Australian Darts Open: ‘platinum’ tournament

Murray River Council

In what is a major coup for Echuca Moama, the World Darts Federation (WDF), Darts Australia and Murray River Council have announced that the 2022 Australian Darts Open has been added to the WDF events calendar as a ‘platinum’ tournament.

The inaugural tournament in 2019 was a great success and will once again return to the Moama Bowling Club as a world ranked event from 3-6 August 2022.

Now sanctioned by the WDF, players qualify for the tournament in several ways, including major winners, WDF ranking tables, Darts Australia state playoff tournaments and open qualifiers during the week in Moama.

Darts Australian President, Kelvin James said the Inaugural Australian Darts Open in 2019 was an outstanding success and that this year’s event is shaping up to be one of the biggest darts events in 2022.

“The inaugural event set a new standard for tournaments in the southern hemisphere, with a total prize pool of $70,000.”

“That will now increase to $80,000 in 2022, thanks to our event partner Murray River Council.”

“We also thank the World Darts Federation for awarding this tournament ‘Platinum’ status, placing the tournament in the top-four ranked tournaments worldwide alongside the WDF World Championships, the WDF Masters and the Dutch Open.”

“The WDF continued support is important, as we strive to offer players, spectators, and viewers a world-class tournament that is open to all. It will now certainly attract the best darts players in Australasia and from around the world,” he said.

Murray River Council Mayor, Chris Bilkey echoed the sentiments and said Council is excited to welcome the championships back to the region.

“We were privileged to host the best darts players from around Australia, Europe and Japan in 2019, so we are looking forward to welcoming them back again this year.”

“We have world-class facilities right on our doorstep, so it’s great to see international events like this back in our region that will offer a certain boost to our local economy,” he said.

Newly crowned Lakeside WDF World Champions Beau Greaves and Neil Duff have already confirmed that they will travel to Australia 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; to be decided following the Dutch Open on Sunday 12 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 also qualify for the finals by right, following the cut off on Sunday 26 June.

The 2019 Australian Darts Open women’s Champion Lisa Ashton (UK) and runner up Mikuru Suzuki (Japan) have also confirmed that they will compete in Moama once again.

Australia’s best darts players will have a number of opportunities to qualify for the finals through qualifying events to be held in all states and territories and four qualifying rounds in Moama in August where 8 men and 4 women will compete for places in the final.

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 4 and Friday 5 August. The top 8 men and top 4 women will then progress to the knockout stages and play to a finish on Saturday 6 August.

WDF Chief Development Officer, Richard Ashdown said a lot of behind the scenes work went into the qualification criteria.

“We have worked closely with Darts Australia and Murray River Council to ensure the top players in the world, and regional champions, benefit from the new qualification criteria and the 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,” he said.

The ‘Silver’ graded Pacific Masters also takes place on Sunday 7 August, prior to the commencement of the Australian National Championships both will be held at the Rich River Golf Club, Moama.

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