Zoran Lerchbacher, Gary Mawson and Jose Marquês were among the first eight players to progress through PDC Qualifying School Stage…
Zoran Lerchbacher, Gary Mawson and Jose Marquês were among the first eight players to progress through PDC Qualifying School Stage 1B on Thursday.
The race to secure coveted Tour Cards continued in Niedernhausen and Milton Keynes with the fourth day of Qualifying School, with more than 300 players competing to reach next week’s Final Stage.
The opening day of Stage 1B in Europe saw former Tour Card Holders Lerchbacher and Jeffrey De Graaf joined by youngster Rusty-Jake Rodriquez and former UK Open finalist Mawson to become the first players to secure automatic qualification.
Austria’s 2019 World Cup of Darts quarter-finalist Lerchbacher and Dutchman De Graaf, who has twice appeared at Alexandra Palace, defeated Arjan Konterman and Danny van Trijp respectively in their Last Eight ties.
Former JDC Junior World Champion Rodriguez, the younger brother of Rowby-John, doubled the number of Austrian players to advance, while American ace Mawson also prevailed at the first time of asking.
Meanwhile, North American talents Matt Campbell and Leonard Gates suffered shock exits at Last 128 stage, while experienced Belgian Ronny Huybrechts also crashed out early.
At UK Qualifying School, former Irish Matchplay champion Kevin Burness was joined in qualifying for Final Stage by Alan Soutar, Darren Beveridge and José Marquês – who landed the first nine-dart leg of the year during his Last 16 win over Rhys Davies.
Former Tour Card Holder Burness sensational recovered from 5-0 down to win through a last-leg decider against Lloyd Pennell in the Last Eight, while former Challenge Tour event winner Beveridge saw off Ben Cheeseman in their play-off.
Soutar, a firefighter from Arbroath, impressed with a string of averages above 90 to begin his bid for a first Tour Card in impressive style.
Marquez, who made his debut alongside Jose De Sousa in last year’s World Cup of Darts, landed the first nine-darter at Q School since 2016 on a day to remember for the Portuguese talent.
Elsewhere in the UK event, former World Championship quarter-finalist Alan Norris reached the Last 16, while American duo Danny Baggish and Daniel Lauby both failed to reach the Last 64 stage.
Stage 1B continues on Friday, the second of three days of action which will once again see four automatic qualification places up for grabs at both venues.
UK Qualifying School Stage 1B Day One Results
Robert Owen 6-0 Thomas Lovely
Martin Thomas 6-5 Kevin Garcia
Gary Butcher 6-5 Aden Kirk
Alan Soutar 6-3 Kyle Richardson
Alan Norris 6-4 Nick Fullwell
Darren Beveridge 6-1 Freddy Still
Ben Cheeseman 6-5 Lee Whitworth
Brian Hallas 6-1 Lee Cocks
Reece Colley 6-5 AJ Urmston-Toft
Lee Evans 6-5 Lewis Pride
Rhys Davies 6-3 Jamie Clark
José Marquês 6-5 Jason Askew
Mark Dudbridge 6-2 Kieran Evans
Lloyd Pennell 6-5 Jimmy McKirdy
Kevin Burness 6-5 Martin Lukeman
Daniel Lee 6-4 Robert Rickwood
Martin Thomas 6-5 Robert Owen
Alan Soutar 6-0 Gary Butcher
Darren Beveridge 6-3 Alan Norris
Ben Cheeseman 6-4 Brian Hallas
Reece Colley 6-4 Lee Evans
José Marquês 6-1 Rhys Davies – *Marques hits a nine-darter*
Lloyd Pennell 6-5 Mark Dudbridge
Kevin Burness 6-1 Daniel Lee
Alan Soutar 6-4 Martin Thomas
Darren Beveridge 6-2 Ben Cheeseman
José Marquês 6-3 Reece Colley
Kevin Burness 6-5 Lloyd Pennell
European Qualifying School Stage 1B Day One Results
Jeffrey De Graaf 6-3 Christian Kist
Ryan De Vreede 6-1 Nico Schlund
Luc Peters 6-3 Michael Seemann
Danny van Trijp 6-3 Dragutin Horvat
Gary Mawson 6-4 Claus Bendix Nielsen
Marcel Gerdon 6-4 Gino Vos
Jimmy Hendriks 6-4 Gijsbert Van malsen
Davyd Venken 6-2 Jerry Hendriks
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 6-4 Michal Smejda
Martijn Dragt 6-0 Levy Frauenfelder
Patrick Bulen 6-2 Daniele Petri
Maikel Venema 6-2 Kevin Blomme
Arsen Ballaj 6-2 Sergio Krassen
Arjan Konterman 6-1 Kay Smeets
Robert Marijanovic 6-0 Michael Hausler
Zoran Lerchbacher 6-2 Patrick Tringler
Jeffrey De Graaf 6-4 Ryan De Vreede
Danny van Trijp 6-5 Luc Peters
Gary Mawson 6-4 Marcel Gerdon
Davyd Venken 6-3 Jimmy Hendriks
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 6-4 Martijn Dragt
Patrick Bulen 6-0 Maikel Venema
Arjan Konterman 6-2 Arsen Ballaj
Zoran Lerchbacher 6-2 Robert Marijanovic
Jeffrey De Graaf 6-2 Danny van Trijp
Gary Mawson 6-1 Davyd Venken
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 6-2 Patrick Bulen
Zoran Lerchbacher 6-3 Arjan Konterman