Q School 2021: Jones & Hempel join card holders
By Joe Williams 17/02/2021
Jake Jones and Florian Hempel both won Two-Year PDC Tour Cards for the first time in their careers on Tuesday after coming through their respective fields on the penultimate day of 2021 Q School.
The previous two days have seen Kirk Shepherd and Jason Heaver come through in the UK, with Geert De Vos and Geert Nentjes coming through in Germany. Tuesday was the penultimate day before the final day on Wednesday, where a further two automatic tour cards are on offer as well as 13 order of merit winners in the UK and 8 in Germany.
Jones, who has made two Development Tour Finals in the past, began Tuesday’s play with 2 points on the order of merit and needing a big run if he were to keep his tour card hopes alive. He did, as the Stoke thrower recorded wins over Eddie Lovely, Liam Meek, John O’Shea, Robert Thornton, John Brown, and Martin Thomas to reach the decider, where he would meet Australia’s Gordon Mathers. The final began with Jones racing into a 3-0 lead, before Mathers rattled off four legs on the spin to take the lead for the first time, which was followed back to back legs from Jones in 13 and 14 darts, respectively. Mathers set up a last leg shootout in 19 darts, with Jones having advantage of throw. The pair both left a finish after nine thrown, with Jones leaving 72 after 12 with Mathers back on 167. Mathers piled the pressure on by leaving 48, but Jones delivered in pinning 72 for a 15 darter to win a Tour Card for the first time in his career.
Mathers, a 2x PDC World Championship qualifier, also began the day needing a big run to keep his tour card hopes alive having only picked up 1 point in the first two days. His run to the final saw him record wins over Nick Fullwell, David Wawrzewski, Ian Mackenzie, Reece Colley, Jim McEwan, and Lewis Williams, with the Australian sat on 6 points going into the final day.
Elsewhere, 4 former Tour Card Holders in Joe Murnan, Gavin Carlin, Jon Worsley and Andrew Gilding all currently sit inside the cut off point in the order of merit as well as Sunday and Monday’s beaten finalists, Jack Main, and Alan Soutar. 3x Major Winner Robert Thornton and 2007 World Championship Semi Finalist Andy Jenkins are among the names who sit just outside the provisional order of merit places, with the pair needing a deep run on Wednesday if they hope to regain their PDC Status.
Over in Germany, Florian Hempel was the winner on the day with the German thrower also going into the day’s play, needing a big run to keep his tour card hopes alive. He did in coming through with wins over Jeremy Van der Winkel, Lukas Wenig, Brian Raman, and a trio of wins over players who recently dropped off the Pro Tour in Niels Zonneveld, Martin Schindler, and John Michael respectively to reach the decider, where he would meet Dutchman Luc Peters. The final began with Hempel racing into a 4-0 lead before Peters fought back in winning back to back legs in 20 and 18 darts respectively, which turned out to be his only legs of the tie as Hempel won the following two legs in 13 and 15 darts respectively to clinch his tour card and join fellow German thrower’s in Gabriel Clemens and Max Hopp on the main tour for at least the next two years.
Peters, who began the day on 0 points from the first two days, reached the decider having recorded wins over Steve Wollener, Patrick Van den Boogaard, Jandirk De Groot, Sebastian Bialecki, Benito Van de Pas and Kevin Doets. Despite losing the decider, Peters sits on five points and inside the cut off point for a tour card via the order of merit going into final day and another deep run would secure the Dutchman a place on the main tour for the next two years.
Elsewhere, despite a first round exit on the day, Raymond Van Barneveld still looks set for a return to the Pro Tour with the 5x World Champion sat on six points but needing at least two points to cement his place, otherwise another pointless day, could hinder his chances of a return to the main tour. The likes of Richard Veenstra, Matt Campbell, Benito Van de Pas and Christian Kist all sit outside the cut off places and all need runs on Wednesday to keep their tour card hopes alive.
Q School concludes on Wednesday with the final day with a further two automatic tour cards on offer as well as 21 order of merit qualifiers across the UK and Germany. Play will begin at 12:00 GMT in the UK and 11:00 GMT (12:00 Local Time) in Germany. All live scores and results can be viewed at tv.dartconnect.com.
UK Q School
Gordon Mathers 6-4 Jim McEwan
Lewis Williams 6-2 Jason Hogg
Jake Jones 6-5 John Brown
Martin Thomas 6-4 Jack Main
Gordon Mathers 6-5 Lewis Williams
Jake Jones 6-4 Martin Thomas
Jake Jones 6-5 Gordon Mathers
European Q School
Florian Hempel 6-2 Martin Schindler
John Michael 6-1 Rene Eidams
Luc Peters 6-4 Benito Van de Pas
Kevin Doets 6-2 Vincent Van der Meer
Florian Hempel 6-2 John Michael
Luc Peters 6-4 Kevin Doets
Florian Hempel 6-2 Luc Peters------ENDS-------
Featured image: DW
Body text picture: PDC Europe