2019 Unicorn Challenge Tour 1-2

Stephen Burton (PDC)

STEPHEN BURTON and Shaun Carroll claimed maiden PDC titles on the opening day of the 2019 PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour in Wigan.

The Robin Park Tennis Centre hosted two events on Saturday, each offering £10,000 in prize money for PDPA Associate Members who did not win a Tour Card at the 2019 PDC Qualifying Schools.

World Championship competitor Burton narrowly missed out on regaining his Tour Card last weekend, but bounced back in style to claim his first Challenge Tour crown.

Burton began Event Two with wins over Egor Tvorogov, Chris White, Scott Darbyshire and Mike De Decker to make the last 16, where an impressive 103 average saw off Russia's Boris Koltsov.

The Ipswich thrower backed up that display with triumphs over Michael Rasztovits and Jason Wilson, before holding his nerve in the deciding leg of the final to claim a 5-4 victory over Nathan Rafferty.

Shaun Carroll (PDC)

Earlier in the day, Carroll tasted success in just his third Challenge Tour event, becoming the first winner on the PDC's second-tier tour in 2019 with a 5-1 victory over Patrick Lynskey in the final of Event One.

Despite failing to win a match at last weekend's UK Qualifying School, the Walsall thrower returned to form with defeats of Wesley van Trijp, Vince Tipple, Dean Norman and Steve Hine to reach the last 16.

There, he saw off Lukas Wenig, before wins over experienced duo Ritchie Edhouse and Mick Todd saw him reach the final where he triumphed over Lynskey.

Elsewhere, Event Two also saw former World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton reach the last 16, former UK Open semi-finalist Andrew Gilding enjoyed a run to the quarter-finals, while Brazil's World Cup of Darts star Diogo Portela secured a semi-final berth.

Following 20 events, the player who tops the Challenge Tour Order of Merit will book their place at Alexandra Palace for the 2019/20 World Championship.

The top two players on the Order of Merit will secure a two-year PDC Tour Card to compete on the PDC ProTour in 2020 and 2021, while players placed third to eighth will gain free entry to 2020 Qualifying School.

The Unicorn Challenge Tour continues on Sunday with Events Three and Four at Wigan's Robin Park Tennis Centre.

Find a full list of results through DartConnect.

Unicorn Challenge Tour Event One

Patrick Lynskey 5-4 William Borland
Brett Claydon 5-3 Andrew Foster
Mick Todd 5-4 Ricky Williams
Shaun Carroll 5-2 Ritchie Edhouse

Patrick Lynskey 5-2 Brett Claydon
Shaun Carroll 5-4 Mick Todd

Shaun Carroll 5-1 Patrick Lynskey

Unicorn Challenge Tour Event Two

Diogo Portela 5-0 Mick Todd
Nathan Rafferty 5-2 Darren Herewini
Stephen Burton 5-2 Michael Rasztovits
Jason Wilson 5-4 Andrew Gilding

Nathan Rafferty 5-3 Diogo Portela
Stephen Burton 5-3 Jason Wilson

Stephen Burton 5-4 Nathan Rafferty