Wednesday 17 February 2021

We have our 128

I think that went just about as well as could be expected in terms of players I wanted to see get cards. Let's start in Europe first - Koltsov binked the day outright, we knew Schindler, Barney and Lerchbacher were all extremely close already and all converted, Zonneveld got back on with a good run today, Michael held on despite an early defeat, while Unterbuchner, Gawlas and Marijanovic did enough to get home, with the two Rodriguez brothers sandwiching Luc Peters in just missing out, both RJR's being live right until the end but just losing the games that'd get them over the line. Very pleased with those names, especially Gawlas, very excited to see how he'll do with a full two years on the senior tour to develop, not necessarily expecting anything straight away, but it could be a case where he comes back much, much stronger on a second run. It was a pity that Doets, Veenstra and Vandenbogaerde all had fairly early exits, would have been happy with any of them getting in over, say, Michael or Marijanovic, but we can't have everything.

As for the UK, Baggish got to the final and did just enough to nick the last card by a leg or two, as Mitchell won outright, and Gilding, Lovely, Soutar (despite a first round 6-0 defeat), Murnan, Mathers, Hudson, Worsley, Claydon and John Brown closed out the points list. Feel for Chas Barstow who lost a 5-3 lead to Adrian Gray when a win would have got him a card, as well as Jim Williams who finally got on a bit of a run but fell to Carl Wilkinson and couldn't get enough points. At least the players that missed out will be getting a UK Open spot, that tournament being just a couple of weeks away, but first we've got the first set of Players Championship events in just eight days from now.

The good thing about the format this year is that pretty much all the new card holders will have thrown a TON of darts in Q-School, so we can try to gauge where their game is at pretty quickly, and not have a huge time lag between those players having thrown those darts and kicking off competitive matches. I'll put together something by the weekend showing how they've all thrown - apart from someone like Shepherd who binked pretty quickly without playing stage 1, there's lots of data there, and it should all be useful. 

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