KNOTTINGLEY darts player Dave Smith (pictured) won one of the last four automatic tour cards on the fourth day of the Professional Darts Corporation’s qualifying school.
Smith, nicknamed The Rhino, celebrated a decade on the PDC circuit by preserving his status as a professional with a 6-2 win over Leicestershire newcomer Gareth Cousins in his decider.
Smith also defeated Joey Palfreyman, Canada’s Shaun Narain, Daniel Day, Philip Wathen and Daniel Starkey on Sunday.
He admitted: “It feels fantastic because I was under pressure.
“I’ve been privileged to play in the top TV events since I came through in 2002 when I qualified for the World Grand Prix but that mean nothing here at qualifying school.
“It was so hard but I know I’ve got the game to do this, and I want to have a big year now.
“I’ve got to thank my sponsors, James and Ian Watson, for their support because at times they probably believe in me more than I believe in myself, so hopefully I can repay their faith this year.”