Plenty of positives for Brown as he falls just short of Pro Tour card
DERBYSHIRE darts ace Daz Brown fell narrowly short in his bid to win a place on the PDC Pro Tour – but walked away with his head held high.
The 42-year-old, from Ripley, was one of more than 300 hopefuls from around the world to attend the annual PDC Q School in Wigan.
A total of 25 tour cards were up for grabs over the four days of competition – four per day plus nine from an order or merit based on points accumulated during the course of the event.
Brown finished joint 32nd in the order or merit, having won nine matches overall.
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He saved his best until last, reaching the fifth round on the final day – only two wins short of securing a tour card.
"It was a very good experience and I'm more than pleased with how I played," said Brown.
"I won nine games over the four days and on the final day, I was one game away from the chance to get a tour card.
"Although I didn't achieve my ultimate target, I finished above a lot of people.
"If you take away those who got tour cards, I was in the next bunch.
"I enjoyed the experience and I can take a lot out of it.
"I walked away with my head held high."
Brown performed consistently, reaching the third round on day one, the second round on days two and three, and the fifth round on day four.
On the opening day, he beat Dutchman Edwin Max, who went on to earn a tour card.
The following day, the Derbyshire county stalwart was defeated by 16-year-old German "wunderkind" Max Hopp, who recently made his World Championship debut and has been tipped for greatness by the legendary Phil Taylor.
After a relatively early exit on Saturday, Brown bounced back with wins over the likes of Darren Johnson, Aden Kirk and Tomas Seyler before he was edged out by six legs to four against Dylan Duo of Gibraltar.
"It would have been nice to get a tour card outright but I had some fantastic results against some top players," said Brown.
"I gave it a really good push on the Sunday.
"I beat Darren Johnson, who had already got his tour card, as well as Tomas Seyler, from Germany, who has played quite a few TV events.
"I eventually lost to Dylan Duo, who is Gibraltar's number one and part of their World Cup team."
Brown is now targeting a place at this year's UK Open in Bolton, known as the FA Cup of Darts.
He plans to enter the eight qualifying tournaments – the first of which takes place in Crawley over the weekend of February 23-24.
Brown could also get the chance to pit his wits against some of the world's top players in other tour events.
"I've been told that if there is a shortfall in certain events this year, I may get the chance to play in those," he added.
"For example, I could be offered the chance to compete in some of the Players Championship events, if there are spare places available."
PDC Q SCHOOL TOUR CARD WINNNERS: Jyhan Artut, Ricky Evans, Ken MacNeil, Charl Pietersen, Louis Blundell, Daryl Gurney, Jani Haavisto, Ian Walters, Marc Dewsbury, Ronny Huybrechts, Campbell Jackson, Andree Welge, Steve Coote, Royden Lam, Kevin McDine, Joey Palfreyman, Martyn Turner, David Pallett, Dan Russell , Edwin Max, Paul Amos, Ryan De Vreede, Kirk Shepherd, Kevin Dowling, Darren Johnson.