Oxfordshire player Jon Jukes has moved a step closer to a dream game against Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, after beating hundreds of amateurs to qualify for the televised tournament.
Jukes, 27, stepped up to the oche at a nationwide qualifying event for the Speedy Services UK Open in Newton Road, Brighton, and won through to the Reebok Stadium in June.
He could now play the one of the sport’s top stars live on television in the tournament known as the FA Cup of darts.
The Headington hot-shot, who plays for the Three Tuns, joined hundreds of other hopefuls with 15 darts at the board, hoping to score enough points to put him in a one-off 701 leg to qualify.
Not only did he score enough, he chalked up 580 points – a record for a Speedy Services qualifier.
He said: “I can’t tell you how nervous I was. I’ve played since the age of eight, so I do love my darts.
“To qualify for the UK Open is a dream come true.
“I really can’t wait to be on the biggest stage now. If I could draw a top-32 player I would be thrilled to bits.”
Former world champion Mark Webster said: “Jon was brilliant and easily the best player we saw all day.
“You could see what it meant to him and it was great to see his face when he hit the winning double.
“If he keeps playing like that, then I’ll do well to avoid him in the first round myself.”
Speedy’s group marketing director Steve McIntyre said: “We don’t want to tempt fate, but Jon might just cause an upset in Bolton.”