Stockton thrower Ted Evetts joined a record field in the 2018 PDC Qualifying Schools, with over 600 players competing for PDC Tour Cards in Wigan and Hildesheim.
A total of 33 PDC Tour Cards will be on offer across the two Qualifying Schools, with simultaneous events being held in the UK and Germany this year to reflect the ongoing growth of the sport.
Evetts narrowly missed out on automatically getting his tour card after starting the year 66th on the PDC Order of Merit.
The top 64 automatically get one-year cards, which following Phil Taylor’s retirement extended to Martin Schindler in 65th.
Qualifying got under way today with the final two players at the UK Qualifying School on each of the four days winning an automatic PDC Tour Card, alongside the winner of the European Qualifying School on each day.
In addition, players will earn ranking points per victory in each full round of the event (which does not include byes), which will be used to form the Q School Orders of Merit.
The entries for the UK Qualifying School include former World Matchplay and World Grand Prix champion Colin Lloyd, the former world number one who is bidding to make his return to the circuit following a two-year break.
Fellow former World Matchplay winner Peter Evison and former TV finalists Wes Newton, Colin Osborne, Barrie Bates and Shayne Burgess will also be in action in Wigan alongside former Lakeside Championship finalists Tony O’Shea and Jeff Smith.
The action got under way at noon, with Evetts facing Bates in his opening match.