Darts Sport

PDC World Darts Championship: Five players to watch out for ahead of last-chance qualifier

It’s just two weeks until one of the biggest events on the sporting calendar, as 96 players descend on Alexandra Palace to compete for the PDC World Championship title.

Almost all of those players are confirmed, with today’s PDPA Qualifier providing the last chance to make it to the festival of darts from Wednesday, 15 December to Monday, 3 January.

Of all 128 PDC Tour Card holders, 59 are eligible to play in Barnsley, but due to travel restrictions, not all will attend.

Three spots are available in the tournament, so players will have to win four or five games to make it to the North London spectacular.

We look at five players to follow in this afternoon’s qualifier.

John Henderson

It’s been a rollercoaster few months for Huntly’s Henderson, who sensationally helped Scotland to a second World Cup title in September, but a run of poor results elsewhere on the tour has left his professional status in doubt.

Only the top 64 at the end of the campaign will earn a place on tour for next season, and with Henderson currently missing out on the £7,500 first-round prize money for the World Championship, results going against him could be disastrous.

‘The Highlander’ has appeared at the season-ending bonanza in each of the last eight years, making the last 16 in 2018.

Jelle Klaasen

Former world champion Klaasen is in an even more precarious position, currently sitting 74th in the provisional post-World Championship rankings.

He did receive a slight boost last week, gaining late entry to the Players Championship Finals after Jamie Hughes withdrew, but couldn’t make the most of the opportunity.

‘The Cobra’ put in a disappointing display to lose to Vincent van der Voort in the first round, leaving this qualifier as his only chance to prolong the possibility of avoiding a trip to Q School in January.

Matthew Edgar

Edgar is perhaps best known for his YouTube channel ‘Edgar TV’, where he documents his experiences on the tour for more than 25,000 subscribers.

He often says that the support from those followers helps his performances on the oche, but it hasn’t helped him do enough to qualify for the World Championship automatically this year.

‘Primetime’ has an enviable record in this qualifier, making it through on both occasions, which has been enough to keep him on tour, and he will need to do so again to remain a PDC professional.

Scott Waites

Waites is another former BDO world champion, lifting the trophy at Lakeside in both 2013 and 2016.

He switched over to the PDC at the start of 2020 and has enjoyed some success, the highlight being a thrilling victory over Matt Campbell in last year’s World Championship.

‘Scotty Too Hotty’ hasn’t been able to play in every event this year, which has harmed his chances, and when he has played, just one run to a last 16 means his Alexandra Palace hopes hang by a thread.

Keegan Brown

Brown is another player who has become accustomed to the December pilgrimage to London, doing so in six of the last seven seasons.

However, just one quarter-final this season means that record is in doubt, with the former world youth champion also failing to qualify for the Players Championship Finals for the first time since 2014.

The man from the Isle of Wight should be safe in terms of his Tour Card after a more fruitful 2020, but it’s still a big day for him.

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