Kevin McDine capped regaining his place on the PDC ProTour with a nine-dart finish on the final day of the Qualifying School in Wigan on Sunday, having had the same done to him earlier in event.
The Irthlingborough player lost his tour card at the end of last season after finishing outside of the top 64 on the Order of Merit and was forced to battle it out with 310 other hopefuls to regain his place amongst the elite.
Thursday saw Charl Pietersen hit a nine-darter against McDine in their decider, but the 27-year-old became the third man to achieve a perfect finish at this year’s Q-School in his encounter with Martyn Turner.
“I’m over the moon,” said McDine. “The standard has gone so high in the last few years and that’s shown by the number of nine-darters you’re seeing.
“It didn’t happen that often when I started playing back in 2006 but everyone’s so dedicated now that you’re getting them in pretty much every event, and it’s great that I’ve hit one too.
“I’ve had ten or 15 attempts at a nine-darter before on the circuit and missed out, but this time it went straight in and that’s brilliant - to have one hit against me and then to hit one in the space of a couple of days is pretty rare.
“I expected to get through on the first day but Charl was unreal in our final, his nine-darter was great and I was pleased for him.”
Sunday saw McDine defeat Joshua Carter, Matthew Dennant, Ryan Harrington and 2008 World Championship finalist Kirk Shepherd as he earned his place on the 2013 tour at the fourth and final attempt.
The former Grand Slam of Darts semi-finalist is pleased to have ensured his place on the PDC Tour after finding it tough going in recent seasons, and can now look forward to the first events of the year in Crawley at the end of February.
“I’ve had a bit of a struggle for the last couple of years but I’m feeling confident and ready to play again now,” McDine said.
“After the World Championship Qualifiers I had a bit of a break and since I started practising again I’ve been a different player - I’ve had my head right, I’ve picked up a new sponsor and am using some new darts and it’s a new start for me.
“I felt confident all day today though, and I’m really glad to have won my Tour Card. I’ve played quite steady in every game and when I needed to, I found another gear.”