STUART Kellett is closing in on a seventh successive appearance at the Coral UK Open next month after banking £1,000 on the first qualifying weekend.

The Northwich thrower reached the last 32 on Friday, and occupies a position on the Order of Merit that is comfortably inside the 96-player cut-off.

He hopes to secure his spot at Minehead when the preliminaries conclude next weekend.

The 36-year-old recorded wins against Sven Groen (6-2), Callan Rydz (6-3), Ben Ward (6-1) and Terry Jenkins (6-3) at Wigan’s Robin Park Tennis Centre in Qualifier One before Simon Stevenson ended his run with a whitewash.

Kellett was back in action the following afternoon, when he started promisingly again with victories against William O’Connor (6-2) and Alan Tabern (6-5).

However Mervyn King halted his progress.

He was disappointed to lose his first match on Sunday when Spanish World Cup star Antonio Alcinas recorded a 6-2 success.

Kellett has contested the UK Open Finals every season since switching to the professional ranks in 2012, enjoying his best run – when he reached the last 16 – two years ago.

Michael van Gerwen, the world number one, claimed the £10,000 first prize on each of the first two days before Michael Smith emerged as a victor on Sunday.

The St Helens star, beaten by the Dutch ace in the final on Friday, exacted revenge when he won their head-to-head in a quarter-final 48 hours later.

The Coral UK Open qualifiers conclude next weekend with the remaining three events from Friday through to Sunday.

The top 96 players progress to compete in the Coral UK Open Finals at Minehead next month.