McGeeney and Baker triumph in Wigan’s Qualifying School
BDO World Championship participants Mark McGeeney and Baker came through on day two of Wigan’s Qualifying School to secure their two-year tour cards and places at the UK Open.
Following the successes of Jamie Hughes and Harry Ward on Thursday afternoon, McGeeney and Baker will join the pair on the £14m professional circuit after coming through a field of just under 400 in Wigan.
McGeeney – who fell at the final hurdle on Thursday at the hands of 21-year-old Ward – began his day with victories over Dave Prins, Scott Dale, Wigan’s Martin Atkins, Andy Chalmers and Mark Hickney as he made the last 16, before back-to-back wins of a 5-2 scoreline over ‘Superman’ Matt Clark and Jamie Bain put the BDO number one on the brink of a tour card.
The Stockport ace trailed 3-1 in the decider against Carl Wilkinson, but battled back, reeling off four of the next five legs, including a 13-darter in the deciding leg to pick up his PDC tour card.
Scott Baker emulated fellow Tipton man Jamie Hughes in winning his tour card. ‘The Mod’ got off to a flying start on Friday morning as back-to-back whitewashes over Mark Espocito and Ladies World Championship finalist Lorraine Winstanley, and a 107.7 average in seeing off David Adshead put him into the last 64.
Impressive victories against the highly-fancied Barrie Bates and Stephen Burton, followed by successive 5-2 wins over Jon Worsley and Jim Williams put him one game away from a dream debut at Qualifying School.
America’s Danny Lauby underperformed in the decider as he took just the one leg off Tipton’s Baker, as ‘The Mod’ raced to a hefty 5-1 victory to clinch his PDC tour card at first attempt.
Elsewhere, it was yet another difficult day for reigning Lakeside World Champion Glen Durrant who suffered a second successive exit at the last 128 stage, this time at the hands of Vince Tipple, while Lakeside runner-up Scott Waites was dumped out in the second round by Lee Evans.
Three-time World Champion John Part and World Championship international qualifiers Diogo Portela, Chuck Puleo and Royden Lam all emulated Durrant in exiting before the last 64 stage.
Play continues on Saturday morning in Wigan, with a further two automatic tour card up for grabs, and a number of players looking to enhance their chances of being amongst those qualifying through the order of merit.
PDC UK Qualifying School Day Two
Daniel Lauby 5-2 Antony Darlow
Robert Collins 5-4 Patrick Lynskey
Jim Williams 5-1 Adrian Gray
Scott Baker 5-2 Jonathan Worsley
Carl Wilkinson 5-3 Darren Johnson
Callan Rydz 5-1 Curtis Hammond
Jamie Bain 5-4 Matt Padgett
Mark McGeeney 5-2 Matt Clark
Daniel Lauby 5-0 Robert Collins
Scott Baker 5-2 Jim Williams
Carl Wilkinson 5-0 Callan Rydz
Mark McGeeney 5-2 Jamie Bain
Scott Baker 5-1 Daniel Lauby
Mark McGeeney 5-4 Carl Wilkinson