Bedlington’s Chris Dobey qualified for this year’s UK Open after competing in six qualifying events to reach the third round in Minehead.
The world number 41 confirmed his place at Minehead after reaching the last 16 in the UK Open Qualifier 2, along with a quarter-final defeat to two-time World Champion Gary Anderson in the UK Open Qualifier 4.
After pocketing £3,500 in prize money over the course of the six qualifying events held in Wigan, he finished 28th overall on the UK Open Order of Merit list.
This was enough to take Dobey straight into the third round along with the top 32 ranked players, which included former World champions Raymond van Barneveld, Adrian Lewis and the defending UK Open and World Champion Michael van Gerwen.
Dobey was pleased with his performances in qualifying and reaching the third round of the UK Open for the first time in his darts career. He said: “I am happy with the way I played.
“I played five out of the six events so I can’t grumble as the practice has paid off and I have continued from where I left off last year so I’m delighted with that.
The UK Open has had many notable shocks over the years, with the tournament, held at Bultin’s Minehead Resort, being dubbed the ‘FA Cup’ of darts.
Dobey added: “I can’t wait for the UK Open to start, especially going straight into the third round. However, I have got to concentrate on the first two Players Championships, the week before the UK Open, so fingers crossed that it all goes to plan.”