TONY WEST, Darren Whittingham, Richie Howson and Andrew Cornwall were the first winners of Tour Cards as over 200 players took part in the opening day of the PDC's Qualifying School.

West, the 2003 World Masters champion, will join the PDC circuit full-time after taking victory over Isle of Wight youngster Keegan Brown in their deciding game at the Barnsley Metrodome on Thursday.

West had also defeated Stuart White, Danny Summers, Chris Mason, Tony Wood and Liam Kelly in Barnsley, and saved one of his best performances for the decisive clash with Brown, which he won 6-4.

The 39-year-old, who was born in Essex but is now based in Oosterhout, Holland, recently competed in the Lakeside Championship but follows Ted Hankey in moving onto the PDC circuit.

"I'm over the moon," said West. "It's been an amazing couple of weeks for me because I lost my darts before playing at Lakeside and I've not been able to settle with a set since then.

"I chopped and changed a bit during the day with using different flights but I've managed to get through.

"This is only the first step for me though and it's a new start in my career. I can play in all the events on the PDC circuit now and I want to make an impression."

West was the most experienced of the four Tour Card winners on Thursday, with 20-year-old Whittingham, a warehouse operative from Market Drayton, the youngest to qualify.

Whittingham has some experience on both the full PDC ProTour and also the PDC Unicorn Youth Tour from recent years, but a 6-4 win over Northamptonshire's Matthew Edgar means he can compete full-time as a professional.

"I'm lost for words," said Whittingham, who also defeated Wayne Pepper, Paul Davison, James Young, recent World Championship qualifier Kurt Van De Rijck and Nigel Birch on Thursday.

"I've put in a lot of hard work in the past few years and this means a lot to me.

"Winning a Tour Card takes the pressure off you because you're guaranteed a place in all the ProTour events, so it's a massive chance for me to get experience and hopefully establish myself.

"I can still play on the Youth Tour too but my goal now is to qualify for the World Championship next December."

Howson, a cabinet maker from Essex who reached the third round of the UK Open last June as an Amateur Qualifier, will now turn professional after defeating Holland's Mareno Michels 6-2 in his decisive game.

Howson impressed throughout the day, defeating Chris Dale, Colin Monk, Terry Rose, Gino Vos and Nick Fullwell before seeing off Dutch youngster Michels to win his Tour Card.

"The UK Open was a great experience for me and it made me want to come and play in the PDC," said Howson, 46. "I wasn't expecting to qualify on the first day but I played well and everything came together for me.

"I can't believe it - it's awesome and I'm really looking forward to the next couple of years."

Blackburn's Andrew Cornwall was the other Tour Card winner as he enjoyed a brilliant debut in a PDC event.

The 40-year-old, who was born in Blackpool and owns an LED company in Blackburn, took out finishes of 156 and 120 in defeating Canada's Jeff Smith 6-3 in his final game of the day, which followed wins over Gareth Cousins, Michael Peel, Jamie Atkins, South Africa's Yoshan Roxy Iyer and Southport's Andrew Johnson.

"This is amazing for me," said Cornwall. "I've only been playing for three years or so but I did quite well last year and wanted to give the PDC Qualifying School a try.

"To get through is fantastic and hopefully I can have a good go at proving myself on the professional tour now. It's going to be hard running my company and playing on the circuit, but hopefully I can pick up a couple of sponsors and give it my best shot."

There was disappointment on the first of four days for 2011 Lakeside Championship finalist Dean Winstanley, who was defeated 6-5 in the second round by Pat Pace, who took out an 11-darter to win the deciding leg of their contest.

John Bowles, who reached the last 16 at the 2011 UK Open, knocked out former Las Vegas Desert Classic winner Peter Manley and Andy Jenkins before losing to Andrew Johnson in the fourth round, while 1996 World Matchplay winner Peter Evison was knocked out in the second round by Tony Tasker.

Former Lakeside Champion Les Wallace was defeated by Murnan in the second round, while 2004 winner Andy Fordham pulled out during his first game with a back injury, but hopes to be able to compete in the remaining days.

