European Q-School review: players from 8 different countries won a PDC tour card

With the European Q-School 2020 coming to an end I thought it is time to look back on what happened the last couple of days in Hildesheim. Eleven players from eight different countries have won a PDC tour card for the coming two years. In this review I will look back per country on the players who surprised and disappointed me. I will focus on the eight countries who have delivered one or more new PDC tour card holders and some countries which took my attention.

At the start of the PDC European Q-School I thought if an Austrian player will win a PDC tour card it will probably be Zoran Lerchbacher or perhaps Roxy-James Rodriguez or Rusty-Jake Rodriguez. So I was surprised, as many others, that Harald Leitinger won a PDC tour card on the first day of action. For those who are into softtip this might not have been a real surprise, because Leitinger has already achieved great stuff in the world of softtip. Leitinger will be one of the three Austrian PDC tour card holders next year by joining Mensur Suljovic and Rowby-John Rodriguez. In fact Harald Leitinger replaces Zoran Lerchbacher who lost his PDC tour card and came just one point short on the European Q-School Order of Merit to win his PDC tour card back.

At the start of the PDC European Q-School I expected Mike de Decker and Mario Vandenbogaerde to do well. Brian Raman however was the first Belgian to take attention. The young Belgian made it to the semi finals on day one, where he lost against Harald Leitinger. Unfortunately for Brian this was his best performance and not good enough to win a PDC tour card. Mike de Decker was the second Belgian who had a good day. The Real Deal claimed  the PDC tour card which was available on day two after beating Dennis Nilsson in the final. Mike de Decker will join Kim Huybrechts and Dimitri van den Bergh on the PDC tour coming year. Mario Vandenbogaerde reached a last 16 and a last 32 once, but this wasn’t enough for Super Mario to earn a PDC tour card. Kevin Blomme reached the quarter finals on the last day of action, which surprised me because I didn’t really know him.

Czech Republic
In my preview I already said the Czech Republic was one of the countries which are rising in the world of darts. Karel Sedlacek was the top favourite for most fans to earn a PDC tour card if someone from the Czech Republic would win one. And so did Evil Charlie on day three beating Berry van Peer in the final after he had already reached the quarter finals and last 16 on the first two days of action. Karel Sedlacek wrote history, because he is the first ever player from the Czech Republic winning a PDC tour card. Ondrej Kysilka also showed what he is capable of by reaching the quarter finals on day two, but this wasn’t enough for him to earn a PDC tour card. Adam Gawlas, the runner-up of the PDC World Championship youth, only got three points with his best result being a last 64 spot on day four. But I still think Gawlas might be a player to look out for in the future, since he still is very young.

Germany is also a country which is knocking on the door of the world of darts for some years, but despite the relatively big population it seems hard to break through for the German dart players. With Max Hopp, Gabriel Clemens and Martin Schindler they had just three PDC tour card holders in 2019. With 116 German entries, about one third of the total field, one might expect some Germans to win a PDC tour card. We however had to wait until the final of day 4, which was won by Steffen Siepmann against Wesley Harms, to get a new German tour card holder. Michael Unterbuchner was the German I expected to have a good chance of winning a PDC tour card, however reaching the last 16 twice wasn’t enough for T-Rex to win a PDC tour card. Michael Hurtz and Franz Roetzsch gained even more points that Unterbuchner.

The Netherlands
On day one we were almost able to welcome the new PDC tour card holder, however Martijn Kleermaker lost in the deciding leg of the final. On day three Berry van Peer made it to the final, however again a Dutch player lost the final. On day four Wesley Harms was the third Dutch player to reach the final, but again it wasn’t meant to be for the Netherlands.
Despite all this Martijn Kleermaker and Wesley Harms were two of the four Dutch players to win a tour card. They are joined by Dirk van Duijvenbode, who is the only player who had just lost a PDC tour card and won a new one, and Derk Telnekes. Martijn, Wesley and Derk has showed what they are capable in the BDO already and now it’s the time for them to make the step to the PDC. Richard Veenstra who only made it to the last 32 twice and last 64 once was expected to do something equally to the aforementioned Dutch players but it wasn’t meant to be for Flyers.
Justin van Tergouw and Danny van Trijp have reached the semi finals once as well but this wasn’t enough to win a PDC tour card, but Danny, who had a decent 2019 on the Challenge and Development Tour, and Justin are still young and their time will come at some point. The same is true for Berry van Peer, who besides his final on day three wasn’t consistent enough to win a tour card again, since he had one in 2016 and 2017, yet.

At the start of European Q-School I thought Andreas Harrysson, Daniel Larsson and Dennis Nilsson were players to watch. After a disappointing first day for the Swedes both Daniel Larsson and Dennis Nilsson made it to the quarter finals on day two. Nilsson even went on to make it to the final, which he however lost. Larsson stayed consistent reaching the last 16 on day three and four which was enough to win a PDC tour card. Larsson will be the second Swede in history to play on the PDC tour stepping in the foot steps of Magnus Caris. Nilsson had a kind of revival on day four, when he reached the last 16, but his performances on day one and three were not good enough to make it to the PDC tour. Andreas Harrysson disappointed me with only reaching the last 64 twice.

As noted in my report on day one Croatia was the country which surprised me most on the first day of action. Boris Krcmar made it to the semi finals, but lost against Martijn Kleermaker, was the main reason for this. Krcmar, who already reached the PDC World Championship 2011, and performing well on the softtipcircuit did the other days enough to win a PDC tour card with reaching the last 16 on day four after having reached the last 64 twice as well. Zdravko Antunovic had a decent start of the Q-School as well with reaching the last 32 twice, but couldn’t perform enough on the last two days of action. Romeo Grbravac had his best day on day three reaching the last 16 but wasn’t consistent enough on the other days to win a PDC tour card.  

Poland is, as already said in my preview, one of the upcoming countries in the world of darts. At the start of European Q-School Sebastian Steyer was my personal favourite from Poland with Tytus Kanik, who had a tour card in 2018 and 2019, and Krzysztof Kciuk having some chances as well. Sebastian Steyer, however, barely, turned up earning only three points in four days. Tytus Kanik reached the last 16 on the first day of action, but didn’t do enough on the three following days to win a PDC tour card. Krzysztof Kciuk reached the semi finals of day two and the quarter finals of day three which gave him a good chance of winning a PDC tour card via the ranking. Reaching the last 32 was just enough for Kciuk to claim a top seven spot in the European Q-School Order of Merit which earned him a tour card. Krzysztof Kciuk will join Krzysztof Ratajski on the PDC Pro Tour. Lukasz Sawicki did, in my opinion, surprisingly well reaching the last 16 on day three and quarter finals on day four, however he didn’t gain enough points on the first two days of action to win a PDC tour card.

Thibault Tricole was one of the players to watch in my opinion after playing great on the BDO World Championship as first ever French player to make it to a World Championship. He already just missed out a tour card at Q-School 2019. The French touch had a great start reaching the last 16 on day one and last 32 on day two and three. Tricole however lost in the last 128 on day four which meant he just like last year just came short of a PDC tour card ending 10th in the European Q-School Order of Merit.


Door dartfreakjacco

I'm a huge dartsfan and started, because in my opinion darts media are focusing to much on the highlights and well known players and countries of the darting world. Therefore I want to pay more attention to the dart players and countries throughout Europe.

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