Template - Date: Rodriguez is Junior World Champion

Austrian youngster Rodriguez – the third of four darting brothers from Vienna – came from two legs down as he picked up the title.

The pair had won through the early rounds of the tournament in Bristol two weeks ago, and played out an entertaining contest at Alexandra Palace to contest the title. After falling behind early on, Rodriguez levelled before finishing 80 in two darts for a 3-2 advantage.

Five missed doubles from the Austrian allowed Roelofs to level in leg three, and the next two were shared as the tie went to a decider, which Rodriguez won by landing double ten. The Junior Darts Corporation’s 2017 campaign had seen the six-event Modus UK Tour followed by the European Open before the Junior World Championship rounded off the year’s action.

Rodriguez, 16, made his European Tour debut at the 2017 Austrian Darts Open and also won a PDC Unicorn Development Tour event, and is the younger brother of former Roxy-James and former World Youth Championship finalist Rowby-John – with their youngest sibling, Regi-Jorg, expected to follow the trio onto the circuit in future.

For more information about the JDC, visit www.juniordarts.com or follow @JDCDarts on Twitter.

Template - Date: Coral UK Open Amateur Qualifiers (Rileys)

The Rileys Qualifiers give any amateur player the chance to win a spot alongside the biggest names in the sport at the UK Open Televised Finals, which are held across three days at the Butlins Minehead Resort.

Next year’s knockouts will be held from January 20 through to February 18, with 28 individual events being held which include four where two players will qualify.

The knockouts will be held in Rileys Sports Bars across the country, with Chester, Chorlton, Coventry, Greenock, Liverpool, London Victoria, Norwich, Nottingham, South Benfleet, Twickenham and Wolverhampton all staging two events.

Entry costs £7 per player per event, with the entry fee including a free drink. Entry can be made via www.rileys.co.uk/tournaments, or in person at the Rileys Sports Bars, with entries for each event closing at 5pm on the day before that specific knockout.

Players are permitted to enter more than one tournament. Players must be aged 16 or above to enter, and entry is not open to players who compete in the 2018 PDC Qualifying Schools. Full tourmament rules can be seen at www.rileys.co.uk/tournaments.

Basingstoke’s Paul Hogan was the leading performer from the Rileys Amateur Qualifiers at the 2017 UK Open, defeating Keegan Brown, Jamie Lewis, Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis during his run to the last 16.

2018 Coral UK Open Rileys Amateur Qualifiers

Saturday January 20
Greenock Q1

Sunday January 21
London Victoria Q1 (Two players qualify)

Saturday January 27
Chorlton Q1
Norwich Q1
Nottingham Q1
Twickenham Q1
Wolverhampton Q1 (Two players qualify)

Sunday January 28
Leicester
Liverpool Q1
South Benfleet Q1

Saturday February 3
Chester Q1
Harlow
Sheffield
Worcester

Sunday February 4
Chester Q2
Coventry Q1
Greenock Q2
Solihull

Saturday February 10
Chorlton Q2
Twickenham Q2

Saturday February 17
Aberdeen
Coventry Q2
Liverpool Q2
Norwich Q2
Nottingham Q2

Sunday February 18
London Victoria Q2 (Two players qualify)
South Benfleet Q2
Wolverhampton Q2 (Two players qualify)

Template - Date: No Entry Fee’s Boost for Players

The continued expansion of the PDC circuit this year had seen prize money increased in 2017 for Players Championship and European Tour events, as well as rises for many televised events.

Next year’s progression will see PDC Tour Card Holders and PDPA Associate Members enter ProTour and European Tour events for free.

“This is another significant step towards darts becoming a major global professional sport,” said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn.

“I’m sure that this news will be welcomed by both our Tour Card Holders and the Associate Members who will benefit from the removal of entry fees, which previously cost around £4,000 per year for players.

“This move has been fully supported by the PDPA and gives additional value to players who hold the 128 coveted PDC Tour Cards, guaranteeing them entry to all of the 22 Players Championship events to be held next year.

“All Tour Card Holders and players who compete at the 2018 PDC Qualifying Schools in the UK and Europe will also be eligible to enter for free into the six UK Open Qualifiers and for all 13 European Tour events.

“With Qualifying School expanding to two locations, this has already increased the opportunities for players to secure their PDC Tour Card – the ‘golden ticket’ to becoming a superstar in darts!”

