Florian Hempel and Jake Jones became the latest players to secure automatic PDC Tour Cards at 2021 PDC Qualifying School…
Florian Hempel and Jake Jones became the latest players to secure automatic PDC Tour Cards at 2021 PDC Qualifying School on Tuesday.
German ace Hempel, a former handball player, joined Geert De Vos and Geert Nentjes in coming through the European Qualifying School as he took victory on Day Three in Niedernhausen.
Hempel previously competed on the PDC European Tour in 2019, but will now play on a full-time basis against the world’s top players after defeating Dutchman Luc Peters 6-2 in the final.
He averaged at least 94 in all but one of his seven games, defeating former Tour Card Holders Niels Zonneveld, Martin Schindler and John Michael by 6-2 scorelines as he impressively secured his Tour Card.
He completed his Semi-Final win over Michael with a ten-darter and sealed victory in style in the final with a 148 checkout.
“I am so happy,” said Hempel. “I did not expect to be able to win one of the four days and get a direct Tour Card, but the that makes it even better now.
“After my match against Lukas Wenig I started to think that there might be something special to come today.
“After that I always felt like I was in control of my matches and was that decisive bit better than my opponents.”
Dutch newcomer Peters took a step towards securing a Tour Card from the European Qualifying School Order of Merit with his run to the final, which included a 6-4 win over Benito van de Pas in the Last Eight.
Stoke-on-Trent scaffolder Jones, meanwhile, will step onto the PDC circuit for the first time after he defeated Australia’s Gordon Mathers 6-5 in the final in Milton Keynes.
Mathers hit back from 3-0 down with four straight legs in the final, only for Jones to edge 5-4 up and eventually prevail by taking out 72 in the deciding leg.
A former Development Tour event finalist, Jones was also a 6-5 winner against Eddie Lovely, John O’Shea and John Brown on the day, and overcame two-time PDC major winner Robert Thornton 6-0 in the Last 16.
“It puts all the practice and all the hard work into perspective really,” said Jones. “It’s a dream come true, I can’t really put it into words.
“All I thought before coming here was to qualify for the last four days and then it just takes one good day.
“Yesterday was probably a better day than today, I’ve won four games 6-5 and it’s a rollercoaster to be honest.
“It’s quite remarkable for myself. When I was younger, a lot of people said it was quite promising how I was playing, and I was England number one for three years when I was 14-17.
“It really is nice to come through, I’ve put a lot of effort into this tournament.
“I love my job but I feel like it’s time now to play darts like I can, and we’ll see in the coming years how we do.”
Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld was unable to wrap up his return to the PDC circuit on Day Three after slipping to a 6-5 defeat to Switzerland’s Stefan Bellmont in Round One.
Van Barneveld now sits in fourth place in the European standings behind Martin Schindler, Zoran Lerchbacher and Boris Koltsov.
In the UK, Jack Main, Martin Lukeman and Lewis Williams are now assured of a Tour Card via the Order of Merit, with Mathers also in a strong position alongside Scotland’s Alan Soutar and former Players Championship winner Joe Murnan.
PDC Qualifying School concludes on Wednesday, with a further two automatic Tour Cards up for grabs.
In addition to the eight automatic Tour Cards on offer across the four days, a further eight will be available via the European Order of Merit and a further 13 via the UK Order of Merit.
UK Qualifying School Stage Two Day Three Results
Jim McEwan 6-2 Jim Williams
José Marquês 6-0 Thomas Lovely
Gordon Mathers 6-4 Ian Mackenzie
Reece Colley 6-5 Adam Smith-Neale
Andy Jenkins 6-2 Kevin Painter
Jason Hogg 6-3 Peter Hudson
Andrew Gilding 6-5 Chas Barstow
Lewis Williams 6-0 Jon Worsley
Robert Thornton 6-5 Martyn Turner
Jake Jones 6-5 John O’Shea
Joe Murnan 6-5 Scott Mitchell
John Brown 6-2 David Ladley
Jack Main 6-4 Scott Williams
Derek Coulson 6-3 Brett Claydon
Martin Lukeman 6-5 Darren Beveridge
Martin Thomas 6-5 Robert Rickwood
Jim McEwan 6-0 José Marquês
Gordon Mathers 6-3 Reece Colley
Jason Hogg 6-0 Andy Jenkins
Lewis Williams 6-3 Andrew Gilding
Jake Jones 6-0 Robert Thornton
John Brown 6-3 Joe Murnan
Jack Main 6-3 Derek Coulson
Martin Thomas 6-5 Martin Lukeman
Gordon Mathers 6-4 Jim McEwan
Lewis Williams 6-2 Jason Hogg
Jake Jones 6-5 John Brown
Martin Thomas 6-4 Jack Main
Gordon Mathers 6-5 Lewis Williams
Jake Jones 6-4 Martin Thomas
Jake Jones 6-5 Gordon Mathers
European Qualifying School Stage Two – Day Three Results
Niels Zonneveld 6-2 Lorenzo Pronk
Florian Hempel 6-2 Brian Raman
Michael Rasztovits 6-2 Davy Proosten
Martin Schindler 6-1 Sebastian Steyer
John Michael 6-1 Johan Engstrom
Arsen Ballaj 6-3 Eric Boyer
José Justicia 6-5 Adam Gawlas
Rene Eidams 6-3 Pero Ljubic
Sebastian Bialecki 6-5 Christian Kist
Luc Peters 6-3 Jandirk de Groot
Jens Ziegler 6-4 Kevin Blomme
Benito van de Pas 6-2 Daniele Petri
Boris Koltsov 6-4 Richard Veenstra
Vincent Van der Meer 6-5 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Kevin Doets 6-3 Patrik Kovacs
Jeroen Mioch 6-3 Zoran Lerchbacher
Florian Hempel 6-2 Niels Zonneveld
Martin Schindler 6-5 Michael Rasztovits
John Michael 6-2 Arsen Ballaj
Rene Eidams 6-4 José Justicia
Luc Peters 6-1 Sebastian Bialecki
Benito van de Pas 6-2 Jens Ziegler
Vincent Van der Meer 6-4 Boris Koltsov
Kevin Doets 6-2 Jeroen Mioch
Florian Hempel 6-2 Martin Schindler
John Michael 6-1 Rene Eidams
Luc Peters 6-4 Benito van de Pas
Kevin Doets 6-2 Vincent Van der Meer
Florian Hempel 6-2 John Michael
Luc Peters 6-4 Kevin Doets
Florian Hempel 6-2 Luc Peters