Germany’s Bunse seals tour card
Germany’s Christian Bunse secured his tour card on Saturday evening in Hildesheim after getting the better of Pavel Jirkal in the final.
23-year-old Bunse – who celebrates his 24th birthday on Sunday – handed himself an early gift in a two-year Pro Tour entry and a spot at the upcoming UK Open.
The German kicked off his campaign in emphatic fashion as he thrashed Marius May 5-1 in the first round before his best performance of the day came, as he averaged 97.8 in a 5-2 win over Karsten Koch. B
unse took a hefty 3-0 lead in his following match, though, he was forced to deny a valiant comeback from Andreas Harrysson The Swedish ace reeled off four consecutive legs to hold a 4-3 advantage, but two below-par legs from Harrysson handed Bunse a 5-4 victory.
Comfortable wins over Hungary’s Patrik Kovacs, Ryan de Vreede and Nico Blum followed as Bunse ensured his place in the semi-finals in Hildesheim. And, was made to work for his money as he overturned a 3-0 semi-finals deficit against Boris Koltsov of Russia, to book his place in the final.
The final was a one-sided affair with Bunse claiming his tour card with a 5-2 success over Pavel Jirkal – who has appeared at the World Cup of Darts for the Czech Republic.
The first two legs went with throw, but three successive legs for Bunse gave him a 4-1 lead and from there, there was seemingly no way back for Czech Republic’s Jirkal – who pulled a leg back in consolation, with a 14-darter, only for Bunse to convert a stunning 100 outshot to win a coveted spot on the PDC Pro Tour.
Despite enduring a defeat in the final, Jirkal, one of 10 Czech players competing at European Qualifying School, stands in good stead for a tour card as he currently sits fourth on the order of merit with one day to go in Germany.
The Prague-based ace defeated both Thursday’s finalist Christian Goedl and Friday’s finalist Madars Razma en route to the final. 35-year-old Jirkal battled back from 2-0 down in a 5-3 victory over Latvia’s Razma.
Jirkal’s compatriot Karel Sedlacek sits in second on the order of merit after another run to the latter stages in Hildesheim while Poland’s Sebastian Steyer was beaten at the same stage at the hands of Niels Heinsøe. Steyer is also at the upper end of the order of merit and will become the third Pole to claim a tour card if he remains in the position following the conclusion of Sunday’s event.
BDO World Youth Champion Justin van Tergouw has left himself with a lot of work to do after another third round exit as Mike De Decker, Marko Kantele and Toon Greebe – the conqueror of Darius Labanauskas – exited at the same stage.
North American Darts Champion Jeff Smith suffered yet another last 256 exit after Thursday’s disappointment while New Zealand’s number one Cody Harris lost in agonising fashion at the hands of Yordi Meeuwisse.
The fourth and final day of European Qualifying School will take place on Sunday from 12pm with one more automatic tour card up for grabs.