Fullwell and Hammond among those to secure final BDO World Championship places
Stourbridge’s Nick Fullwell and Australia’s Corrine Hammond were the headline names to secure their places at the 2020 BDO World Championship through the final qualifier at the Grays Civic Hall.
Ben Hazel, Justin Hood and Scott Williams completed an English clean sweep of the last men’s qualification places, with Kirsty Hutchinson grabbing the other ladies spot at next year’s showpiece tournament at the Indigo at the O2 in London.
Fullwell, a former PDC Tour Card holder who only just missed out on direct qualification through both the main rankings table and the British Isles leaderboard, secured his spot with a 2-1 win over Matt Padgett.
‘Hero’, a winner of two BDO ranking events, had beaten Mark Tiller, Marco de Kriej, Mark Grimes, John Scott and Michael Meaney before his triumph over Padgett in the final game of the day.
Fullwell’s victory took the number of prospective male debutants at next year’s World Professional Championships to 18, following the successful runs made by Hazel, Hood and Williams in the other parts of the draw.
Bedfordshire’s Hazel, a quarter-finalist at both the Swedish and Belfry Opens in recent months, came through the bottom portion of the draw by beating Paavo Myller, Gareth Chambers, Dawid Robak and Jesus Noguera before he edged out Allan Edwards 2-1 to secure his debut.
Somerset standout Justin Hood, who was knocked out of the World Masters in the last 32 by eventual winner John O’Shea on Friday, secured his place by recording consecutive wins over pre-event favourite Jeff Smith and Norfolk’s Craig Venman.
The final qualifier, Scott Williams, a regular on the local circuit in Spalding, Lincolnshire, started his day with a win over World Masters quarter-finalist Carl Hamilton and he booked his place at the BDO’s biggest event of the year in style, recording back-to-back 2-0 wins over Wez Newton and Andrew Kateley.
Hammond and Hutchinson entered the ladies qualifier among the favourites after narrowly missing out on direct qualification for the 2020 Worlds through the ranking tables and they more than lived up to that billing with some superb displays during the day.
Australian ace Hammond came through the top half of the draw to qualify, beating World Masters semi-finalist Kasumi Sato and Northern Irish thrower Denise Cassidy on route to her final qualification game, where she edged out Welsh international Rhian Griffiths 3-2.
Hutchinson, meanwhile, was ruthless in her section, dropping just one leg in the five games it took her to qualify, sealing her World Championship debut with a whitewash victory over Germany’s Stefanie Lück.
A winner of three ranking events in 2019, Hutchinson is one of two debutants in the ladies field alongside Beau Greaves and both will be names to keep an eye on in the new year.