De Graaf Doubles Up In Hildesheim

Red Dragon Darts

JEFFREY de Graff capped off a superb weekend in Germany with a pair of European Tour qualifications to go with his run to the final of a Players Championship earlier in the week. The Dutch-born Swede was joined by Dom Taylor and Owen Bates who also secured a qualification double.

Tour Card Holder Qualifiers for European Tour Events 7-8 took place at Halle 39 on Wednesday afternoon, with each qualifier producing ten players per event.

The Dutch Darts Championship (ET7) will take place in Rosmalen from May 24-26, while the European Darts Open (ET8) will be held in Leverkusen from June 21-23.

De Graaf – a runner-up at Players Championship 10 on Tuesday – continued his fine form to end the day undefeated in Hildesheim, alongide emerging stars Taylor and Bates.

Dutch-born Swede De Graaf will return to home soil later this month, after advancing through the ET7 Qualifier with a trio of 6-2 wins against Ricky Evans, Steve Beaton and Karel Sedlacek.

The 33-year-old then edged out Mervyn King in the opening round of the ET8 Qualifier, before recording successive 6-3 wins against Wessel Nijman and Dylan Slevin, who landed a nine-dart finish earlier in the day.

Taylor – who made his European Tour debut earlier this month – will return to big stage action after winning six consecutive matches on Wednesday, including wins over World Championship semi-finalist Scott Williams and Dutch star Kevin Doets.

Bates – a winner on the Winmau Challenge Tour in 2023 – dumped out Dutch duo Jelle Klaasen and Vincent van der Voort in the ET7 Qualifier, and he later rallied from 5-2 down to stun Martin Lukeman en route to qualification for ET8.

The trio will be joined in Rosmalen by Scottish star Cameron Menzies, who averaged 103 in a whitewash win over Nathan Rafferty to storm through the ET7 Qualifier.

Mickey Mansell also dispatched Alan Soutar without reply to book his spot in the £175,000 event, as Niels Zonneveld and Ryan Meikle brushed aside Mervyn King and Jermaine Wattimena respectively to progress.

New Zealand’s Haupai Puha posted a ton-plus average on his way to qualification, Latvia’s Madars Razma edged out an in-form Ritchie Edhouse, while William O’Connor denied his World Cup partner Keane Barry in a winner-takes-all clash.

Belgian duo Mike De Decker and Andy Baetens will both feature in next month’s European Darts Open (ET8), after winning through deciding-leg tussles against George Killington and Meikle in the final round of qualification.

De Decker also demolished Zonneveld and Australian veteran Simon Whitlock to book his place in Leverkusen, as Callan Rydz and Matthew Dennant raced to 6-1 wins against German duo Lukas Wenig and Tim Wolters to seal their progress.

Northern Irish star Rafferty will also be part of the 48-player field in ET8 after easing past former PDC Asian Champion Christian Perez, with Poland’s Radek Szaganski and Czech number two Sedlacek completing the line-up.

Menzies and Puha were denied qualification doubles despite producing averages of 107 and 106 in the ET8 Qualifier, with Menzies losing out 6-4 to Irish youngster Slevin, who landed a nine-darter to wrap up victory.

Live coverage of the PDC European Tour will be broadcast through Viaplay, DAZN exclusively in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and on PDCTV.

In a change to the qualifying format from previous years, the top 16 players from the PDC Order of Merit now qualify by right for each event, along with the top 16 non-qualified players from the ProTour Order of Merit.

Each event will see the top 16 players from the ProTour Order of Merit seeded for the draw, entering in the second round, with the remaining 32 players drawn at random in the first round.

ET7 Tour Card Holder Qualifiers: Madars Razma, Dom Taylor, Owen Bates, Mickey Mansell, Cameron Menzies, Ryan Meikle, Niels Zonneveld, William O’Connor, Jeffrey de Graaf, Haupai Puha.

ET8 Tour Card Holder Qualifiers: Nathan Rafferty, Radek Szaganski, Mike De Decker, Callan Rydz, Dom Taylor, Karel Sedlacek, Matthew Dennant, Andy Baetens, Owen Bates, Jeffrey de Graaf.


Images: PDC

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