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PDC Youth Tour prize money doubles as World Youth Championship final moves to Minehead

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 21 Nov 2014
World Youth finalists Keegan Brown and Rowby-John Rodriguez (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Prize money on the PDC Unicorn Development Tour will double in 2015, with 16 events now worth £10,000 each to be open to players aged 16-23 as part of the a £200,000 investment from the PDC in emerging talent.

Following the roaring success in of the PDC Youth Tour in recent years, the upper age limit from 2015 onwards will be increased to allow players aged 23 or under on January 1 2015 to compete in new Development Tour events.

Players will still be able to play in Development Tour events from the day on which they turn 16, and events will be open to players outside of the top 64 on the main PDC Order of Merit at the closing date for entries.

Prize money is to be doubled to £10,000 per event, with the year featuring four weekends of two events per day for both the PDC Unicorn Development Tour and PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour, which is open to players who fail to win a PDC Tour Card.

In addition to the £160,000 available in PDC Unicorn Development Tour events, a further £40,000 will be on offer in the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship, won in 2014 by Keegan Brown - who reached last week's Grand Slam Quarter-Finals.

The World Youth Championship will now be held at the end of the year, with the Last 64 playing down to the Semi-Finals on October 30 in Coventry.

The final will then be held on Sunday November 29 at the Butlins Minehead Resort between the semis and final of the Players Championship Finals and screened live on ITV4.

PDC Director Rod Harrington said: "The PDC Unicorn Youth Tour has been a huge success over the past four years, and we're delighted to be investing an increased £200,000 into the future stars of the sport in 2015.

"The four dedicated weekends for each of the Development Tour and PDC Unicorn Challenge Tours will give greater opportunities for players to compete in events which can provide a pathway to the top.

"I'd like to place on record my thanks to PDC Chairman Barry Hearn, Chief Executive Matthew Porter and the Board of Directors for their continued support and vision for the future of the sport which has made this investment possible."

The Youth Tour has proved instrumental in nurturing box office names such as Michael van Gerwen, Michael Smith and Rowby-John Rodriguez, and continues to provide a stepping stone for top young talents to break through.

Harrington added: "By including the ranking events from both 2014 and 2015 in qualification for the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship means that this year's players will still be rewarded for their success on the Youth Tour.

"To see the reigning World Youth Champion Keegan Brown playing so well in the Grand Slam last week, alongside the success that Michael van Gerwen and Michael Smith are enjoying, was the perfect advert for the structure we now have in place.

"Young players really can now change their life and achieve great success through darts and by playing on the PDC Development Tour."

PDC Unicorn Development Tour events will be held on the following dates in 2015:

April 25 - Events 1, 2 (Coventry)
April 26 - Events 3, 4 (Coventry)
June 27 - Events 5, 6 (Coventry)
June 28 - Events 7, 8 (Coventry)
September 12 - Events 9, 10 (Coventry)
September 13 - Events 11, 12 (Coventry)
October 24 - Events 13, 14 (Wigan)
October 25 - Events 15, 16 (Wigan)
October 30 - PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship Last 64 (Coventry)
November 29 - PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship Final (Minehead)


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PDC Youth Tour prize money doubles as World Youth Championship final moves to Minehead

Prize money on the PDC Unicorn Development Tour will double in 2015, with 16 events now worth £10,000 each to be open to players aged 16-23 as part of the a £200,000 investment from the PDC in emerging talent.

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