NIELS ZONNEVELD secured the first PDC Tour Card available at the 2019 European Qualifying School in Hildesheim, Germany.

The 20-year-old, who won a PDC Unicorn Development Tour event in 2018, battled through a field of 249 players and averaged 99 as he beat Christian Goedl 5-1 in the final.

Zonneveld, from Uitgeest in the Netherlands, took out 115 in the opening leg before breaking throw in the second.

Austrian Goedl responded in the third, but was then powerless to resist the Dutchman as he clinched the next three legs to secure his tour card.

Zonneveld started his day with a whitewash win over Stefan Nilles. He then powered past Gabriel Florin Olar and Patrick van den Boogaard.

His toughest test then came as he recovered from 4-1 down to beat Mike De Decker 5-4.

Victories followed against Sebastian Steyer and Gergely Lakatos as he reached the semi-finals, where he defeated Nico Schlund before his triumph over Goedl.

The PDC’s European Qualifying School continues on Friday with the second of four event days at Halle 39.

There are three more guaranteed tour cards available to the winners of each event.

Players who fail to secure a Tour Card earn ranking points per victory in each full round of the event (which does not include Byes). These will be used to form the Q School Orders of Merit, with further PDC Tour Cards to be awarded to players from the European Qualifying School Order of Merit.

Full scores and stats from Day One can be seen at the DartConnect website.

Fixtures and results for the remaining days of the European Qualifying School can be followed via, with play from 1200 local time on each day.

2019 PDC European Qualifying School
Day One, Thursday January 3
Halle 39, Hildesheim
Last 16

Nico Schlund 5-1 Niels-Joergen Hansen
Madars Razma 5-4 Darius Labanauskas
Niels Zonneveld 5-3 Sebastian Steyer
Gergely Lakatos 5-3 Michele Turetta
Christian Goedl 5-3 Ricardo Pietreczko
John Michael 5-4 Geert De Vos
Michael Rasztovits 5-0 Petros Christodoulou
Hannes Schnier 5-3 Marko Kantele

Nico Schlund 5-3 Madars Razma
Niels Zonneveld 5-3 Gergely Lakatos
Christian Goedl 5-2 John Michael
Hannes Schnier 5-3 Michael Rasztovits

Niels Zonneveld 5-3 Nico Schlund
Christian Goedl 5-4 Hannes Schnier

Niels Zonneveld 5-1 Christian Goedl