For a whole, nail-biting week, Maik Kuivenhoven had to wait and see if he had won a PDC Tour Card.
The Dutchman finished seventh in the Order of Merit at PDC European Q-School in Hildesheim. Kuivenhoven then had to hope that the number of enrollments at the UK Q-School remained under 440.
The number of Tour Cards per Q-School is divided according to the number of registrations. As the UK Q-School was played two weeks later, Kuivenhoven had to wait to learn his fate. On 15 January came the confirmation that the 30-year-old from Naaldwijk has won a PDC Tour Card.
“I really wanted it, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up,” Kuivenhoven said to dartsnews.com in an exclusive interview.
“I was a little nervous when the deadline approached. It’s really fantastic that I succeeded.”
Having a Tour Card was the ultimate goal for the Dutch ace, but it wasn’t a necessity. Even going to Q-School meant Kuivenhoven could compete on the Challenge Tour. But in the end, the Challenge Tour won’t be where he heads.
“Of course I’m very happy obtaining a Tour Card. But it’s just the start. I need to work hard to make my dream come true,” he said.
“This year, I want to give my darts career a boost. By participating in Q-School I assured myself of PDC darts for at least a year. I really wanted to win a Tour Card, but because of the amount of competition I did not expect that right away.”
Exciting final day at Q-School
Kuivenhoven was one of three darters at the European Q-School who managed to collect at least two points each day. After three days his point total stood at eight, so a good result on the Sunday would put a Tour Card within reach.
“There was not too much pressure for the last day. I knew I was close, but I had to show it first,” he explained.
On the final day, he fell at the last 32 stage. Madars Razma sent the Dutchman packing with a 5-4 win. Kuivenhoven feared that the defeat had sealed his fate.
“I was disappointed. If I had won the last leg against Razma, I would have finished fifth at the Q-School Order of Merit. After that match I realized that it was in the balance whether I was going to get a Tour Card,” he admitted.
‘Nice results on Pro Tour’
By obtaining a PDC Tour Card, the Naaldwijk thrower can take part in the UK Open and all Pro Tour tournaments in the next two seasons.
The PDC Pro Tour is a costly, though lucrative endeavour. Kuivenhoven already has his finances in order.
“Before I went to Q-School, I already had a main sponsor. Together with a number of other sponsors, they ensure that I can throw the Pro Tour. I am very happy that they give me this opportunity,” he said.
His spot in one major, the UK Open, is confirmed. But Kuivenhoven doesn’t want it to end there.
“The goal for the coming year is to compete in all tournaments and perform as well as possible,” he added.
“I would like to go for spots on the Euro Tour, and achieve nice results on the Pro Tour.”
Author: Ed McCosh