Josh Payne was victorious on Day Three of the Final Stage of the 2023 Q- School and collects a PDC Tour Card; going into the last day, Fallon Sherrock can still play her way into contention through the Order of Merit
Last Updated: 14/01/23 8:30pm
Josh Payne secured a PDC Tour Card as the Final Stage of the 2023 Q-School continued on Saturday, while Fallon Sherrock also remains in contention.
Gravesend’s Payne, a winner of two Players Championship titles, joined Arron Monk and Graham Usher in coming through UK Qualifying School to secure automatic Tour Cards as he took victory on Day Three in Milton Keynes.
The former UK Open quarter-finalist failed to pick up a solitary point on Thursday or Friday, but he returned to winning ways in sensational style at the Marshall Arena.
He came through gruelling early tussles against Mark Challenger and Andy Boulton to move through to round three, where he averaged 99 in a whitewash win over Ryan Furness to continue his charge.
The 29-year-old also accounted for Mark McGeeney and Conan Whitehead to book a last-four clash against Graham Hall, where he produced some late fireworks to progress.
He almost achieved perfection against Hall, missing double 12 for the nine-darter before wrapping up victory in 10 darts.
This set up a crunch clash against Chris Quantock, and Payne recovered from being 5-3 down to prevail with legs of 13 and 15 darts in the closing stages.
Women’s World Matchplay winner Fallon Sherrock also remains in contention following her run to the last 16.
On Saturday she beat Nathan Girvan, Thomas Lovely and Alec Small before Lee Evans defeated her 6-3 to prevent Sherrock from reaching the quarter-finals.
Sherrock is currently 10th in the UK Q School Order of Merit with five points. To win her Tour Card she will need to finish in the top nine.
Hall and Dylan Slevin are tied in fourth and fifth spot on the UK Order of Merit respectively, while Saturday’s quarter-finalists Evans and former World Youth champion Keegan Brown are on seven points alongside Friday’s runner-up Adam Warner.
2012 World Championship runner-up Andy Hamilton is also in the race on five points as well.
De Zwaan lands immediate return to PDC circuit
Meanwhile, at European Qualifying School, former World Matchplay semi-finalist Jeffrey De Zwaan performed magnificently in Kalkar to secure an immediate return to the PDC circuit, having dropped out of the world’s top 64 following the Cazoo World Darts Championship.
The Dutchman relinquished just 14 legs in his seven matches at Wunderland, defeating his compatriot Maik Kuivenhoven 6-3 in Saturday’s showpiece to seal the deal.
De Zwaan kicked off his campaign with an emphatic 6-1 win against fellow Dutchman Stefan Schroder, before overcoming Belgium’s Remo Mandiau and Japan’s Yoshihisa Baba to reach the last 16.
The 26-year-old then fired in a 107 average to dispatch Friday’s runner-up Pascal Rupprecht 6-2, before breezing past Alex Spellman and Arjan Konterman in quick-fire fashion.
This set up an all-Dutch showdown against Kuivenhoven, and De Zwaan wasn’t to be denied, conjuring up back-to-back 13-dart legs to confirm his return to the darting big time.
However, Kuivenhoven – a semi-finalist on Friday – has already done enough to guarantee a Tour Card via the European Q-School Order of Merit, therefore he also celebrates an instant return to the professional ranks alongside De Zwaan.
How to win a Tour Card
Day Four of Q-School on Sunday will offer a final chance for players to win Tour Cards.
Each of the daily winners in the Final Stage receive a Tour card.
In addition to Sunday’s winners, a further 19 Tour Cards will be awarded on a pro-rata basis to players from the respective UK and European Q-School Orders of Merit following Day Four – 10 in Europe, and nine in the UK.