Sunday was the fourth and final day at the 2017 PDC Qualifying School and it seen Paul Nicholson, Kirk Shepherd and Antonio Alcinas win back their two-year tour cards joining them was the German Martin Schindler.
For the Aussie/Geordie Nicholson he would of gained his tour-card no matter what as he was in the top 3 in the Q-School order of merit. He defeated Kevin Lane, Jordan Boyce, Mark Hylton, Richard Baillie, Gary Stone, Paul Cook and Bryan de Hoog on the day in Wigan, never losing more than three legs in a game and picking up two whitewashes along the way.
Nicholson had this to say on regaining his tour card :
“I saw what John Part did on Saturday and I got a lot of motivation from that, and to win my Tour Card outright means a lot,”
“I felt like there was no pressure on me at all but I still want to be the kind of person who wants to win no matter what the prize is. It was a case of going to the end and being the last man standing”
“I wanted to keep on winning and get some confidence going into the UK Open Qualifiers, and that’s exactly what I’ve done”
“Last year I played some really good games which said to me that I can still live with the best standard, but the one thing that was missing was putting a run together of five, six, seven games in a row”
“If I’ve learned anything from Q School, that is it, to grind it out and get back to basics and do the right things at the right times. I did that today and I’m really proud of myself.”
For Kirk Shepherd the 2008 WC finalist he just missed out yesterday as he lost to John Part in the last eight and he bounced back today as he overcame Paul Milford, Paul Osmotherley, Chris White, Terry Roach and Stuart Kellett to reach the final matches, where he whitewashed experienced Ronnie Baxter.
Shepherd had this to say on winning back his tour card :
“I’m delighted, thrilled, From start to finish I felt great”
“It absolutely broke my heart losing to John Part on Saturday – if there was one game I wanted to win, it was that, but if you lose to a player like that there’s no disgrace”
“In a way I felt like I’d done enough, but I wanted to come here today and get through on merit, and I’m so happy I have done. That was my aim on each day and I’m as proud as punch that I’ve done it”
“At the moment I’m in a better place than I’ve been for the last ten years, and I’m not just saying that because I’m on a high at the moment. I’m in a good place and I really feel I can kick on this year”
“I’ve always felt my game’s there but my own worst enemy has been myself, but I’ve changed a lot of things and I think things are going to look up for me now.”
The Spaniard Antonio Alcinas cemented his return to the PDC’s elite with a superb run in Wigan as he defeated Dean Forde, Jimmy Hendriks, Colin Osborne, Ron Seddon, Par Riihonen, Paul Phillips and Haruki Muramatsu.
German youngster Schindler, a three-time European Tour qualifier who also competed in the World Youth Championship last year, will join the PDC Pro Tour for the first time after being Sunday’s final tour card winner.
The 20-year-old from Berlin defeated Jose Henrique Pinto de Sena, Sven Groen, South African duo Nolan Arendse and Warrick Scheffer and Davyd Venken before seeing off Paul Rowley 5-3 in their decider.
There were 12 more players who won their two-year tour card’s after finishing in the top 12 of the Q-School order of merit :
|10||John Norman Jr||11|
You can also listen to my report on audioboom using the link below: