - Victoria
Carl Caton - Western Australia
Aaron Morrison - replacing New South Wales qualifier
Brandon Weening - replacing Northern Territory qualifier
Qualifier 1: Raymond Nakata and David Platt
Qualifier 2: Robbie King and Michael Cassar
Qualifier 3: Laurie Loch and Stuart Coburn
Qualifier 4: Gordon Mathers and Scott Hallett
Group 1: Andy Baetens, Rob Modra, Laurie Loch
Group 2: Ky Smith, Brad Thorp, Ronald Nakata
Group 3: Peter Machin, Karl Schaefer, Stuart Coburn
Group 4: Raymond Smith, Aaron Morrison, Gordon Mathers
Group 5: Haupai Puha, Darren Carson, David Platt
Group 6: Jonny Tata, Harley Kemp, Michael Cassar
Group 7: Neil Duff, Brandon Weening, Scott Hallett
Group 8: Danny Porter, Carl Caton, Robbie King
De Graaf and Ashton head up Women’s Open
The 2015 World Master Aileen de Graaf will enter the Women's Australian Darts Open as top seed, while four-time World Champion Lisa Ashton will be aiming to reclaim the title she won in 2019 when she ventures over to Moama for the third time.
'The Lancashire Rose' was invited to the tournament after the defending champion Beau Greaves declined her invitation. Mikuru Suzuki and Rhian O'Sullivan also had to decline their spots and have been replaced by the next two highest-ranked players from the Australia regional race table, Joanne Hadley and Christine Sheerin.
The other four confirmed qualifiers are the top two players from the Australia and New Zealand race tables. Representing Australia will be Kym Mitchell and Melina van den Kieboom, while last year's semi-finalists Wendy Harper and Nicole Regnaud will once again be flying the flag for the Kiwis.
The final four places in the field will be determined by the finalists of two qualifiers set to be held in Moama on Monday, August 14th and Tuesday, August 15th.
Women's Confirmed Field
1. Aileen de Graaf
2. Lisa Ashton
3. Kym Mitchell
4. Wendy Harper
Melina van den Kieboom - Australia race table No.2
Nicole Regnaud - New Zealand race table No.2
Joanne Hadley - Australia race table No.3
Christine Sheerin - Australia race table No.4
Qualifier 1: Amanda Loch and Desi Mercer
Qualifier 2: Maureen Homer and Janine Cassar
Group 1: Aileen de Graaf, Melina van den Kieboom, Amanda Loch
Group 2: Wendy Harper, Joanne Hadley, Maureen Homer
Group 3: Lisa Ashton, Nicole Regnaud, Janine Cassar
Group 4: Kym Mitchell, Christine Sheerin, Desi Mercer
Schedule of Play, Broadcast Information
The tournament proper will begin on the evening of Wednesday, August 16th with the first round of group games. The group stages will wrap up over the course of Thursday, August 17th and Friday, August 18th, with the stage finals taking place on Saturday, August 19th.
A total prize fund of $50,000 AUD is on the line, with the Men's and Women's winners pocketing $10,000 and $5,000 of that pot respectively. A full breakdown is available on the WDF website.
You will be able to follow every dart as it goes in on DartConnect, while live coverage will be provided throughout on the Darts Australia website via MySportLive.