The article was originally written by Dave Allen at pdc.tv
Northern Irish newcomer Josh Rock and Poland’s Krzysztof Kciuk headlined the players to secure PDC Tour Cards as the 2022 PDC Qualifying Schools concluded on Saturday – as Ted Evetts and Rowby-John Rodriguez also regained professional status.
Following seven days of action at Milton Keynes’ Marshall Arena and the H+ Hotel in Niedernhausen, the field of 128 PDC Tour Card Holders for 2022 has been finalised after the conclusion of Final Stage.
In the UK, 20-year-old Rock (pictured) secured his debut on the PDC ProTour this year by defeating fellow Northern Irishman Nathan Rafferty 6-3 in the Day Four final.
Rafferty, the World Youth Championship runner-up last year, was one of 13 other players to secure their PDC Tour Card from the UK Qualifying School Order of Merit following the four-day Final Stage.
Reigning World Youth Champion Evetts regained his professional status with a run to Saturday’s semi-finals, having picked up eight points across the four days.
Scotland’s Jamie Clark topped the UK Order of Merit with ten points to win his PDC Tour Card for the first time, while 2010 Grand Slam of Darts winner Scott Waites joined fellow former Lakeside Champion Richie Burnett on seven points, alongside Connor Scutt and Kevin Burnett.
Mickey Mansell also won back his Tour Card immediately as he secured six points alongside Rafferty, Cameron Menzies, John O’Shea, George Killington and Nick Fullwell.
Crewe newcomer Shaun Wilkinson edged out Lee Budgen, Matthew Dennant and Dan Read on five points to secure his Tour Card and a debut on the PDC circuit for the next two years.
Matthew Edgar’s run to the semi-finals on Saturday was not enough for him to win back his Tour Card immediately, as he joined Brazilian number one Diogo Portela and former World Youth Champion Arron Monk on four points.
Lisa Ashton missed out in her bid to win back a PDC Tour Card, after spending 2020/21 on the PDC ProTour, while a second round defeat for Fallon Sherrock to Nathan Treadgold ended the Nordic Darts Masters runner-up’s chances of securing a Tour Card this year.
At the European Qualifying School in Germany, Kciuk secured an immediate return to the PDC circuit after winning back his Tour Card on the final day – with Rodriguez dramatically securing his own professional status.
Poland’s Kciuk, 41, was one of the players who returned to Qualifying School after losing their Tour Card at the end of 2021.
And the World Cup representative won Saturday’s Day Four of Final Stage to win an automatic Tour Card, defeating Spain’s Tony Martinez 6-3 in the final in Niedernhausen.
Kciuk is joined by a further 11 players from the European Qualifying School Order of Merit, who secured their Tour Cards following the four days of Final Stage action.
Belgium’s Mario Vandenbogaerde topped the rankings with 12 points, while Jules van Dongen and Kevin Doets scooped eight points to secure their Tour Card.
Martinez was joined on seven points by Danny Jansen and Radek Szaganski, while Damian Mol, Jimmy Hendriks, Ricardo Pietreczko and Vladimir Andersen secured a Tour Card with six points.
Rodriguez – who ended 2021 as 65th on the PDC Order of Merit – was one of seven players on five points but had superior leg difference to his rivals, and the Austrian star won back his Tour Card in dramatic fashion.
The 2021 World Cup finalist had lost to Hendriks in the last 64 and faced an anxious wait, with Dragutin Horvat able to jump above him should he have reached the final.
Horvat led 5-4 in his semi-final against Martinez, but missed his chance to close out victory in leg ten before the Spanish ace won the decider in 12 darts, securing both himself and Rodriguez a Tour Card in the process.
Fabian Schmutzler’s run to the last eight on Day Four was not enough to win the German teenager a Tour Card, while Karel Sedlacek, Jelle Klaasen, Cristo Reyes, Jesus Noguera and Derk Telnekes were amongst the players who failed to secure an immediate return to the PDC ProTour in Niedernhausen.
The 32 Tour Card winners from the 2022 PDC Qualifying Schools will join a further 96 players as PDC professionals in 2022.
The top 64 from the PDC Order of Merit after the World Darts Championship secured their Tour Cards, with a further 28 players beginning the second year of their Tour Card and four players stepping up from the PDC’s Challenge and Development Tours.
2022 PDC Qualifying Schools
UK Q School Automatic Tour Card Winners (x4): James Wilson, Darren Webster, Ross Montgomery, Josh Rock
European Q School Automatic Tour Card Winners (x4): Jose Justicia, Brian Raman, Luc Peters, Krzysztof Kciuk
UK Q School Tour Card Winners from Order of Merit (x13): Jamie Clark, Ted Evetts, Connor Scutt, Richie Burnett, Kevin Burness, Scott Waites, Nathan Rafferty, Cameron Menzies, John O’Shea, George Killington, Mickey Mansell, Nick Fullwell, Shaun Wilkinson.
European Q School Tour Card Winners from Order of Merit (x11): Mario Vandenbogaerde, Jules van Dongen, Kevin Doets, Tony Martinez, Danny Jansen, Radek Szaganski, Damian Mol, Jimmy Hendriks, Ricardo Pietreczko, Vladimir Andersen, Rowby-John Rodriguez.