Busy weekend for The Mirror Man on the PDC Tour
THE PDC Tour promotes their first two European qualifiers today at the Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan, with 24 places up for grabs in both the Belgian Darts Championship (ET1) and the European Darts Grand Prix (ET2) and Plymouth marksman Simon Stevenson will be in the mix for both.
Under the new qualification criteria for 2020, PDC Tour Card holders will now compete in one combined qualifier for a total of 24 places in each tournament, having previously been split into UK and European qualifiers.
If successful The Mirror Man will compete in the Belgian Darts Championship at the Expo in Hasselt over the weekend of February 28-March 1 and at the European Darts Grand Prix over the three days of March 20-22 at Glaspalast, Sindelfingen, in Germany.
Stevenson will also be in action tomorrow and Sunday, competing in Players Championship 3 and 4.
He made an encouraging start to the new campaign last weekend in Players Championship 1 and 2 and moved onto the Order of Merit with his first points of 2020.
In Players Championship 1, Simon had a tough opening draw against the 12th ranked player in the world, Mensur Suljovic but he began well and went 2-0 up in 15 and 14.
The Austrian levelled with legs in 14 and 13 before Stevenson edged in front again when winning the fifth leg in 18 with a checkout of 120.
Suljovic levelled for the second time in 19 but that was his last leg as The Mirror Man took the next three in 14, 15 and 14.
This victory was in stark contrast to his performances of 2019 and where last year his finishing was his “Achilles heel”, against Suljovic his checkout percentage was an excellent 66.8%.
He was then drawn against Maik Kuivenhoven who finished seventh on the PDC European Q-School Order of Merit to win a two-year Tour card and he highlighted that form when he went 4-1 up in 15, 15, 16 and 13.
Simon pulled two back in 15 and 13 but the Dutch thrower finished the job off in 14 and 13.
But this was a much better performance from The Mirror Man, evident in the fact that his average over the two matches was a very creditable 95.22.
Simon’s opponent was Adam Hunt in the opening round of Players Championship 2, and after a scrappy opening leg which either player could have won, Hunt went 5-1 up in 22, 15, 15, 17 and 16.
Simon pulled one back in 18 and also took the next in 15 with an outshot of 111, but Hunt showed his own finishing prowess when emerging a 6-3 winner, taking the last leg of the match in 15 with a kill of 123.
There is a lot to play for this weekend and The Mirror Man will be hoping he can claim a European spot as well as adding to his Order of Merit placing.