Perez Kicks Starts Q-School Campaign

Christian Perez, Jamie Lewis and Benito van de Pas were among the first 16 players to make it through PDC Qualifying Schools Stage One on Monday.

The opening day of the 2023 PDC Qualifying Schools saw Stage One begin in Milton Keynes and Kalkar, as over 800 players compete for 27 Tour Cards, for the right to feature on the PDC circuit in 2023/24.

The First Stage, being held from January 9-11, will see players from the UK and Europe qualifying to compete in the Final Stage, which will take place from January 12-15.

Eight players per day will progress from the First Stage, with all further places going to players from a First Stage Order of Merit in each region.

The opening day of UK Qualifying School in Milton Keynes saw 2018 World Championship semi-finalist Lewis and PDC Asian Champion Perez headline the eight players to make it through.

Lewis boasted a tournament average of 93 to seal his progression, while Perez registered five successive 5-1 wins to advance, easing past two-time ProTour event winner Josh Payne in the last 16.

They were joined by former Tour Card Holders Peter Jacques, Lee Palfreyman and Jim Walker, with the latter defeating former WDF number one James Hurrell in his qualification decider.

Darryl Pilgrim stormed through to the Final Stage in sublime style, averaging 110 to come through a high-quality clash against Cam Crabtree, before averaging 99 in his last 16 success against Matthew Dennant.

Development Tour star Dylan Slevin also posted two ton-plus averages to secure his progression to the Final Stage, with Dale Gadsby making up the eight qualifiers from the UK event on Monday.

Women’s World Matchplay winner Fallon Sherrock recorded wins over former UK Open semi-finalist Alan Norris and Conan Whitehead before succumbing to Graham Usher in the last 128.

Four-time Women’s World Champion Lisa Ashton was eliminated in her opening match of the day, while 2012 World Championship runner-up Andy Hamilton progressed to the last 32.

WILLIAM HILL WORLD DARTS CHAMPIONSHIP 2019 ALEXANDRA PALACE, LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG ROUND 3 TONY ALCINAS V BENITO VAN DE PAS BENITO VAN DE PAS IN ACTION

Meanwhile, Van de Pas, a winner of three senior PDC ranking titles, began his bid to return to the professional ranks by coming through the First Stage of European Qualifying School in Germany.

The 29-year-old – a former World Grand Prix quarter-finalist – came through deciding-leg ties against Markus Kessler and Jamie Lawrence in the latter stages to progress to Thursday’s Final Stage.

Van de Pas was one of four Dutchmen to come through Monday’s opening day, with Jimmy van Schie, Arjan Konterman and two-time Lakeside semi-finalist Richard Veenstra also winning through.

PDC Europe Super League runner-up Niko Springer advanced in emphatic fashion, sweeping aside Spain’s Ricardo Perez in the last 16 to join his compatriot Daniel Zygla in securing his spot in the Final Stage.

Poland’s Tytus Kanik also made a strong start in his bid to regain a place on the ProTour circuit, with Czech star Tomas Houdek claiming the scalps of Jeffrey de Graaf and Jesus Noguera to progress in Kalkar.

Former UK Open runner-up Corey Cadby was beaten in the last 256 on his return to competitive action, with three-time PDC event winner Jelle Klaasen bowing out in the last 64 on Day One.

Elsewhere, 1994 World Matchplay winner Larry Butler was beaten at the same stage, while Lukas Wenig was another high-profile last 64 casualty, despite posting a 110.5 average in the previous round.

The UK and European Qualifying Schools will continue on Tuesday, where a further 16 players will progress to the Final Stage.

The remaining places will be allocated to players from a First Stage Order of Merit in each region, with one ranking point awarded per match from the first full round onwards.

Any ties in the respective Q Schools Orders of Merit will be split as follows based on all match results: Leg Difference, Legs Won, then DartConnect average. If players still cannot be split, a play-off would be organised.

Click here to view match stats from UK Q School Day One

European Q School – Stage One Day One

UK Qualifying School

Stage One Day One

Last 16

Dylan Slevin 5-4 James Howard Hughes

Peter Jacques 5-4 James Richardson

Christian Perez 5-1 Josh Payne

Lee Palfreyman 5-3 Scott Baker

Jamie Lewis 5-2 Christopher Gilliland

Jim Walker 5-2 James Hurrell

Dale Gadsby 5-3 Chris Quantock

Darryl Pilgrim 5-3 Matthew Dennant

European Qualifying School

Stage One Day One

Last 16

Tytus Kanik 5-2 Francois Schweyen

Tomas Houdek 5-2 Daniel Klose

Arjan Konterman 5-4 Roemer Mooijman

Benito van de Pas 5-4 Jamie Lawrence

Niko Springer 5-1 Ricardo Perez

Daniel Zygla 5-2 Marc Vleghert

Richard Veenstra 5-4 Davyd Venken

Jimmy van Schie 5-1 Marcel Hausotter

First Stage – January 9-11

UK Qualifying School

Start Time: Approx 1030 GMT

Format: best of nine legs

Last eight players each day progress to Final Stage

European Qualifying School

First Stage – January 9-11

Start Time: Approx 1030 CET

Format: best of nine legs

Last eight players progress to Final Stage

In addition to the daily automatic players and the players exempt to Final Stage, further players up to a total of 128 will be taken from the respective UK/European Qualifying School First Stage Orders of Merit following Day Three.

Final Stage

January 12-15

UK Qualifying School

Start Time: 1200 GMT

Each day’s winner secures an automatic PDC Tour Card

Format: best of 11 legs

European Qualifying School

Start Time: 1200 CET

Each day’s winner secures an automatic PDC Tour Card

Format: best of 11 legsIn addition to the daily Tour Card winners, further Tour Cards up to a total of 27 will be awarded on a pro-rata basis to players from the respective UK/European Qualifying School Final Stage Orders of Merit following Day Four.

—–ENDS—–

Images: PDC

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