PDC Qualifying School 2024

Baetens And Klaasen Amongst Winners At Q-School

Alex Moss |

A Week In Darts – January 15, 2024 – PDC Tour Cards Confirmed At Q-School

Fresh off a record-breaking PDC World Darts Championship, more than 800 players from around the world were in action at the annual Qualifying School last week. Hundreds of hopefuls were bidding to join the likes of world champion Luke Humphries and teenage star Luke Littler on the PDC tour by winning one of the 31 tour cards on offer. Here’s our look back at how Qualifying School played out…

LAKESIDE CHAMPION BAETENS JOINS THE PDC TOUR

The newly crowned WDF men’s world champion Andy Baetens confirmed his spot on the PDC circuit by winning a tour card at European Qualifying School.

‘The Beast From The East’ made history at Lakeside last month when he became the first player from Belgium to win a senior world title.

Baetens made the trip to Kalkar, in Germany, last week to try and join the professionals on the PDC tour. After coming through the first stage with a day to spare, he saw his bid for a tour card in the final stage get off to a slow start, failing to pick up a single point in the opening two days.

But the 34-year-old responded in style on Saturday, averaging 96 for the day as he won seven matches on the spin to clinch a two-year tour card to play on the PDC circuit.

Baetens was one of 17 players to earn a tour card at European Qualifying School, which was held over seven days.

Another Lakeside winner, Jelle Klaasen, secured a return to the PDC tour by winning a tour card outright on Friday.

Meanwhile, history was made on Sunday with Haupai Puha and Michele Turetta becoming the first players from New Zealand and Italy to clinch a tour card at Q-School.

European Qualifying School tour card winners: Martijn Dragt, Jelle Klaasen, Andy Baetens, Jeffrey De Graaf, Haupai Puha, Jules van Dongen, Radek Szaganski, Chris Landman, Patrick Geeraets, Jitse Van der Wal, Paul Krohne, Benjamin Drue Reus, Mario Vandenbogaerde, Lukas Wenig, Thibault Tricole, Michele Turetta, Tim Wolters

BENNETT SEALS TOUR CARD AT UK Q-SCHOOL

Teenager Leighton Bennett was the story of UK Q-School, winning his first tour card on Saturday.

The 18-year-old burst onto the scene back in 2019, then at the age of 13, when he won the BDO World Youth Championship at Lakeside.

And he now joins the professionals on the PDC tour after earning one of the 14 tour cards that were up for grabs in Milton Keynes last week.

Elsewhere, the recent boom in North American darts continued with America’s Danny Lauby picking up a tour card via the UK Q-School Order of Merit.

Lauby finished sixth on the final standings to clinch a spot, with former WDF world number one James Hurrell and ex-PDC tour card holder Brett Claydon also securing tour cards after finishing in the top 10.

The new tour card holders will get their first taste of life on the PDC circuit when the new ProTour season starts next month. The first two Players Championship events of 2024 are scheduled to take place in Wigan from February 12-13.

UK Qualifying School tour card winners: Steve Lennon, Robert Grundy, Leighton Bennett, Dom Taylor, Matthew Dennant, William Borland, Joshua Richardson, James Hurrell, George Killington, Danny Lauby, Rhys Griffin, Brett Claydon, Darren Beveridge, Adam Hunt

LITTLER INVITED TO WORLD SERIES DOUBLE HEADER

Luke Littler will be back on our screens this week after receiving an invite to play in the Bahrain Darts Masters.

The 16-year-old’s run to the final of the PDC World Darts Championship earlier this month attracted record viewing figures and plenty of media attention.

‘The Nuke’ has been confirmed as one of the invited players for the opening two events of the World Series of Darts for 2024, which starts in Bahrain on Friday.

Littler, who will also feature in the Dutch Darts Masters (January 26-27), will be joined in Bahrain by the new PDC world champion Luke Humphries, former world champions Michael van Gerwen, Michael Smith, Gerwyn Price, Rob Cross and Peter Wright, and the reigning World Matchplay champion Nathan Aspinall.

The eight PDC stars will face off against eight Asian representatives in the first round, which includes Lourence Ilagan and Man Lok Leung, who both starred at the recent World Championship.

Pictures: PDC

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