Reigning BDO world champion Glen Durrant will be among the 397 players bidding to win a PDC Tour Card in Wigan from January 17-20, after the entries for 2019 PDC UK Qualifying School were confirmed on Tuesday afternoon.
A total of 19 PDC Tour Cards will be on offer at the Robin Park Tennis Centre, with the final two players on each of the four days winning an automatic PDC Tour Card. Players will also earn ranking points per victory in each full round of the event, which will be used to form the UK Q-School Order of Merit, from which the top 11 players will win Tour Cards.
There are a host of established stars bidding to return to the Pro Tour in 2019, with three-time world champion John Part leading the list of competitors. Former Players Championship Finals winner and 2004 world finalist Kevin Painter will also be in attendance, after dropping out of the world’s top 64 for the first time in his PDC career.
Former Premier League stars Andy Hamilton and Wes Newton- who both lost out in the preliminary-round at the recent BDO World Championship, are attempting to return to the PDC circuit, while former ranking event winners Jamie Caven, Andy Jenkins and Joe Murnan also feature in this year’s field.
2008 World Championship finalist Kirk Shepherd is competing alongside Colin Osborne, Barrie Bates, Richie Burnett and Mark Walsh- all of whom have appeared in PDC televised finals. Recent UK Open semi-finalists David Pallett and Andrew Gilding are also bidding to reclaim their places on the Pro Tour circuit.
Nevertheless, there’s a strong contingent of BDO stars looking to cross the darting divide and they’re led by Glen Durrant, who clinched his third successive Lakeside title on Sunday, to become the first man since the late Eric Bristow MBE to win three consecutive BDO World Championship titles.
Durrant defeated two-time Lakeside champion Scott Waites in Sunday’s finale, and the 2010 Grand Slam of Darts champion is also set to feature in Wigan. Durrant and Waites will be joined by 2018 Grand Slam of Darts participants Mark McGeeney and Jim Williams- currently ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively in the BDO system.
Former Development Tour winner Dean Reynolds is another BDO star who will compete in Wigan, alongside David Cameron, Daniel Day, Scott Baker, Kyle McKinstry, Mark McGrath and Conan Whitehead, who all appeared at Frimley Green last week.
Former Lakeside women’s world champions Lisa Ashton and Anastasia Dobromyslova, who memorably competed in last month’s PDC World Championship, headline a strong list of female entrants. Ashton has won four of the last six women’s titles at Lakeside, whilst Dobromyslova is the only female player to have competed in two separate PDC World Championships.
Three-time UK Open qualifier Deta Hedman- the winner of over 130 ranking titles- will be joined by recent Lakeside runner-up Lorraine Winstanley, as well as former world finalists Fallon Sherrock and Corrine Hammond.
There’s also set to be an international flavour at this year’s Q-School, featuring four players who starred at the Alexandra Palace over Christmas. These include’s Brazil’s Diogo Portela, Hong Kong’s Royden Lam, India’s Nitin Kumar and American ace Chuck Puleo. The full list of entries can be viewed below.
Photo Credit: Tip Top Pics/Chris Sargeant
UK Qualifying School Entries
Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan
Martin Atkins (Leeds)
Martin Atkins (Wigan)
Ting Chi Royden Lam
Ka Ho Leung
Teng Shia Lim
Andre Luke McGill