Play continues on Friday, when the remaining players return to compete in day two of four at the Barnsley Metrodome, with four Tour Cards to be awarded and further ranking points on offer.

Qualifying School - Day One
First Round

Dirk van Duijvenbode Bye
Joe Thompson Bye
Darrell Claydon Bye
Dylan Duo 6-2 Karl Forrington
Darren Johnson 6-0 Jim McKevitt
Darren Latham 6-1 Wayne Morgan
Philip Wathen 6-4 Andrew Humphrey
Lee Whitworth 6-3 Shaun Narain
Scott Coleman Bye
Chris Clements Bye
Mareno Michels Bye
James Thompson 6-1 Enrico Fraccara
Stuart Kellett 6-0 Josh Jones
Craig Pope 6-3 David Kelly
Dave Smith 6-3 Ryan Harrington
Ian Lever 6-2 Lee Saville
Steven Degville Bye
Terry Rose Bye
Colin Monk Bye
Richie Howson 6-3 Chris Dale
Ashley Holgate 6-3 Stefanie Luck
Steve McNally 6-3 Richard Slater
Toon Greebe 6-2 Wayne Atwood
Gino Vos 6-3 Stephen Jauch
Nick Fullwell Bye
Richard North Bye
Gary Mawson Bye
Connie Finnan 6-0 Hans Hagley
Johnny Haines 6-3 Dave Honey
Richard Hosey 6-5 John Scott
Simon Burt 6-4 Lewis Venes
Jon Bott 6-3 Jonathan Mulley
Wilfried Hoberg Bye
James Stoneley Bye
Andy Relf Bye
Carlos Rodriguez 6-0`Mark Robinson
Matthew Dicken 6-1 Andy Pearce
Darren Webster 6-5 Jack Hill
Keith Stephen 6-1 John Walton
Aden Kirk 6-4 Ian Moss
Paul Schofield Bye
Daniel Starkey Bye
Martino Tagliapietra Bye
Ross Smith 6-5 Paul Marsh
Jeff Smith 6-2 Stephen Clews
Jamie Landon 6-0 Paul Hodkin
Michael Barnard 6-3 Matt Padgett
Keith Rooney 6-2 Andy Hutchings
Yoshan Roxy Iyer Bye
Mark Forman Bye
Andy Turnbull Bye
Kevin Dowling 6-1 Peter Harris
Michael Peel 6-1 Aodhagan O'Neill
Andrew Cornwall 6-4 Gareth Cousins
Jamie Atkins 6-1 Rees Hall
Jim Walker 6-1 Nathan Richards
Daniel Day Bye
Mark Stephenson Bye
Rocco Maes Bye
Andrew Johnson 6-4 Steve Grubb
John Bowles 6-2 Damien Sherwood
Andy Jenkins 6-4 Sam Hill
Peter Manley 6-0 Liam Curran
Gary Eastwood 6-4 Andrew Palmer
Co Stompe Jnr Bye
Adrian Bolitho Bye
Ron Atwill Bye
Michael Gorst 6-1 Jon Archer
Geoff Kime 6-1 Ryan Herrington
James Guilfoyle 6-4 David Charnock
Andrew Hibbert 6-1 Luke Broadbent
Nigel Birch 6-1 Danny Moore
Paul Sawyer Bye
James Young Bye
Paul Davison Bye
Darren Whittingham 6-4 Wayne Pepper
Adrian Gray 6-0 Tony Billett
Adam Hunt 6-5 Stuart Woodmore
Steve Haggerty 6-1 Richie Walsh
Kurt Van De Rijck 6-2 Richard Plowman
Martin Perring Bye
John Turnbull Bye
Marko Kantele Bye
Campbell Jackson 6-3 Martyn Turner
Peter Evison 6-3 Simon Craven
Tony Tasker 6-4 Chris Skeats
Matthew Edgar Walkover (Andy Fordham withdrew through injury)
Gareth Pass 6-2 Kentaro Suzuki
Anthony Littleton Bye
Manuel Croskery Bye
David Nelson 6-4 Alex Clyburn
Jamie Lewis Bye (John Gent timed out)
Andrew Hodges 6-5 John Downs
Paddy Meaney 6-2 John Jenkinson
Aaron Turner 6-3 David Broome
Steve Barrow 6-4 Mick McGowan
Tim Hope Bye
Keegan Brown Bye
Chris Aubrey 6-1 Darren Ward
Mark Frost 6-3 Lee White
David Sanders 6-3 Shaun Vernall
Joey Palfreyman 6-5 Chris Allen
Dean Winstanley 6-1 Steven Pearson
Pat Pace 6-4 Matthew Tedstone
Les Wallace Bye
Joe Murnan Bye
Peter Hughes 6-0 Jimmy O'Regan
Michael Veitch 6-1 Geoff Whitworth
Stephen Hardy 6-4 Andrew Gilding
Matt Clark 6-3 Ricky Williams
Bernd Roith 6-2 Norman Fletcher
Matthew Waddoups 6-0 Neville Roberts
Spencer Murphy Bye
Jason Simpkins Bye
Brandon Walsh 6-3 Andy Firth
Tony Wood 6-5 John Trembeth
Joseph Hunt 6-0 John Millett
Chris Mason 6-4 Rhys Dudley
Tony West 6-5 Stuart White
Danny Summers 6-5 Sean White
Gary Butcher Bye
Mark Lawrence Bye
Liam Kelly 6-0 Lee Butler
Martin Whatmough 6-2 Mark Ashby
Dave Ladley 6-3 James Pastfield
Steve West 6-4 Ken MacNeil
Jerry Hendriks 6-1 Danny Dyer
Brian Kirk 6-3 Fred Smith

