Cross back on oche in hunt for UK Open glory

Rob Cross is all set for the second Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) televised tournament of the year.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 8:27 am
Rob Cross is in UK Open action tonight (Friday 5th) / Picture: Lawrence Lustig - PDC

The world number four from St Leonards will line up in the Ladbrokes UK Open at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes this weekend.

As one of the top 32 players on the PDC Order of Merit, Cross will enter the 154-player competition at the fourth round stage tonight (Friday).

Televised live on ITV4, the event will continue throughout the weekend, concluding with the semi-finals and final on Sunday night.

Cross has happy memories of the UK Open. It was where he first announced himself on the big stage in 2016 – and he reached the final three years later.

The 30-year-old, nicknamed Voltage, will go into this year’s tournament off the back of mixed results in the first four Players Championship events of the year.

The four single-day competitions, known as the PDC Super Series, were played over consecutive days in Bolton last week.

Cross reached the quarter-finals of the first event and defeated two of the world’s top dozen-ranked players along the way.

After beating Steve Brown 6-3 and James Wilson 6-4 in the first two rounds, Cross averaged a shade under 110 in a dominant 6-1 third-round win over 11th-ranked Daryl Gurney. He pulled off another splendid win, overcoming world number six Gary Anderson - conqueror of world champion Gerwyn Price - 6-2 in round four.

Cross was edged out 6-5 by 10th-ranked Nathan Aspinall in a brilliant quarter-final after missing two match darts in the deciding leg.

The 2018 world champion fell at the first hurdle in the second event, losing 6-3 against German Martin Schindler, who averaged 103.4.

Cross exited the third event in round two, losing 6-5 to five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld after losing the final two legs. He previously whitewashed Steve West 6-0 in round one.

Dutch superstar Van Barneveld, who averaged 100.7 against Cross, has returned to the sport following retirement and won event three.

Cross went out in round two of the fourth event, again losing the final two legs to go down 6-5 against Michael Rasztovits. He saw off Berry van Peer 6-1 in round one.