Claydon aims for top 32 berth after securing UK Open return


Former Sudbury Town darts star Brett Claydon is targeting a place in the top 32 of the Coral UK Open Order of Merit after virtually securing his place at the event at the weekend.

The Soham-based ace enjoyed an excellent run to the last 16 of the third UK Open Qualifier on Sunday, which earned him £1,500 towards the Order of Merit to determine places for the televised finals of the tournament.

And with the cut-off point in last year’s event being £500, Claydon is almost certain to have done enough already to book his return to Minehead’s Butlins Resort on March 4.

In the first qualifier on Friday, Claydon defeated Ray Campbell 6-2 to set up a clash with Premier League star Dave Chisnall in the last 128.

The Cambridgeshire county thrower missed a chance to reduce Chizzy’s lead to 5-4, before the recent Unibet Masters finalist took out 110 to wrap up a 6-3 win.

A 6-3 triumph over Curtis Hammond saw Claydon progress once again to the last 128, where he was beaten 6-4 by former World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton.

Claydon began the third qualifier with wins over Justin Broton (6-2) and Wayne Jones (6-5) to secure his first prize money of the weekend, before he thrashed former world champion Jelle Klaasen 6-1 in the last 64.

A 6-4 victory against Mark Dudbridge saw Claydon progress even further, with his run eventually being ended by Joe Cullen (6-2) in the last 16.

The final three UK Open Qualifiers begin at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan a week on Friday.