In January 2018 total of 610 players took to the oche aiming for a tour card, we ask how did the Q-School class of 2018 do on tour?
With the season having ended on January 1st with Peter Wright being crowned world champion a new order of merit was completed and a new top 64 has been completed.
Michael van Gerwen still tops the list and Wright’s title took him to world number 2 just ahead of Gerwyn Price. The final ranking also saw the end of the status of TC2 for thew Q-School class of 2018 (the 2 indicating the two years a player earns on the tour for winning their tour card through Q-School).
With his in mind we think now is a good time to see how the players got on. Who made it into the world’s top 64 and who will head back to Q-School?
How did the Q-School class of 2018 do on tour?
Q-school is played out over 4 days of open draw tournaments with the daily winners of the tournament (the finalists in the UK q-school and the winner of the European q-school) receiving a 2 year tour card. After the 4 days the remaining available tour cards are distributed to the players who finish highest in the overall rankings (points are awarded for wins in full rounds of the daily tournaments).
The daily winners of the two q-school individual days were:
Of the outright winners of their tour card Jeffrey de Zwaan has fared best of all making it to number 20 in the world having earned 238,500 pounds in the two years on tour. Clemens is up to world number 39 having amassed 128,000 pounds while Corey Cadby sits at number 62 in the world with 62,500.
The 9 other daily winners of the tour card in 2018 all failed to make it into the top-64 in the world over the two year period and will need to head back to Q-school later this month if they wish to stay on tour. Of the 9 Eddie Dootson fared worst with only 4250 pounds earned over the 2 year period and Alan Tabern fared best earning 49,500 pounds and falling over 10k short of keeping his card.
The remaining tour cards on offer were distributed to the two q-school orders of merit with the 21 cards distributed to the 2 events based on the number of entrants. This served up 15 tour cards for the UK q-school and 6 for the European q-school.
We have noted next to each name the players world ranking after two years or “lost tour card” if the player fell outside of the top-64.
The obvious success story here is Nathan Aspinall. Nathan managed to reach the semi-final of the world championships in both years of his 2 year status and also famously won the UK Open of 2019 defeating Rob Cross in the final.
These performances see Nathan sitting at number 8 in the world having amassed a whopping 450,250 pounds over the two years.
UK Q-School Order of Merit
Nathan Aspinall– World number 8
Ross Smith- World number 48
Terry Temple- lost tour card
Ryan Harrington- lost tour card
Simon Stevenson- lost tour card
Gary Eastwood- lost tour card
John Goldie- lost tour card
Matthew Edgar– World number 63/64*
Ryan Meikle- lost tour card but earned a new two year card through development tour order of merit
Ryan Joyce- World number 42
Kevin Burness- lost tour card
Tony Newell- lost tour card
Luke Woodhouse– World number 58
Peter Hudson- lost tour card
Mark Wilson- lost tour card
* This ranking is dependent as Raymond van Barneveld surrendered his tour card and as such each player below his final ranking of 50 should move up 1 spot to complete the top 64. This also impacts the player ranked 65th in the world Toni Alcinas but at the time of writing none of the official sources (PDC or PDPA) have removed van Barneveld from the end of season rankings.
European Q-School Order of Merit
Danny Noppert- World number 27
Robert Marijanović- lost tour card
Dirk van Duijvenbode- lost tour card
Vincent Kamphuis- lost tour card
Jose Justicia- lost tour card
Davy Van Baelen- lost tour card
Final roll call for the class of 2018
As you can see from the results over the past 2 years it is far from a guarantee that winning a tour card will bring riches and a slot in the top 64 of the world. Out of the 33 tour cards that were earned by the class of 2018 only 9 of the players have made it into a 3rd season on tour without having to re-qualify for their professional status.
All players who win a tour card enter on 0 pounds earned and if we take Matthew Edgar as the yard stick (pending official removal of van Barneveld), a total of 60,000 pounds had to be won in order to reach the top-64.
When you consider that the top-64 enter a number of tournaments as seeds, and therefore skip an opening round in a few tournaments thus earning a higher prize even if they lose, the hard work really only starts on the tour no matter how hard it is to come through Q-School. A player really can’t rest on their laurels and has to push themselves all the way.
Image credits: Jodie Paine and L. Lustig PDC, and PDPA