The World Darts Federation and Darts Australia are pleased to announce that the Australian Darts Open has been added to the WDF calendar and has been awarded ‘Platinum’ ranking status, with a total prize fund of $80,000.
With the inaugural event having taken place in 2019, the 24-man and 12-woman staged tournament will return to the Moama Bowling Club, New South Wales on Wednesday 3rd to Saturday 6th August, 2022.
Now sanctioned by the WDF and using a combination of major winners, WDF ranking tables, Darts Australia state playoff tournaments and open qualifiers during the week in Moama itself, the Australian Darts Open is set to be one of the biggest events in 2022.
Darts Australian President, Kelvin James said “The Inaugural Australian Darts Open was an outstanding success and set a new standard for tournaments in the southern hemisphere, with a total prize pool of $70,000. That will increase to $80,000 in 2022, thanks to our partner John Harvie and the Murray River Council.”
“We thank the World Darts Federation for awarding this tournament ‘Platinum’ status, one of only four in the world, and for their continued support as we strive to offer players, spectators and viewers a world class tournament that is open to all. It is sure to attract the best darts players in Australasia and around the world.”
Newly crowned Lakeside WDF World Champions Beau Greaves and Neil Duff receive invitations to compete in Moama, alongside the WDF number 1 in the women’s world rankings and the top 2 in the men’s world rankings, following the Dutch Open Darts on Sunday 12th June.
The top 3 men and the top 2 women in the WDF’s Australian regional rankings table, along with the top 2 men and the top 2 women in the WDF’s New Zealand regional rankings table will qualify for the staged event by right, following the cut off on Sunday 26th June.
Invitations have also been issued to the 2019 Australian Darts Open women’s finalists to return in 2022, with champion Lisa Ashton and runner up Mikuru Suzuki set to compete in Moama once again. (2019 men’s champion Damon Heta and runner up Scott Mitchell are ineligible under their playing contracts, as current PDC Tour Card holders).
Eight men’s Australian state open qualifiers will be played in the lead up to the August event (details to be confirmed). On Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th August, the Australian Darts Open will feature four qualifying tournaments for a further 8 men and 4 women to complete the playing field.
The final 24 men and 12 women will be drawn into groups of 3 and will compete upon the stage and in front of the cameras on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th August. The top 8 men and top 4 women will then progress to the knockout stages and play to a finish on Saturday 6th August.
WDF Chief Development Officer, Richard Ashdown said “We have worked closely with Kelvin James and Darts Australia to ensure the top players in the world and regional rankings, including its major champions, benefit from the new qualification criteria and WDF sanctioning. It is also important that it remains ‘open’ to players worldwide, with ample opportunity to qualify for this staged event across Australia and in Moama itself.”
“The stage format adopted for the Australian Darts Open had been tried and tested for many years in the Netherlands, at the Zuiderduin Darts Masters. The inaugural 2019 event in Moama was excellent and I am sure that 2022 will see this tournament go from strength to strength.”
The ‘Silver’ graded Pacific Masters also takes place on Sunday 7th August in Moama’s twin town Echuca, prior to the commencement of the Australian National Championships. Further details on how to enter, attend and watch the Australian Darts Open will be released in due course.
The full stage finals qualification criteria and prize money breakdown is as follows.
Photo Credit: Chris Sargeant / Tip Top Pics and Paul Benjamin