BUXTON’S Dean Winstanley boosted his world ranking with strong performances last weekend during qualifiers for the televised UK Open finals.
He travelled to Barnsley for the third and fourth qualifiers, part of the PDC Pro Tour, aiming to win enough money over the eight qualifiers to not only climb up the order of merit ranking, but also to enter the UK Open in June on the second day instead of the first.
Winstanley made a good start to the weekend, reaching the third round after wins over Kevin Dowling (6-2), Steve Grubb (6-1) and Alan Tabern (6-1), before losing 6-5 to the in-form Steve Farmer, who earlier in the day had hit a nine-dart finish.
Sunday’s performance was even better as Winstanley enjoyed a run all the way to the semi-finals with wins over Mike Veitch (6-5), Jamie Lewis (6-5), Mareno Michels (6-1), Brendan Dolan (6-3), Andy Smith (6-5) and Terry Temple (6-2), only to be beaten 6-1 by a magnificent Phil Taylor.
Taylor left 81 after nine darts four times during their match, but Winstanley did have darts at doubles and the chance to take several of the legs.