Corey Cadby earns PDC Tour card for 2018
By Sky Sports Darts
Last Updated: 29/01/18 8:47pm
Corey Cadby, Eddie Dootson and Jeffrey de Zwaan took the first three PDC Pro Tour cards on offer after day one of Q-School in the UK and in Europe.
With two spots up for grabs in Wigan at UK Qualifying School and another one in Hildeshiem, Germany at European Q-School it was a couple of familiar names and one surprise who took the honours, although there were plenty of high-profile names to miss out.
Former world No 1 Colin Lloyd, Wes Newton and Dean Winstanley could not make it at Wigan's Robin Park Tennis Centre while Daryl Fitton, Jamie Hughes, Tony O'Shea and Jeff Smith, who have all enjoyed BDO success, were unable to win through at the first time of asking.
Instead it was rising Aussie star Cadby, the 2016 World Youth Champion and St Helens veteran Dootson who took the plaudits, triumphing after a delay to proceedings to win eight matches on a lengthy day to seal the two spots on offer - Cadby beat teenager Callan Rydz while Dooston emerged victorious with a 5-2 win over Nathan Aspinall.
"I'm absolutely over the moon, everyone expected I would be here [last year], but I wasn't ready. I'm here this year and I've done my job on day one," said Cadby.
"My manager believed in me and so did my partner, and that gave me the boost to push on. I can't wait to come up against bigger things and better things, but it's been a hard fight today.
"It gives me a bit more confidence knowing what I'm capable of. I've been throwing with new darts for a couple of weeks and to manage to get through Q School means a lot."
Play continues across the next three days when nine more cards will be given out for the 2018 PDC season. At the end of the four days, points accrued will determine an Order of Merit for each event and 15 cards will be handed out to the top 15 names in the UK school and the top six in Europe.
56-year-old Dootson was the surprise other card winner, beating out the rest of the 485 players who started the day.
"It's everybody's dream - you want to be one of the 128 players to play on the ProTour," he said.
"I've been playing for 42 years and this tops everything I've ever done in darts. It's fantastic and I've shown that I can compete with these young lads - but when you're heart is in the game you can compete.
"If it wasn't for Michael Smith I don't think I'd be here - we practice together all the time and we've taught each other so much over the years.
"I've been successful in that and it's absolutely unbelievable for me. I got to the last 16 in the UK Open a few years ago and hopefully this will spur me on now."
The first card of this year's school was handed out in Germany when De Zwaan was the last man standing on another epic day of darts, the Dutchman regaining his card by beating Dirk van Duijvenbode 5-4 in the final.
Former Lakeside runner-up Danny Noppert, Finland's Kim Viljanen and Krzysztof Ratajaski were among the names to win through to a high-quality final eight, but it was De Zwaan who took the card on offer to the winner.
Dutchman Berry van Peer, Kevin Munch, who beat Adrian Lewis at the World Championship an Brazilian Diogo Portela were other names to miss out on day one in Germany.
The record field are back in action again on Friday when three more names will join Cadby, Dootson and De Zwaan in securing their PDC status for the next 12 months.
Darts returns to Sky Sports in less than a fortnight with the Premier League getting underway in Dublin on Thursday February 1 - coverage gets underway from 7pm on Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Mix
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