Niels Zonneveld, 20, wins first tour card at PDC European Q-School with 99 average in the final

Niels Zonneveld is the first player to win a tour card at this year’s Q-School after winning through on the opening day at the European Q-School in Germany.

The 20-year-old Dutchman, who won an event on the Development Tour last year, averaged 99 in the final to beat Austria’s Christian Goedl 5-1 at the Halle 39, in Hidesheim.

Zonneveld, who is from Uitgeest, in the Netherlands, won eight games to secure his first tour card onto the main PDC circuit, as he came through a field which included more than 200 players from around the world.

The youngster’s hardest game of the day came in the last 32, when he battled back from 3-0 and 4-1 down to beat Mike De Decker 5-4.

Before then, Zonneveld recorded wins over Stefan Nilles (5-0), Gabriel Florin Olar (5-3) and Patrick van den Boogaard (5-3).

After coming from behind to edge past De Decker, he then claimed a trio of 5-3 wins to beat Sebastian Steyer, Gergely Lakatos and Nico Schlund to reach the final, where he saved his best performance for last.

The Dutch ace won legs in 15, 14, 15, 15 and 12 darts to clinch the win and a two-year tour card onto the PDC circuit for 2019 and 2020.

Zonneveld told the PDC: “It was a good day. In the beginning it was not so good but it got better and after that it went good for me.

“(In the final) It was a comfortable win. I had no moment in my mind when I thought I’m in trouble.

“You already have in your mind that you get a tour card if you win, so that’s difficult.

“I never expected to be ninth on the Development Tour (Order of Merit last year), so I got to Q-School with no expectations.”

2019 PDC European Q-School Day One
Last 16
Nico Schlund 5-1 Niels-Joergen Hansen
Madars Razma 5-4 Darius Labanauskas
Niels Zonneveld 5-3 Sebastian Steyer
Gergely Lakatos 5-3 Michele Turetta
Christian Goedl 5-3 Ricardo Pietreczko
John Michael 5-4 Geert De Vos
Michael Rasztovits 5-0 Petros Christodoulou
Hannes Schnier 5-3 Marko Kantele

Quarter-Finals
Nico Schlund 5-3 Madars Razma
Niels Zonneveld 5-3 Gergely Lakatos
Christian Goedl 5-2 John Michael
Hannes Schnier 5-3 Michael Rasztovits

Semi-Finals
Niels Zonneveld 5-3 Nico Schlund
Christian Goedl 5-4 Hannes Schnier

Final
Niels Zonneveld 5-1 Christian Goedl

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