PDC EUROPEAN TOUR – DON’T WRITE OFF THE QUALIFIER
The first PDC European Tour event of the season takes place over this weekend in Hildesheim, Germany – starting on Friday 13th February until Sunday 15th February.
The European Tour events offer good prize money and a chance for some players to make a significant leap in the rankings.
Automatic qualification for the Euro Tour events is based on the PDC Pro Tour Order of Merit where the top 16 players on a set date (16 January 2015 for this event) automatically qualify for the tournament.
The remaining 32 players have to play qualifying matches to earn their place in the 48 man field over the finals weekend. Qualifying events are held in the UK where 20 places are up for grabs with 8 spots available in the European qualifiers and the remaining 4 places going to qualifiers from the host nation.
The top 16 seeded players earn a bye into the last 32 with the remaining qualifiers starting in the last 48.
Although the players who have to come through the qualifying tournaments seem to have a disadvantage, the chances of a player who has come through the qualifiers reaching the semi-finals are quite good with 41% of the semi-finalists in the European Tour events last season having had to play in the qualifying tournaments (13 of the 32 semi-finalists in Euro Tour tournaments were qualifiers).
Going even further 3 of the 8 Euro Tour winners last season were from the qualifiers with one player a losing finalist.
3 of the 8 Euro Tour winners last season came through the qualifiers.
In 7 of the 8 Euro Tour events there was a qualifier in the semi-finals.
In 2 of the 8 Euro Tour events 3 of the 4 semi-finalists came through the qualifiers.
Qualifiers winning a European Tour event in 2014 – Three
Vincent van der Voort (Austrian Darts Open)
James Wade (Gibraltar Darts Trophy)
Michael Smith (European Darts Trophy)*
*Smith had to go through the qualifiers but was made a seed near the start of the event due to withdrawals.
Qualifiers losing in the final of a European Tour event in 2014 – One
Justin Pipe (German Darts Championship)
Qualifiers losing in the semi-finals of a European Tour event in 2014 – Nine
Ronnie Baxter (German Darts Championship)
Jelle Klaasen (German Darts Championship)
Stephen Bunting (German Darts Masters & European Darts Grand Prix)
Mensur Suljovic (Austrian Darts Open)
Michael Smith (Gibraltar Darts Trophy)
Kevin Painter (European Darts Open)
Andy Hamilton (European Darts Trophy)*
Dean Winstanley European Darts Trophy
*Hamilton had to go through the qualifiers but was made a seed near the start of the event due to withdrawals.