The 2021 Pro Tour gets underway with PDC Super Series 1 from February 25-28, at Premier Suite at Bolton Whites Hotel. The 29 players who came through Q-School will join the world’s elite for the first Players Championship events of the year.
By Brian Barry
Last Updated: 17/02/21 8:58pm
Scott Mitchell and Boris Koltsov picked up the last two ‘automatic’ Tour Cards at 2021 Q-School on Wednesday, as a further 18 players qualified through the Orders of Merit.
Former Lakeside champion Mitchell overcame Danny Baggish in the decider at Milton Keynes, while Koltsov beat Niels Zonneveld in the Niedernhausen final. Both runners-up also sealed their spots on the Pro Tour for 2021.
Koltsov created history as the first Russian player to win a PDC Tour Card. He has qualified for four World Championships since 2014 and also competed five times in the World Cup of Darts during his emergence in the sport.
The 32-year-old had already earned his Tour Card with his progression through Wednesday’s event, which included wins over Michael Rasztovits, Michael Unterbuchner and Adam Gawlas as he reached the final.
“I was very nervous before this day, and now I’m feeling fantastic,” said Koltsov, who dedicated his success to his father, who passed away last November.
“I had seven points but I was not through and you need to play [to] the last darts. That’s why I won today, because after the first two or three games I was feeling free and I got to the final and won.”Raymond van Barneveld was the highest-profile winner, as the five-time world champ gathered enough points on the Order of Merit across the four days to qualify.
Martin Schindler landed a nine-darter during his last 16 tie with Van Barneveld, although the German star had already secured his immediate return to the circuit after losing his Tour Card at the end of 2020.
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The race for Tour Cards in the UK Qualifying School, where 13 were on offer from the Order of Merit in addition to the day’s winner securing professional status, also went down to the wire – as Baggish dramatically sealed his spot on the ProTour alongside eventual victor Mitchell.
Baggish had entered Day Four without a point after the opening three days, but repeated his miraculous form under pressure – having come through the First Stage on Day Three – to claim a Tour Card.
He needed just one leg in the final against Mitchell, which he took to level at one-all before Mitchell pulled away to claim a 6-2 win to celebrate his spot on the PDC circuit in style.
Mitchell had begun the final day of action with just one ranking point, but saw off Alan Norris, Gary Butcher, Graham Usher, Shaun McDonald, Carl Wilkinson and Andrew Gilding in his run to the final.
“It’s massive, honestly,” said the 50-year-old. “I’m a farmer’s kid from this little village in the New Forest – this isn’t normal for us!
“They know me as Scotty the tractor driver, and I just keep trying to be me. I’m just so pleased – today I’ve been in tears.”
Baggish won the PDC’s North American Championship in Las Vegas in 2019 and has competed in the past two World Championships, and he will now step onto the professional circuit.
Baggish admitted that he only realised after the final that he had secured his Tour Card, conceding: “I put so much pressure on myself, I felt like I had to win it.
“I wear my emotions on my shoulder, it’s unbelievable – a dream come true. I’m a professional dart player. I’ve always thought that was always well, and as long as I could get my doubles in check I could compete with anyone.
“I believe it in myself and it’s only the start. The first step is done. I’m looking to compete with the best and I can’t wait to make it happen.”
There was no such joy for Fallon Sherrock however, as a disappointing week came to an end with a first-round defeat at the hands of Andy Jenkins.
Automatic Tour Card winners
|Kirk Shepherd||Geert De Vos|
|Jason Heaver||Geert Nentjes|
|Jake Jones||Florian Hempel|
|Scott Mitchell||Boris Koltsov|
Tour Card winners through Order of Merit
|Jack Main||Martin Schindler|
|Andrew Gilding||Niels Zonneveld|
|Martin Lukeman||Raymond van Barneveld|
|Lewis Williams||Zoran Lerchbacher|
|Eddie Lovely||Adam Gawlas|
|Alan Soutar||Michael Unterbuchner|
|Joe Murnan||John Michael|
|Gordon Mathers||Robert Marijanovic|
European Qualifying School Final Stage Day Four
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-1 Kenny Neyens
Adam Gawlas 6-3 Owen Roelofs
Boris Koltsov 6-4 Michael Rasztovits
Michael Unterbuchner 6-3 Stefan Nilles
Niels Zonneveld 6-3 Patrick Bulen
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Martin Schindler
Robert Marijanovic 6-5 Lukas Wenig
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 6-5 Christian Kist
Adam Gawlas 6-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Boris Koltsov 6-5 Michael Unterbuchner
Niels Zonneveld 6-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Robert Marijanovic 6-3 Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
Boris Koltsov 6-2 Adam Gawlas
Niels Zonneveld 6-4 Robert Marijanovic
Boris Koltsov 6-4 Niels Zonneveld
UK Qualifying School Final Stage Day Four
Eddie Lovely 6-2 Sam Cankett
Peter Hudson 6-5 Kevin McDine
Shane McGuirk 6-5 Liam Meek
Danny Baggish 6-2 Matt Jackson
Scott Mitchell 6-2 Shaun McDonald
Carl Wilkinson 6-4 Jim Williams
Andrew Gilding 6-2 Jamie Clark
Mark Dudbridge 6-4 Kevin Garcia
Peter Hudson 6-3 Eddie Lovely
Danny Baggish 6-5 Shane McGuirk
Scott Mitchell 6-3 Carl Wilkinson
Andrew Gilding 6-3 Mark Dudbridge
Danny Baggish 6-2 Peter Hudson
Scott Mitchell 6-4 Andrew Gilding
Scott Mitchell 6-2 Danny Baggish
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