Royden Lam wins back tour card, as Langendorf, North and Edhouse secure professional status at Q-School

By Darts Weekly Staff
20 JANUARY 2017 •9:26PM

Royden Lam won back his PDC Tour Card on day two of the 2017 PDC Qualifying School, as Maik Langendorf, Richard North and Ritchie Edhouse also secured professional status.

Hong Kong’s Lam had previously won a tour card in 2013, and ensured his return to the PDC Pro Tour in 2017 by winning through a field of 423 players on the second of four days of play in Wigan.

Lam began in ominous form with three successive whitewashes as he defeated Scott Darbyshire, Jason Lowe and Sam Hamilton, and he then defeated Jason Wilson, Scott Taylor, Peter Jacques and Jose Sousa for the loss of only eight legs as he sealed his tour card.

The 41-year-old previously qualified for the 2013 UK Open and 2014 World Championship, and has also played three times for Hong Kong in the World Cup of Darts, reaching the quarter-finals alongside Scott MacKenzie in 2015.

“This is my second time in Q-School and I’m very happy,” said Lam. “In the future I’ll be trying my best.

“I’ll be playing in tournaments in Asia too but trying to get back here to play. I enjoy playing against the top players and I’m happy that I can keep doing that.”

Another player with World Cup of Darts experience, Austrian-born Maik Langendorf, secured his tour card for the first time with a narrow 5-4 win over Latvia’s Madars Razma in their decisive final match on Friday.

Langendorf also defeated Germany’s Marko Puls, Gibraltar’s Dylan Duo, English pair Mark Lawrence and Alan Tabern, Dutchman Willy van de Wiel and Ireland’s Steve Lennon in a cosmopolitan route to his tour card.

“I played very well today and I’m very happy,” said Langendorf, who is based in Hamlin, Germany. “Yesterday I played well but lost in my second game, and today I had no easy games.

“My wife encouraged me to come to Q-School and I thought I’d have a try to see where I am in the game, and enjoy the weekend with my German friends, but things went really well.

“I can make a plan for the season now and the next thing for me is the UK Open Qualifiers.”

Enfield’s Ritchie Edhouse, a 33-year-old carpet fitter, bounced back from his defeat to Lee Bryant in their decider on Thursday to secure his tour card 24 hours later.

A qualifier for the UK Open and three European Tour events last year, Edhouse overcame Ian Hurley, Barrie Bates, Scott Dale, Eddie White, Michael Rasztovits and Craig Gilchrist before defeating Northern Ireland’s Mickey Mansell 5-3 in their decider.

“It’s the best thing I’ve done in darts – I didn’t think I’d do it,” admitted Edhouse. “After yesterday I wasn’t sure how I’d get on today but after a couple of games I knew I was playing really well and I thought that this might be it.

“It’s gruelling – my legs were aching yesterday, let alone today, and it’s hard, but I got more relaxed the further I got because I knew I was picking up the ranking points.

“I’ll be practising as much as I can now and I’d like to try and get in the World Championship now – everyone wants to get into the World Championship and I lost out in the last game to Mark Frost in November, so that’s my target now.”

Romsey-based bricklayer Richard North was the day’s other tour card winner, following up his qualification for the 2011 UK Open as an amateur and three previous Qualifying School appearances by securing his spot on the PDC Pro Tour this year.

The 26-year-old defeated Stephen Butkeraitis, Mark Devon, Arjan Konterman, Mark Wilson, Steve Hine and Antonio Alcinas before edging out Scotland’s Jamie Bain 5-4 in their decisive clash.

“I was confident I’d get a tour card this weekend, but I didn’t think I’d win it outright, I just thought I’d rack up enough points to get one,” said North. “It’s long day but today I was on form all day and I don’t think I played one bad game.

“Yesterday I thought I threw it away – I lost 5-4 to Prakash Jiwa and he won his tour card, and I’d played brilliantly up until that point. I had a couple of close games today, especially against Steve Hine, who’s been on the tour for years.

“My ambition now is to win some games against top professionals on the tour, but if I’m honest I want to be in the world’s top 32 within two years. I don’t know if that’s going to happen but I think I’m capable.

“I’ve been practising with Simon Whitlock. I’d beaten him a few times in some local tournaments in Hampshire, and he said to me that I was good enough to play against the best in the world. I think on my day I could beat anyone.”

Saturday sees the third of four days of play held in Wigan, where a further four two-year PDC tour cards will be secured.

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