The Nordic and Baltic Pro Tour 2023 will see its conclusion this weekend and Oskar Lukasiak and Jeffrey de Graaf will aim for two different targets.
The season of 2023 in the PDC Nordic & Baltic has seen some new faces in the top of the rankings. One of them is Oskar Lukasiak.
Due to his good performances on the Nordic and Baltic Pro Tour, and of course due to his qualification for the European Tour, he was part of the Swedish team at at the World Cup of Darts, which reached the quarter-final against Wales.
“It was really cool to feel the atmosphere and that we played pretty well all weekend. To play with Dennis (Nilsson), that I have known for so long, was also something special. I felt like we have a really good chemistry when we are playing together. It was fun to make it to the quarter-final and play against Price and Clayton, and also showing the world that we can play some good darts here in PDC Nordic & Baltic,” Oskar Lukasiak tells pdc-nordic.tv.
Oskar Lukasiak is not a new name to the tour, however we have not before seen him on the level he has shown this season.
“I feel, that I have been more steady on a bit higher level. I think one explanation is, that it is fun to play again. I also have good players around myself every week with Daniel Larsson, Jeffrey de Graaf and Johan Engström, as I am playing with in them at my club in Sweden and also travels with them.”
Due to the success by qualifying for the European Tour and the World Cup, Oskar Lukasiak is ready for more.
“Especially after the World Cup my hunger to achieve more is alot bigger now, as I have seen that it is possible to compete with the big guys. My next goal is Q-School in January and then we will see what happens there.”
But first Oskar Lukasiak has his focus on the weekend in Riga.
“I want to improve in the rankings. My goal before the season was top 8 in the ranking, and it is still possible if I have a good weekend in Riga.”
Going for Ally Pally
One of the other new faces in the top of the rankings, and a new face to the tour in general, is Jeffrey de Graaf. Before the season started, he got his Swedish citizenship and therefore he was able to compete in the Nordic and Baltic Pro Tour.
And he has been positively surprised by the level of the game.
“I did underestimate the level a bit. Alot of the players are very good. So I have been positvely surprised. For some players the consistancy is not there yet, but it will come with traning,” Jeffrey de Graaf tells pdc-nordic.tv.
Even though the new Swede managed to reach a final in the first Pro Tour event of the season, he still had some trouble in the first couple of tournaments this season. But he is still quite satisfied with the season overall.
“From where I started this year, at which Q-school and the first Challenge Tour did not go as I hoped, this has been a good year. Three finals is great, although I would rather win them all. I did not go into the tour with high expectations, since I was new on the tour and just had two dissapointing weeks behind me with Q-school and the Challenge Tour. Of course I knew, that if I got in good form anything could happen. So far I am happy with this year and if I manage to get to Ally Pally in the end off the year, my year has been very succesful.”
Before this weekend in Riga, Jeffrey de Graaf is number two in the rankings with 2900 euros, with Daniel Larsson in third with 2550 euros. So nothing is decided yet, although Jeffrey de Graaf has a bit of an advantage.
“I think I have a good chance to qualify for Ally Pally at this moment. I’m playing good and consistant, and now that I have started winning, I have gotten a good confidence boost.”
However he will not be able to go ahead of Marko Kantele in the rankings, as the Finn has already secured himself 5550 euros and has won no less than four Pro Tour events this season.
“Marko has been playing great this year. He has been very consistant from the start. He is very strong on his doubles aswell. I don’t know, if he has stepped up his game a lot from last year, since I was not on the tour last year, but he has had a great season. It has been very impressive.”