10:09am Monday 20th January 2014
By Andrew Simpson
STUART Kellett, playing as top seed, made safe a place at the calendar year’s opening European Tour events after easing through Sunday’s qualifiers in Wigan.
The Northwich thrower narrowly missed out on automatic entry to the German Championships and the Dutch Masters after finishing 18th on the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) ProTour Order of Merit in 2013, but made up for that with minimum fuss.
He defeated Wayne Dunn (6-1) and Paul Amos (6-2) at Robin Park Tennis Centre to reach the former, which starts at the end of this month in Hildesheim.
The 32-year-old repeated the trick later the same day, this time with back-to-back wins against Darren Johnson (6-2) and James Richardson (6-5), to ensure a place in the first round at the NH Hotel Koningshof in Veldhoven next month.
Kellett, who starts the 2014 campaign ranked inside the PDC’s top 32 for the first time, will make his debut at both £100,000 European Tour events as a result.
Both qualifying competitions at Wigan offered 20 places in each tournament, with the successful UK players due to be joined by eight darters from Europe and four from the host countries in the first round.
The top 16 seeds, led by recently-crowned Ladbrokes World Championships winner Michael van Gerwen, enter at the second stage.
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