BRANSGORE darts ace Scott Mitchell has missed out on grabbing a card for the lucrative PDC tour.
Speaking to the A&T, the ex-BDO World Champion lamented the result but noted that over the four days of qualifying he was the player with the highest three-dart average.
Adding that he had some “tough draws”, he said: “To finish top of the overall averages over four days, higher than those who did get tour cards, tells me I played well and was a little unfortunate.
“It was a very different playing set-up than in the BDO, so I took a couple of days to settle,” Mitchell added.
He was among 521 players vying for 20 two-year cards at the PDC qualifying school in Wigan over the four days, which finished Sunday.
The matches were best-of-nine legs in a knockout format, with the two finalists on each day awarded cards. The remaining 12 were given to the best from the Order of Merit list, based on results over the course of the school.
On day one, Mitchell was knocked out in the second round by fellow Englishman Jason Wilson, with the score 5-4. Day two yielded similar results, a 5-4 loss to Welshman David Neads, again in the second round.
Mitchell was in better form on the third day, making his way to the fourth round – the final 64 – before losing to Tony Richardson.
He saved his best performance for the day four, making his way to the top 32, before losing to eventual round finalist Scott Waites 5-3. Mitchell had beaten close friend Waites a week earlier in the BDO World Championships, in a quarter-final match which ended at 11.30pm.
Like Mitchell, Waites is a previous BDO World Championship winner, taking the title in 2013 and 2016. He also won the 2011 BDO World Masters and the 2010 PDC Grand Slam, and has career earnings of nearly £670,000.
The pair have now played each other 14 times, with the head-to-head locked at 7-7.
Mitchell was 57th in the Order of Merit, with 38 legs won. By comparison, 12th place – Lisa Ashton, who became the first woman to win a PDC tour card – won 57 legs.
Forty-nine-year-old Mitchell announced his intention to try for a PDC tour card after losing in the semi-final of this year’s BDO World Championships – a competition he won in 2015 – which was beset by poor ticket sales and low attendance, with reduced prize money as a result.