Lisa Ashton becomes first woman to win PDC Tour card through Q School

By Frank KeoghBBC Sport
Lisa Ashton
Ashton was BDO women's world champion in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018

Lisa Ashton created darts history by becoming the first woman to win a PDC Tour card through Q School at Wigan.

The 49-year-old from Bolton, a four-time women's world champion, beat 13 men in 17 matches over four days.

Victory means she is eligible to enter 30 Players Championship events, each with a top prize of £10,000.

"To come through a field that had 500 men, I couldn't be any happier," said Ashton, who missed out by a point on qualifying last year.

"I want to play in all the tournaments I can. I'm going to have a damned good go at whoever I play. They need to be ready."

Her success comes after Fallon Sherrock became the first woman to beat a man at the PDC World Championship last month.

Sherrock had also tried to win a tour card at Wigan as a record number of 16 women were among more than 500 hopefuls to enter Q School.

But it was Ashton, who came close to being the first female winner of a match at Alexandra Palace 12 months before Sherrock, who qualified through her points tally over four days.

Ashton, runner-up to Japan's Mikuru Suzuki in this year's BDO women's championship last weekend, almost won one of two daily automatic spots on Friday when defeating seven men in succession during the day before losing 5-4 to Hong Kong's Kai Fan Leung in the last four.

She is the first woman to win a Tour Card from Q School, although Stacy Bromberg and Tricia Wright were granted cards in 2011 after reaching the PDC Women's World Championship final in 2010.

Ashton will not have to pay entry fees for tour tournaments, which is worth the equivalent of £4,300 in itself, and she also gains a place at the UK Open in Minehead in March.

Two-time BDO world champion Scott Waites, runner-up Andy Hamilton, dual semi-finalist Wesley Harms and Welshman Nick Kenny were among others to secure tour cards.

Irish teenager Keane Barry, 17, just missed out after losing the final match to Waites but the world youth champion will play on the Challenge Tour and Development Tour.

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