UK Open Darts betting tips: Five best bets for Day One of the 2020 UK Open

Jamie Shaw:

The most frenetic day on the darting calendar sees 160 players battle it out on Day One of the UK Open, and we've picked out five best bets for the early rounds.

The UK Open line-up is comprised of PDC Tour Card holders, Challenge Tour and Development Tour qualifiers and Rileys amateur qualifiers as they compete in an open draw format at Butlins Minehead.

Players ranked 97-127 on the Order of Merit will start out in Round One alongside eight Challenge Tour qualifiers, eight Development Tour qualifiers and 16 amateur qualifiers.

Those winners join players ranked 65-96 in the Second Round, before those ranked 33-64 enter in Round Three and those ranked 1-32 enter in Round Four.

Friday’s afternoon session sees Rounds One to Three take place across eight stages, and we’ve selected five stand-out bets.

Martijn Kleermaker to beat Derk Telnekes @ 4/6

Dutch ace Kleermaker has enjoyed a fine start to life in the PDC after making the switch from the BDO via European Qualifying School in January.

A winner of four BDO events in 2019, Kleermaker warmed up for his debut in a PDC major by reaching the Last 16 of the Belgian Championship last weekend with wins over Stephen Bunting and Joe Cullen along the way.

He starts out in Round One with an all-Dutch show-down against a familiar opponent from his BDO days in Derk Telnekes.

Twice a Lakeside qualifier, Telnekes is yet to find his form on the PDC circuit, suffering First Round exits in each of his last five tournaments.

Telnekes averaged just 83 in defeat to Dimitri van den Bergh in the Belgian Championship, while Kleermaker looked at ease on the stage and will fancy his chances of making an impact in Minehead.

William O’Connor to beat Jan Dekker @ 1/2 with Bet365

Two players in contrasting form collide in the Third Round as Irish ace William O’Connor aims to extend Jan Dekker’s wait for a first win of the season.

World Cup finalist O’Connor reached the Quarter-Finals of a Players Championship event a fortnight ago and gave a fine account of himself against Michael van Gerwen on his Premier League debut as a Challenger in Dublin.

Dekker, meanwhile, has endured a nightmare start to the season, suffering First Round defeats in all six Players Championship events and is already facing up to a battle to retain his Tour Card.

On current form, it’s difficult to envisage anything other than a comfortable afternoon at the office for O’Connor.

James Richardson to beat Darren Penhall @ 4/6

Despite being the non-Tour Card holder of the two, James Richardson enters his First Round clash with PDC newcomer Darren Penhall as favourite.

Richardson, who dropped off the main tour at the end of last season, secured his spot in the UK Open via the Rileys amateur qualifiers and will be out to utilise his vast experience over debutant Penhall.

Penhall has lost in the First Round of four of the six ProTour events so far and averaged just 80 in defeat to Ryan Searle at the Belgian Championship.

Richardson, who featured in the recent World Championship, has both the experience and scoring power capable of brushing aside the Cornwall thrower.

Luke Humphries -1.5 legs handicap @ 8/11

Luke Humphries will return to the stage less than 24 hours after his second stint in the Premier League as a Challenger in nearby Exeter.

The reigning World Youth Champion faces a Third Round clash with Australian ace Kyle Anderson on the Main Stage and will be out to extend his opponent’s wait for a first ranking win of 2020.

The 25-year-old reached the Quarter-Finals of the World Championship for the second successive year and has climbed to a career-high 34th in the Order of Merit.

Anderson returned Down Under following the World Championship and skipped the first four ProTour events before suffering successive First Round defeats upon his return.

Amid homesickness and health issues, Anderson has struggled for form over the past 12 months and could face an uphill task against an upwardly-mobile opponent who will look to continue the momentum from his Premier League experience the previous evening.

Keane Barry to beat Alan Tabern @ 8/11

Teenage sensation Keane Barry aims to mark his UK Open debut with a First Round scalp of 2006 semi-finalist Alan Tabern.

Despite being the vastly more experienced player of the two, Tabern starts out as underdog in this one and faces a tricky test against the quick-fire Irishman.

Barry has dominated the youth circuit across various codes in recent months, picking up the BDO and JDC World Youth titles as well as last year’s Tom Kirby Irish Matchplay title.

Barry was beaten in straight sets by Vincent van der Voort on his World Championship debut in December but did not look out of place on the big stage and will relish the opportunity to mix it with the big boys again here.

Tabern regained his Tour Card at Q School, while Barry narrowly missed out on the final day, but the St Helens left-hander could potentially be outscored by the youngster – who is well fancied to progress to Round Two.