Nico Kurz joins Australia's Gordon Mathers in sealing PDC World Championship qualification
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 18/06/20 12:55pm
Nico Kurz secured his Alexandra Palace return by virtue of winning the 2020 German Super League on Sunday, edging out Dragutin Horvat 10-9 in a dramatic finale.
The 23-year-old claimed the title for the second consecutive year, surviving a match dart in a pulsating finale to book his place at the 2021 PDC World Championship.
The talented German impressed on his Alexandra Palace debut in December, defeating former BDO No 1 James Wilson and Joe Cullen before succumbing to World Youth champion Luke Humphries in round three.
Kurz also boasts a big-stage victory over two-time world champion Gary Anderson, having claimed the scalp of 'The Flying Scotsman' at last year's German Masters in just his second televised appearance.
Many of Germany's top talents have been competing in the group stage of the PDC Europe event over the last four weekends, with the top four players in each group progressing to Sunday's last eight.
Three-time PDC ranking finalist Gabriel Clemens stormed into the last four with an 8-1 demolition of Manfred Bilderl, but 'The German Giant' was edged out 9-7 by Kurz in the semi-finals.
2018 Grand Slam quarter-finalist Michael Unterbuchner was another high-profile name in the last four, yet he was thrashed 9-3 by Horvat, who won nine of the last ten legs to breeze into Sunday's showpiece.
Horvat led 8-4 and appeared poised to claim the spoils, only for Kurz to produce a valiant comeback and force a last-leg decider, in which Horvat narrowly missed double 12 for a 141 checkout.
Kurz had already spurned three match darts in the previous visit, but he made no mistake on his return, pinning double two to retain his crown.
The 23-year-old is the second International qualifier to book their place at Alexandra Palace later this year, with Australia's Gordon Mathers receiving confirmation of his qualification last week.
It was revealed earlier this month that the 2020 DPA season was to be curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which ensured Mathers' qualification as he occupied top spot prior to the season's suspension.
The six-time DPA event winner finished above Brisbane Darts Masters winner Damon Heta and James Bailey on the Order of Merit to seal his return to north London later this year.
The 38-year-old made his World Championship debut in 2018 after topping the 2017 DPA rankings, although he was beaten in the preliminary round by Japan's World Cup semi-finalist Seigo Asada.
Get the biggest and latest sports news stories with dedicated sports sections for Football, Formula 1, Boxing, Cricket, Golf, Rugby Union, Rugby League, Tennis, NFL, NBA, Darts, GAA, Netball, Racing and Other Sports.