Move over Josh Rock, there is another rising young darts star in town after a teenage prodigy landed a place at a major PDC tournament on his 16th birthday.
Luke Littler has qualified for the UK Open in early March after winning amateur qualifier for the tournament over the weekend. As a result, he could be drawn to face a big-hitters of game like Michael van Gerwen, Gerwyn Price or new world champion Michael Smith.
The tournament, staged at Butlin’s Minehead, is affectionately known as the ‘FA Cup of darts’ as it gives grassroots players the chance to make it via Rileys Amateur Qualifiers.
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Littler won one of those events in Chorlton last weekend on what was literally his first opportunity to qualify as he turned 16 on the day itself. He had to choose his event carefully though, as some Rileys venues do not admit under-18s, before paying his £10 fee to enter.
Despite his age, he will have able to afford it after picking up a cheque £2,000 for winning the Junior World Championship in December. He whitewashed Harry Gregory in the final, which was held on the Alexandra Palace stage during the PDC World Championship.
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After booking his place at Minehead, Littler tweeted: “Wow what a birthday weekend that was qualifying for the @OfficialPDC UK Open on my first attempt. Looking forward to it and the experience.”
Littler is already well known in the darts world following his run to the third round of the Men’s WDF World Championship last year, when he was just 15. His impending appearance at the UK Open is already being eagerly anticipated by fans.
“Luke Littler will definitely be a Main Stage attraction at the UK Open,” said one. Another added: “That’s incredible, Luke Littler qualifying for the UK Open on his 16th birthday.”
A third declared: “Luke Littler qualifying for his first PDC Major on his 16th Birthday… probably will have a Tour Card + PDC World Championship in a year under his belt at this rate…”
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