Burnett seals World Championship return | Durrant: I’m no longer a pro player

Former Lakeside champion Richie Burnett will make his first appearance since 2014 after qualifying; Glen Durrant tweeted he is ‘no longer a pro player’ after losing in Barnsley; watch the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship live on Sky Sports from December 15 to January 3

Last Updated: 28/11/22 5:37pm

Richie Burnett has qualified for the PDC World Championship for the first time since 2014 (PDC)
Richie Burnett has qualified for the PDC World Championship for the first time since 2014 (PDC)

Richie Burnett, Ryan Joyce and Jeff Smith claimed the last three places in the 2022/23 Cazoo World Darts Championship at the Tour Card Holder Qualifier.

Monday’s qualifier at the Barnsley Metrodome offered a last chance for PDC Tour Card Holders to book their place at Alexandra Palace for the sport’s showpiece event, which will take place from December 15 to January 3.

Former Lakeside champion Burnett will make his first World Championship appearance since 2014 after defeating David Evans 7-3 in their decisive board final.

However, a number of high-profile names suffered defeat in Monday’s qualifier, including former World Cup winner John Henderson, 2020 Premier League champion Glen Durrant and Ian White – a winner of 13 PDC ranking titles.

Durrant, a three-time Lakeside world champion and winner of Premier League Darts in 2020, subsequently took to social media to announce his intention to step away from the professional game next year with the aim of returning to Q School in 2024.

“Well that’s it I’m no longer a professional dart player,” Durrant wrote on Twitter. “Part relief part incredible disappointment…New chapter in my life starts today.

“I’ve not retired, just no longer a pro player; 2023 is a year of new adventures and finding that winning feeling again.

“Watch me smash QSchool 2024. You’ve been warned!”

Former Lakeside Championship winners Scott Waites and Scott Mitchell also failed to qualify, alongside 2018 World Matchplay semi-finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan and South African star Devon Petersen.

Burnett, who was also a World Matchplay runner-up in 2001, kicked off his campaign with wins over former World Youth champion Bradley Brooks and Northern Ireland’s Kevin Burness.

The 55-year-old Welshman then produced the performance of the day in his 6-3 success against Brian Raman, posting a sensational 110 average to prevail in a high-quality encounter.

Ryan Joyce will make his fifth-consecutive appearance at the PDC World Championship (PDC)
Ryan Joyce will make his fifth-consecutive appearance at the PDC World Championship (PDC)

Elsewhere, former World Championship quarter-finalist Joyce will make his fifth-consecutive Alexandra Palace appearance after easing past Jamie Clark 7-3.

Joyce also saw off Max Hopp, Gordon Mathers and Rusty-Jake Rodriguez en route to qualification, defying a ton-plus average from the Austrian in round two.

Canadian player Smith completed the 96-player field for next month’s event, courtesy of a comprehensive 7-1 victory against Nick Fullwell in their decider.

Smith whitewashed Darren Webster and edged out Jack Main and Steve Lennon in deciding-leg tussles, securing a place in his fifth World Championship and preserving his hopes of retaining his PDC Tour Card.

Jeff Smith came through qualifying to book his place at Alexandra Palace (PDC)
Jeff Smith came through qualifying to book his place at Alexandra Palace (PDC)

Three spots were available at the qualifier after Josh Rock – a ProTour Order of Merit qualifier – won Sunday’s Winmau World Youth Championship final, averaging 104 in his 6-1 success against Nathan Girvan.

Meanwhile, Burness landed a nine-darter in his opening round win over Andy Boulton, only to succumb to Burnett in the last 24.

The draw for the World Darts Championship will be made from 6.25pm on Monday, live on Sky Sports News in the UK.

Watch the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship live on Sky Sports from December 15 to January 3.

Source : Sky Sports