Monk's Joy With Youth Tour Triumph
ARRON MONK won a place in the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts with a 4-1 victory over Chris Aubrey in Saturday's PDC Unicorn Youth Tour event in Crawley, ensuring he will top this year's Order of Merit.
The 22-year-old from Basingstoke picked up his fifth victory of the season on the Youth Tour, taking the £500 first prize by winning through the 84-player field at the K2 Centre.
Monk had gone into this weekend's final two events just £50 clear of Michael Smith in the Youth Tour Order of Merit, but knew that a win in Saturday's event would give him an unassailable lead.
Smith lost 4-0 in the second round of the event to Adam Hunt, who went on to reach the semi-finals before losing out in a deciding leg to Monk, who hit a 12-darter to win through to the final.
Monk had also defeated Scott Pearson, Cain Unwin, Ryan Harrington, Jake Patchett and Matthew Dicken before seeing off Swindon's Aubrey in the decider.
Monk took out tops to win the final's first two legs before double eight moved him three legs clear.
Aubrey hit back to win the fourth leg on double eight, but Monk was first to a finish in the next and landed double two to seal a precious win, which ensures not only Grand Slam qualification but a place in the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship should he slip out of his current position within the ProTour Order of Merit qualifiers.
"It feels amazing," said Monk. "It's been a great year on the Youth Tour and at one stage I was quite a way ahead of Michael Smith but then he won £1,200 in Wigan and caught me right up.
"Luckily enough I've done this business this weekend and it would be a great bonus to win tomorrow's event too.
"Michael van Gerwen has said that his success on the Youth Tour last year helped his confidence and it's brought my confidence along as well this year."
Monk added: "Thanks to the PDC Unicorn Youth Tour, I've now qualified for the Grand Slam of Darts and made sure of my World Championship place, so I've got a good couple of months ahead of me.
"The Grand Slam's taught me a lot in the last two years because it's a short format and I need to start off well this time. In the last two years I've not done that, but this could be my year."
Aubrey was denied his second Youth Tour win of the year, but came through some tight contests on the day, notably with a 4-3 win over Jamie Lewis in the quarter-finals before edging out Samuel Head by the same scoreline in the semis.
Sunday will see the year's final £3,000 PDC Unicorn Youth Tour event held in Crawley.
The final top 32 from the Order of Merit will then qualify automatically to compete in the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship next Spring, where they would be joined by 32 other qualifiers from the UK and around the world .
PDC Unicorn Youth Tour Event 19
Jamie Lewis 4-1 Steve Haggerty
Shane Friedlander 4-1 Dana Verhaegen
Martin Walker 4-1 Dan Read
Curtis Hammond 4-1 Kirsty Haw
Ricky De Vos 4-1 John Seagrave
Adam Smith-Neale 4-3 Jack Hill
Sam Hill 4-2 Brandon Walsh
Aden Kirk 4-1 Connor Hurry
Aaron Bateman 4-1 Darren Whittingham
Ben Songhurst 4-2 Jamie Landon
Josh Jones 4-0 Oliver Stell
James Hubbard 4-0 George Killington
Michael Smith 4-0 Robert Marsden
Lewis Venes 4-1 Mike Nissen
Ryan De Vreede 4-2 Jack Morris
Kurt Parry 4-0 Dan Cross
Michael Blake 4-1 Josh McCarthy
Joshua Richardson 4-1 Daniel Cooper
Arron Monk 4-0 Scott Pearson
Nicholas Day 4-0 Joshua Head
Kristian Wharton 4-2 Gavin Howard
Jamie Lewis 4-1 Shane Friedlander
Brandonn Monk 4-0 James Young
Martin Walker 4-2 Peter Browning
Gino Vos 4-1 Ricky Evans
Curtis Hammond 4-0 John De Kruijf
Chris Aubrey 4-0 Daniel Goldsmith
Sean Ryan 4-1 Ricky De Vos
Matthew Dennant 4-2 Jack Tweddell
Sam Hill 4-1 Adam Smith-Neale
Reece Robinson 4-3 Wouter Vaes
Samuel Head 4-2 Aden Kirk
Jake Jones 4-1 Josh Pinder
Aaron Bateman 4-3 Lewis Oliver
Shaun Griffiths 4-1 Curtis Bagley
Arron Fairweather 4-3 Ben Songhurst
Joe Davis 4-2 Lee Whitworth
James Hubbard 4-2 Josh Jones
Rainer Hofweber 4-1 Karl Brooks
Adam Hunt 4-0 Michael Smith
Kevin Wensink 4-2 Andrew Clark
Ryan Maher 4-3 Lewis Venes
Samuel Poland 4-2 Luke Purcell
Paddy Meaney 4-2 Ryan De Vreede
Martin Heneghan 4-1 Liam Showell
Kurt Parry 4-2 Michael Blake
Matthew Dicken 4-1 James O'Connor
Ryan Sullivan 4-2 Joshua Richardson
Ryan Harrington 4-2 Sam Davidson
Arron Monk 4-3 Cain Unwin
Jake Patchett 4-0 Adam Hart
Bradley Hatch 4-1 Nicholas Day
Jamie Lewis 4-0 Kristian Wharton
Brandonn Monk 4-3 Martin Walker
Curtis Hammond 4-3 Gino Vos
Chris Aubrey 4-3 Sean Ryan
Sam Hill 4-1 Matthew Dennant
Samuel Head 4-2 Reece Robinson
Jake Jones 4-1 Aaron Bateman
Shaun Griffiths 4-3 Arron Fairweather
James Hubbard 4-3 Joe Davis
Adam Hunt 4-0 Rainer Hofweber
Ryan Maher 4-1 Kevin Wensink
Paddy Meaney 4-3 Samuel Poland
Kurt Parry 4-1 Martin Heneghan
Matthew Dicken 4-1 Ryan Sullivan
Arron Monk 4-1 Ryan Harrington
Jake Patchett 4-2 Bradley Hatch
Jamie Lewis 4-1 Brandonn Monk
Chris Aubrey 4-2 Curtis Hammond
Samuel Head 4-3 Sam Hill
Jake Jones 4-1 Shaun Griffiths
Adam Hunt 4-0 James Hubbard
Paddy Meaney 4-3 Ryan Maher
Matthew Dicken 4-0 Kurt Parry
Arron Monk 4-1 Jake Patchett
Chris Aubrey 4-3 Jamie Lewis
Samuel Head 4-1 Jake Jones
Adam Hunt 4-2 Paddy Meaney
Arron Monk 4-3 Matthew Dicken
Chris Aubrey 4-3 Samuel Head
Arron Monk 4-3 Adam Hunt
Arron Monk 4-1 Chris Aubrey