Second Round
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-0 Joe Thompson
Dylan Duo 6-4 Darrell Claydon
Darren Johnson 6-2 Darren Latham
Philip Wathen 6-5 Lee Whitworth
Scott Coleman 6-0 Chris Clements
Mareno Michels 6-4 James Thompson
Stuart Kellett 6-1 Craig Pope
Dave Smith 6-1 Ian Lever
Terry Rose 6-2 Steven Degville
Richie Howson 6-0 Colin Monk
Ashley Holgate 6-5 Steve McNally
Gino Vos 6-4 Toon Greebe
Nick Fullwell 6-2 Richard North
Connie Finnan 6-1 Gary Mawson
Johnny Haines 6-3 Richard Hosey
Simon Burt 6-1 Jon Bott
Wilfried Hoberg 6-2 James Stoneley
Carlos Rodriguez 6-3 Andy Relf
Darren Webster 6-3 Matthew Dicken
Keith Stephen 6-3 Aden Kirk
Daniel Starkey 6-1 Paul Schofield
Martino Tagliapietra 6-5 Ross Smith
Jeff Smith 6-4 Jamie Landon
Keith Rooney 6-5 Michael Barnard
Yoshan Roxy Iyer 6-3 Mark Forman
Andy Turnbull 6-5 Kevin Dowling
Andrew Cornwall 6-4 Michael Peel
Jamie Atkins 6-4 Jim Walker
Mark Stephenson 6-4 Daniel Day
Andrew Johnson 6-4 Rocco Maes
John Bowles 6-3 Andy Jenkins
Peter Manley 6-2 Gary Eastwood
Co Stompe Jnr 6-4 Adrian Bolitho
Michael Gorst 6-1 Ron Atwill
Geoff Kime 6-2 James Guilfoyle
Nigel Birch 6-5 Andrew Hibbert
James Young 6-1 Paul Sawyer
Darren Whittingham 6-1 Paul Davison
Adam Hunt 6-5 Adrian Gray
Kurt Van De Rijck 6-4 Steve Haggerty
Martin Perring 6-4 John Turnbull
Campbell Jackson 6-4 Marko Kantele
Tony Tasker 6-3 Peter Evison
Matthew Edgar 6-1 Gareth Pass
Anthony Littleton 6-0 Manuel Croskery
Jamie Lewis 6-2 David Nelson
Paddy Meaney 6-2 Andrew Hodges
Aaron Turner 6-5 Steve Barrow
Keegan Brown 6-2 Tim Hope
Chris Aubrey 6-3 Mark Frost
Joey Palfreyman 6-5 David Sanders
Pat Pace 6-5 Dean Winstanley
Joe Murnan 6-4 Les Wallace
Peter Hughes 6-2 Michael Veitch
Stephen Hardy 6-1 Matt Clark
Bernd Roith 6-4 Matthew Waddoups
Jason Simpkins 6-4 Spencer Murphy
Tony Wood 6-5 Brandon Walsh
Chris Mason 6-1 Joseph Hunt
Tony West 6-2 Danny Summers
Gary Butcher 6-1 Mark Lawrence
Liam Kelly 6-3 Martin Whatmough
Steve West 6-5 Dave Ladley
Jerry Hendriks 6-3 Brian Kirk

