Owen and Burness headline quartet to claim UK Open spots via Rileys Amateur Qualifiers
Robert Owen and Kevin Burness headlined the latest batch of Ladbrokes UK Open qualifiers with Rileys Amateur Qualifiers being held across the country.
Owen, who reached the semi-finals during a snow struck UK Open two years ago, came through 161 entrants in the second Wolverhampton qualifier.
The Welshman was in evidently promising form in the West Midlands, beating the likes of two-time UK Open quarter-finalist Jamie Caven, Daniel Lee and Paul Rowley to book his place in Minehead.
Shrewsbury’s Rowley, 56, has now on two occasions come agonisingly close to clinching a first UK Open appearance since 2009, having been defeated by eventual qualifier Fallon Sherrock earlier this month in Wolverhampton.
Brazil’s Diogo Portela departed in the quarter-finals at the hands of Rowley, while recent Challenge Tour event winner Jitse van der Wal and last year’s Liverpool qualifier Brian Raman exited in the last 16.
Meanwhile, former Tom Kirby Irish Matchplay winner Kevin Burness will make his second successive UK Open appearance after triumphing at Rileys Nottingham.
Former BDO World Championship qualifier Rhys Hayden denied Dan Read to win the South Benfleet qualifier and secure his PDC major debut at Butlin’s Minehead Resort.
Hayden, who was amongst the 800-plus Qualifying School attendees last month, defeated the likes of former UK Open qualifier Darryl Pilgrim, Brian Raman and Jason Askew on his way to the final.
Another debutant qualified in 18-year-old Lewis Williams – who came through the Rileys Sheffield qualifier, beating former PDC tour card holder Peter Hudson in the final.
Hudson defeated Brazil’s Portela in the last four, while Welshman Williams denied the relatively unknown James Waite.
Williams is a product of the Junior Darts Corporation, having in December of 2018 represented Wales at the JDC World Championships in Bristol.
The youngster has also featured at Qualifying School, on the Development Tour and the RedDragon Champion of Champions in August of last year.
The Rileys Amateur Qualifiers conclude on Saturday, with qualifying events held in Greenock, Harlow, London Victoria, Liverpool and Norwich.
Ladbrokes UK Open
Rileys Amateur Qualifiers
Saturday January 25 – London Victoria (Jason Heaver)
Saturday February 1 – Aberdeen (Jamie Clark)
Saturday February 1 – Chester (Adam Huckvale)
Saturday February 1 – Norwich (Kelvin Self)
Saturday February 1 – Wolverhampton (Fallon Sherrock)
Saturday February 8 – Chorlton (Scott Taylor)
Saturday February 8 – Coventry (Adam Smith-Neale)
Saturday February 15 – Nottingham (Kevin Burness)
Saturday February 15 – Sheffield (Lewis Williams)
Saturday February 15 – South Benfleet (Rhys Hayden)
Sunday February 16 – Wolverhampton (Robert Owen)
Saturday February 22 – Greenock
Saturday February 22 – Harlow
Saturday February 22 – Liverpool
Saturday February 22 – Norwich
Saturday February 22 – London Victoria
(Photography: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)