Players will still register to enter tournaments in advance ahead of an entry deadline, and withdrawals may still incur a DRA referral. PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour and PDC Unicorn Development Tour events will continue to have entry fees, as will European Tour Qualifying Events for players who are not a PDPA Member.

Entries for the 2018 PDC Qualifying School are now available – click here for further details.

Template - Date: Brooks is European Junior Champion

JDC Junior Bradley Brookes beat Jarred Cole in a nail biting European Championship Final 6-5 to lift the trophy and the title of European Junior Champion. As Kelly, Cole and Kay win the PDPA Scholarships for 2018

Brookes also qualifies for the 2018 PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship last 64 as well as the top prize of £1,500 in the £3,000 event from Action Indoor Sports Arena in Bristol on Saturday.

Saturday’s JDC European Open saw 57 players from eight countries competing, with Blackburn’s Brooks eventually taking the title. Brooks overcame James Beeton – the winner of the year’s opening JDC Modus UK Tour event – in the last 16, then whitewashed Jake Neale in the quarter-finals.

He overcame JDC UK Tour Event Four winner Alfie Jacques 6-4 in the semi-finals and then claimed the title in a tight final against Jarred Cole – the winner of three JDC events this year to top the JDC rankings – 6-5.

Cole took the first leg to lead, but brooks hit 2 maximums to level at 1-1. The encounter was a close affair with never more than 1 leg between them, before Brooks took the final leg.

www.juniordarts.com

Last 16
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 6-0 Erik Meyers
Wessel Nijman 6-2 William Byrne
Jarred Cole 6-1 Jack Seymour
Jakob Kelly ENG 6-4 Owen Roelofs
Keelan Kay 6-2 Levy Frauenfelder
Alfie Jacques 6-2 Paul Gray
Bradley Brooks 6-4 James Beeton
Jake Neale 6-3 Henry Coates

Quarter-Finals
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 6-3 Wessel Nijman
Jarred Cole 6-1 Jakob Kelly
Alfie Jacques 6-3 Keelan Kay
Bradley Brooks 6-0 Jake Neale

Semi-Finals
Jarred Cole 6-3 Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
Bradley Brooks 6-4 Alfie Jacques

Final
Bradley Brooks 6-5 Jarred Cole

PDPA/JDC Scholarships

Jakob Kelly, Jarred Cole and Keelan Kay have secured PDPA Scholarships for 2018 following the JDC’s season. The Scholarships give all 3 players the chance to play on the PDC Unicorn Development Tour in all events for the 2018 season.

Template - Date: ‘JDC’ Junior World Championship

Austrian Rodriguez and Roelofs will contest the Junior Darts Corporation’s World Junior Darts Championship final at Alexandra Palace in a few weeks time during the William Hill World Darts Championship after coming through the group stages and the knockout stages up until the final over at the Junior Darts Corporation headquarters over in Bristol.

Rodriguez overcame the man-of-the-moment within the JDC in Jarred Cole as he topped the Modus UK Tour order of merit and reached all five finals in which he competed in. Rodriguez was always in command of that Semi-Final as he opened up a 2-0 lead over the Hertfordshire ace. Cole showed great resilience to stick with the Austrian. He twice pulled the game back (2-1 and 3-2).

 

But the moments of brilliance that Cole produced to pull the scoreline back were matched or bettered by the talented Austrian. Rodriguez fired in a 15-dart leg to move 3-1 ahead and within two legs of Alexandra Palace only for Cole to come straight back with a 13-darter to pull things back to 3-2. With the finishing line in sight, Rodriguez won two legs on the spin and despite Cole firing in a couple of maximums in those final legs the Austrian showed superb resolve to book his place in the Grand Final.

The other Semi-Finals was contested by the two young Dutch-stars in Owen Roelofs and Daan Bastiaansen and, It didn’t disappoint… the pair were neck-and-neck from start to finish in what was a thrilling exchange from the two young hopefuls. Every leg went with the throw as the pair looked for a missed key opportunity to break, but both players showed ultra-composure under pressure as the match went to a ninth and deciding leg.

Bastiaansen looked like his luck was in as Roelofs failed to find his range on the treble 20, however a maximum from Roelofs swung the momentum back into his direction as he confidently booked his place in the Grand Final at Alexandra Palace.