O’Connor aiming for UK Open Success this weekend


LIMERICK darts star William O’Connor returns to the oche this weekend, where he will enter the UK Open in the third round.

Ranked 37th on the order of merit, O’Connor falls just outside the top 32, who automatically receive a bye into Friday’s fourth round.

Butlin’s Minehead Resort is the venue following a temporary switch to Milton Keynes in 2021, where James Wade emerged as the winner.

The Cappamore native will face one of three opponents. First up Belgian Mario Vandenbogaerde faces American Jules van Dongen. The winner will battle with Englishman Connor Scutt for the right to face the Irish number one.

Familiar foe Max Hopp dumped O’Connor out at the same stage 12 months ago.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

That will be a last 128 tie. The competition had 160 participants though Michael Unterbuchner and Russian Boris Koltsov both withdrew this week.

The competition, dubbed the ‘FA Cup of Darts’ due to take place across Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The winner will receive £100,000 with a total prize fund of £450,000 to be split up among the participants.

O’Connor will be hopeful of eclipsing his personal best of a Last 16 appearance, which he achieved in both 2015 and 2017.

O’Connor has not been seen on TV since exiting the William Hill World Darts Championship at the third round, to eventual runner-up, Michael Smith. So far this season, The Magpie has won five and lost four ties on the PDC’s Players Championships 1-4. A last 16 appearance in Players Championship 3 proving his best result so far.

The 35 -year-old is joined at the UK Open by fellow Irish Dart players international teammate Steve Lennon (Carlow), Keane Barry (Meath) and John O’Shea (Cork). Northern Ireland duo Brendan Dolan (Fermanagh) and Daryl Gurney (Derry) are both seeded through to round four.

Northern Ireland are also represented by Nathan Rafferty, Josh Rock, Kevin Burness and Mickey Mansell.

The action gets underway on Friday morning from 11am, with action set to continue across the weekend. ITV Sport will carry coverage from the main stage.

Elsewhere, on Thursday evening, Michael Van Gerwen won Night Four of the Premier League of Darts, defeating World Champion Peter Wright 6-0 in the final in Exeter.

The post O’Connor aiming for UK Open Success this weekend appeared first on Sporting Limerick.