Third Round
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 Dylan Duo
Philip Wathen 6-4 Darren Johnson
Mareno Michels 6-4 Scott Coleman
Stuart Kellett 6-2 Dave Smith
Richie Howson 6-1 Terry Rose
Gino Vos 6-1 Ashley Holgate
Nick Fullwell 6-4 Connie Finnan
Simon Burt 6-2 Johnny Haines
Carlos Rodriguez 6-1 Wilfried Hoberg
Keith Stephen 6-3 Darren Webster
Daniel Starkey 6-5 Martino Tagliapietra
Jeff Smith 6-2 Keith Rooney
Yoshan Roxy Iver 6-2 Andy Turnbull
Andrew Cornwall 6-4 Jamie Atkins
Andrew Johnson 6-4 Mark Stephenson
John Bowles 6-5 Peter Manley
Co Stompe Jnr 6-3 Michael Gorst
Nigel Birch 6-4 Geoff Kime
Darren Whittingham 6-3 James Young
Kurt Van De Rijck 6-0 Adam Hunt
Martin Perring 6-5 Campbell Jackson
Matthew Edgar 6-2 Tony Tasker
Jamie Lewis 6-3 Anthony Littleton
Aaron Turner 6-0 Paddy Meaney
Keegan Brown 6-5 Chris Aubrey
Joey Palfreyman 6-1 Pat Pace
Joe Murnan 6-2 Peter Hughes
Stephen Hardy 6-5 Bernd Roith
Tony Wood 6-3 Jason Simpkins
Tony West 6-1 Chris Mason
Liam Kelly 6-5 Gary Butcher
Jerry Hendriks 6-5 Steve West
Losers - 2 Ranking Points

Fourth Round
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 Philip Wathen
Mareno Michels 6-2 Stuart Kellett
Richie Howson 6-4 Gino Vos
Nick Fullwell 6-1 Simon Burt
Keith Stephen 6-5 Carlos Rodriguez
Jeff Smith 6-1 Daniel Starkey
Andrew Cornwall 6-2 Yoshan Roxy Iver
Andrew Johnson 6-5 John Bowles 
Nigel Birch 6-1 Co Stompe Jnr
Darren Whittingham 6-5 Kurt Van De Rijck
Matthew Edgar 6-2 Martin Perring
Jamie Lewis 6-2 Aaron Turner
Keegan Brown 6-1 Joey Palfreyman
Joe Murnan 6-2 Stephen Hardy
Tony West 6-4 Tony Wood
Liam Kelly 6-4 Jerry Hendriks
Losers - 3 Ranking Points

Fifth Round
Mareno Michels 6-2 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Richie Howson 6-4 Nick Fullwell
Jeff Smith 6-2 Keith Stephen
Andrew Cornwall 6-5 Andrew Johnson
Darren Whittingham 6-1 Nigel Birch
Matthew Edgar 6-3 Jamie Lewis
Keegan Brown 6-1 Joe Murnan
Tony West 6-4 Liam Kelly
Losers - 5 Ranking Points

Sixth Round
Richie Howson 6-2 Mareno Michels
Andrew Cornwall 6-3 Jeff Smith
Darren Whittingham 6-4 Matthew Edgar
Tony West 6-4 Keegan Brown
Winners get PDC Tour Card
Losers - 9 Ranking Points


Ranking Points will be allocated as follows:
Last 64 Losers: 2 points
Last 32 Losers: 3 points
Last 16 Losers: 5 points
Last Eight Losers: 9 Points