The name Andy Hamilton is well known to darts fans.

The Hammer is a three-time major runner-up. Hamilton, one of Stoke-on-Trent’s finest, lost to fellow Stokie Adrian Lewis in the 2012 World Championship final. Phil Taylor, another Staffordshire export, beat Hamilton in the final of the 2007 Grand Slam and the 2013 UK Open. The 50-year-old is now booked in for a return to the ‘FA Cup of Darts’. He may have lost his Tour Card at the end of 2017. But, after playing exhibitions in Australia with Taylor, Hamilton entered the Riley’s qualifier in Worcester. The Hammer took full advantage of his amateur status, winning the Saturday tournament.

Alex Roy, who continued a remarkable streak, was another Riley’s winner. The 2005 and 2006 quarter-finalist battled through a tough field in Harlow to win. Dan Read and Dave Parletti were among those that featured, but the contractor from Watford won through. It means he has still qualified for every single UK Open. There are still plenty more amateur spots to be decided. 96 more players will enter through the UK Open Order of Merit.


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Author: Edward McCosh