Krzysztof Ratajski has won his first Pro Tour title, winning the sixth and final UK Open qualifier in Wigan.

The Pole, who does not even hold a Tour Card, beat Daryl Gurney 6-4. It was a superb day for him in Wigan. The likes of Ian White, Corey Cadby and Rob Cross were brushed aside as the Polish Eagle soared to victory. Ratajski got off to the perfect start, breaking throw with an 11-darter. He struck a 174 and a 180 in the opening leg. A much more sedate second leg saw Ratajski hold. A 94 checkout got Gurney on the board, but the World Masters champion held to maintain a two-leg advantage. Superchin was not interested in rolling over, however. A 101 finish kept him within reach.

A 72 checkout kept the Pole in the clear. Gurney piled in a 180 in the seventh leg, but it was too late. Double 10 rounded off a 14-darter to put Ratajski a leg away from glory. The Northern Irishman was staring down the barrel. A timely 180 and an 81 checkout kept him in the game at 5-3 down. Ratajski surrendered a 5-1 lead against Rob Cross in the semi-finals. When he missed three match darts, the game seemed to be heading to the same conclusion. Gurney punished the misses to make it 5-4. A furious Gurney missed the bull for a 161 checkout to force a decider. That allowed the Polish Eagle to strike double 16.

Ratajski becomes just the second player to win a UK Open qualifier without holding a card, after Joe Murnan.


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Author: Edward McCosh