After gaining sponsorship from online darts store ‘Bit of Bully’ before PDC Q School, Ryan Joyce knew he could concentrate fully on his darts and make sure he travelled back to the North East with a 2 year PDC Pro Tour card…..and that he done. Joyce battled through the toughest field that has ever been at Q School with over 450 people entering over the 4 days.
There was much talk about the BDO big boys coming over to gain their card, but all failed in their attempt, which showed everyone the standard that was competing this year.
Joyce got off to a good start on day one winning 3 games and picking up vital points before eventually getting pipped by Cameron Menzies, 5-3 in the fourth round.
Day two proved to be a huge success in his hunt for a card, reaching the last 16 where he was beaten by an inform Nathan Aspinall in a deciding leg. En route to the last 16 he beat Andy Boulton 5-4, who had only recently beaten him at the Newcastle Open in December. He carried on his form by beating fellow North East player Callan Rydz in the board final before his defeat to Aspinall.
With Joyce sitting in a decent position going into day three, he knew he had to keep plugging away to pick up as many points as possible, with only 15 places available after the 8 outright winning places. He was defeated in the second round by an experienced Challenge Tour player, Paul Milford.
This meant everything came down to the last day with a lot of pressure on his shoulders.
The final day began in fine form, winning his first 3 matches moving into the last 64 quite comfortably. Joyce ran into a great player in Darren Layden and whitewashed him 5-0 before pipping another player in fine form, Gary Eastwood 5-4 to pick up the points he needed to gain his card and qualify as one of the 23 qualifiers from a field of over 450 people.
Ryan will kick start his professional career within the next 2 weeks where he will be back down Wigan for the UK Open Qualifiers where he will be joined by a good few North-East players. He will be competing on the Pro Circuit for the next 2 years alongside Chris Dobey and Adam Hunt.
Congrats Ryan and Good Luck.
As well as Ryan, we can’t forget the other North-East boys who put up a massive fight but just missed out at the end. Callan Rydz was unluckily put out via a new rule put in place on leg difference, with him on the same points as Mark Wilson who took the final place.
Phil Borthwick and Dave Prins both showed their class by reaching the last 4 and last 8 throughout the competition.
Not forgetting the other North-East players Carl Hamilton, Simon Tate, Paul Dinning and Adam Shanks who all played well on different days, but unfortunately didn’t get their cards.
Many of the players above can compete in the UK Open Qualifiers and the 2018 PDC Challenge Tour. The rules state this year that those leading the PDC Challenge Tour will gain a PDC Pro Tour spot if there is any drop outs in any of the Players Championships when the entries are completed.