Lisa Ashton is the first woman to be eligible to participate in all Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) Pro Tour tournaments for two years. The 49-year-old secured the right to play, which PDC boss Barry Hearn likes to refer to as the “Golden Ticket”, in the so-called “Qualifying School”, where the tour tickets that are released are played out every January.
The four-time winner of the Women’s World Cup is the first woman to have the opportunity to qualify for the PDC World Championship via the Pro Tour. The 49-year-old had already participated in the 2019 World Cup, but secured the starting place for it in a qualification tournament that has been taking place since 2018, in which only women are allowed to participate. Fallon Sherrock made it into the field of participants of the previous World Cup in the same way. She achieved something historic when she was the first woman ever to win a game at the World Cup.
“I’m so happy to finally have my tour ticket,” Ashton said afterwards. “I sat here all day with people trying to figure out if I was qualified. I told them, ‘In the end, tell me, I can’t handle the stress.'”
The 49-year-old had to shake until the last moment. In the end, she was on the twelfth and last place on the tour card in the ranking of those who could not secure a direct tour ticket by attending the final on one of the four days.
Fallon Sherrock was only able to collect two points at the Q-School and was therefore far from winning a tour ticket. The second World Cup participant, Mikuru Suzuki, did not score a single point.
The PDC issues a total of 128 tour tickets, which are valid for two years after receipt. Anyone who is not among the top 64 in the world rankings after the two seasons has passed will lose the tour ticket. For 2020, a total of 31 new game entitlements were played in parallel in Wigan and Hildesheim among more than 850 participants in an open field. With Steffen Siepmann, a German was able to secure a tour ticket in Hildesheim. In addition to Max Hopp, Gabriel Clemens, Martin Schindler and Christian Bunse, Siepmann is the fifth German with a tour ticket.