World darts stars head to Highlands for Red Dragon Portland Open
WORLD class darts stars will be chasing glory in the 15th Red Dragon Portland Open on July 9-12 held at the Portland Club in Inverness, and played exclusively on the Winmau Blade 4.
Such is the scale of the tournament; it has reverted back to four-day festival, with the four-person teams on the Thursday night, the threes on Friday, singles on Saturday and the pairs round off the action on the Sunday. This year sees players from both the BDO and PDC darts organisations take part as they target a share of the £8700 prize pot.
The number one seed will be defending champion "Big" John Henderson, the current British and German Open champion, From the PDC, making their Inverness debuts will be Scotland number one Robert Thornton and crowd-pulling Australian Paul Nicholson, Wales^ number one star Mark Webster jets into the Highlands and he will be up against another favourite for the tournament, Scotland^s Gary Anderson.
Leading players involved include current BDO world champion Ted Hankey, former world winner John "Boy" Walton, who will maintain his 100 per cent attendance record, and former world Masters champion Tony West.
Some of the top local players will be seeded in next month^s festival, Organiser Gordon Morison said: "There should be a fair amount of friendly rivalry with the PDC and BDO players battling it out for the £2000 first prize, "On the Saturday, it also gives some of the locals a chance to progress in the tournament. I am delighted with the response from the PDC players when you consider they will be flying straight in via London from the Las Vegas Desert Classic. There are some of the best darts players in the world competing at the Red Dragon Portland Open and thanks go to all sponsors for making this possible.", Sky TV^s top darts referee George Noble will be the official, adding further prestige to the event.