World Grand Prix 2017 field: The 32-man line-up for the double-start show-piece
The field of players for October's World Grand Prix has been confirmed, with Phil Taylor having opted out of competing in the longstanding major in Dublin.
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The annual double-in, double-out event will return to Dublin's Citywest Hotel from October 1-7 as 32 players compete for £400,000 in prize money. The world's top 16 players qualify by right alongside a further 16 qualifiers from the one-year ProTour Order of Merit. Eleven-time World Grand Prix champion and world number Phil Taylor has decided against playing in Dublin as he continues to wind down his career ahead of retirement, meaning the door has been opened for Robert Thornton. Thornton, the 2015 World Grand Prix champion, dropped to 17th on the main Order of Merit last weekend but will take his place in the line-up next month. Michael van Gerwen, who won his third World Grand Prix title 12 months ago, will head the eight seeded players in the tournament. Gary Anderson, Peter Wright, Adrian Lewis, Dave Chisnall, Mensur Suljovic, Michael Smith and Raymond van Barneveld will also be seeded in Sunday's first round draw.
Michael van Gerwen is the defending champion (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)6x5x4x3xJelle Klaasen, two-time World Grand Prix winner James Wade, Daryl Gurney, Kim Huybrechts, Ian White, Benito van de Pas, Simon Whitlock and Thornton complete the 16 qualifiers from the PDC Order of Merit. Rob Cross, whose spectacular debut season on the professional circuit continued at the weekend as he reached a European Tour final in Germany, heads the 16 ProTour Order of Merit qualifiers as he prepares for his World Grand Prix debut, Christian Kist, Richard North and Ronny Huybrechts have also secured their World Grand Prix debuts next month with their form on the ProTour in the past 12 months. The ProTour Order of Merit qualifiers also include former World Grand Prix finalist Mervyn King and former Dublin semi-finalists Steve Beaton, Stephen Bunting and Justin Pipe. Steve West overcame Taylor with a memorable win on his World Grand Prix debut 12 months ago, while Alan Norris, Joe Cullen, Gerwyn Price, Kyle Anderson, Cristo Reyes, Darren Webster and John Henderson complete the star-studded field. The draw for the Unibet World Grand Prix will be made on Sunday September 17 at approximately 11am BST.
Unibet World Grand Prix 2017 Field
PDC Order of Merit Qualifiers - Seeding in brackets
Michael van Gerwen (1)Gary Anderson (2)Peter Wright (3)Adrian Lewis (4)Dave Chisnall (5)Mensur Suljovic (6)Michael Smith (7)Raymond van Barneveld (8)Jelle KlaasenJames WadeDaryl GurneyKim HuybrechtsIan WhiteBenito van de PasSimon WhitlockRobert Thornton
ProTour Order of Merit Qualifiers
Rob CrossAlan NorrisJoe CullenMervyn KingGerwyn PriceSteve BeatonKyle AndersonCristo ReyesDarren WebsterStephen BuntingChristian KistJohn HendersonJustin PipeSteve WestRichard NorthRonny Huybrechts