Labanauskas snatches PDC Tour Card

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Darius Labanauskas earned a PDC Tour Card for the first time by winning the final day of 2019 European Qualifying School on Sunday in Hildesheim.

Labanauskas, who famously defeated Raymond van Barneveld last month at the William Hill World Darts Championship, clinched glory in Hildesheim with a final victory over another Dutchman in Vincent Van der Meer.

The Lithuanian joined Niels Zonneveld, Mike Van Duivenbode and Christian Bunse in winning Tour Cards outright with tournament triumphs during the four-day event, which had 249 entries.

Labanauskas’ last chance at securing full-time status on the PDC circuit for the next two years began with early wins against Hendrik Eggermann, Day Three finalist Pavel Jirkal and Germany’s Sebastian Pohl.

He then defeated Portuguese ace Jose De Sousa to reach the last 16, where he defeated Belgian youngster Kenny Neyens 5-3.

A quarter-final whitewash over France’s Thibault Tricole set up a semi-final meeting against Latvian star Madars Razma, which Labanauskas won 5-2 with an average of over 96.

The 42-year-old then sealed his Tour Card by taking out 80 to complete a 5-3 success against Van der Meer.

“It was really difficult because I knew if I lost a game then I wouldn’t get my Tour Card,” said Labanauskas.

“I came into today knowing I needed only to win and I was able to do that. I’m very happy.”

Dutch hopeful Van der Meer enjoyed opening victories against Francesco Raschini, Roxy-James Rodriguez, Wesley Bour and John Michael to reach the quarter-finals.

There, he defeated fellow Dutchman Toon Greebe 5-3 to set up a meeting with another countryman in Yordi Meeuwisse – who he beat by the same the margin.

There was disappointment in the final for Van der Meer but his performances over the four days left him a strong position to secure a Tour Card after finishing fourth on the final Order of Merit.

The Order of Merit was topped by Razma – a Players Championship finalist in 2018 – sealing a Tour Card for the Latvian.

Further PDC Tour Cards will be awarded following the completion of the UK Qualifying School to players from both the UK and European Q School Orders of Merit, on a pro-rata basis in relation to tournament entries.

The UK Qualifying School will be held from January 17-20 at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan. Entries close on Tuesday January 15 at 1400 GMT.

2019 PDC European Qualifying School

Day Four, Sunday January 6

Last 16

Toon Greebe 5-2 Rene Eidams

Vincent Van der Meer 5-3 John Michael

Jyhan Artut 5-3 Lukasz Waclawski

Yordi Meeuwisse 5-0 Marko Kantele

Darius Labanauskas 5-3 Kenny Neyens

Thibault Tricole 5-2 Pauli Finnila

Kevin Munch 5-2 Pascal Wirotius

Madars Razma 5-3 Mareno Michels

 

Quarter-Finals

Vincent Van der Meer 5-3 Toon Greebe

Yordi Meeuwisse 5-2 Jyhan Artut

Darius Labanauskas 5-0 Thibault Tricole

Madars Razma 5-2 Kevin Munch

 

Semi-Finals

Vincent Van der Meer 5-3 Yordi Meeuwisse

Darius Labanauskas 5-2 Madars Razma

 

Final

Darius Labanauskas 5-3 Vincent Van der Meer

 

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