PLYMOUTH teenager Keelan Kay made his debut on the Development Tour at the weekend and produced some excellent performances at the Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan to earn him his first prize-money on the PDC Tour.
The Plymouth Studio School pupil was awarded a PDPA scholarship after finishing 2017 in second place on the Junior Darts Corporation’s (JDC) order of merit and at just 16 years of age, Kay is one of the youngest, if not the youngest, to compete on the prestigious tour.
Many of his opponents have played in Players Championship matches on the main tour but despite being in exulted company he seized his opportunity with aplomb in his opening match and defeated Londoner George Killington 4-0 in 20, 17, 17 and 18 to post an opening average of 27.83.
Lewis Williams was Kay’s next opponent and he was very unlucky to bow out 4-3 after coming back from 2-0 and 3-1 to level at 3-3, only to lose the decider when the Welshman, with the darts, checked out in 17 with Keelan requiring 56.
IMPRESSED: Keelan Kay impressed on his PDC Development Tour debut and posted outshots of 151 and 152 which enabled the Plymouth teenager to claim legs in 12 and 15 darts.
Tour Two was also completed on the same day and like previously, Keelan won his opening match in four straight legs.
His opponent, Dean Jones, is an experienced player who competed in the England Classic when Keelan was just eight years old, but that form counted for nothing as the “Lord of the Board” blew him away.
Keelan went 3-0 up in 21, 17 and 18 before progressing with a leg in just 12 darts when he threw 125, 100, 125 before checking out at the first time of asking from 151, to finish with a single dart average of 29.44
But he found Declan Cox too good in the next round and never really got going in a 4-1 defeat.
Sunday morning began with Tour Three and Keelan (26.03) opened his account with a 4-0 victory over Scott Hope before coming up against Scott Jackson.
Keelan went 3-0 up in 15, 19 and 20 and although his opponent won the next two, the Plymouth teenager held his nerve and won the next in 18, aided by a maximum 180 for another solid average of 26.13.
That victory took Keelan into the last 64 but his opponent Callum Loose, who had wins over John Henderson, Jamie Lewis and Bradley Brooks in 2017, was too good on the day and ran out a 4-0 winner.
But Keelan was back on track in his opening Tour Four match and defeated Samuel Kapur 4-3.
He hit a 14-dart leg as the first six legs were shared before winning the decider in style when finishing a 15-darter with an outshot of 152 for a 26.73 average.
Keelan then progressed with a 4-3 victory against Germany’s Nico Schlund before losing 4-2 to Reece Colley in the last 64.
An exceptional debut by any stretch of the imagination and the valuable experience will augur well for the remaining 16 Tour events.