Mike drawn against Van Barneveld at Minehead

PUBLISHED: 11:28 21 February 2018 | UPDATED: 11:28 21 February 2018

Mike Norton.

Mike Norton.


Weston darts player Mike Norton has won through to second round draw of the UK Open at Minehead, and will play Raymond Van Barneveld.

After a couple of years trying for PDC professional tour card qualifications, 2018 appears to the year for Mike Norton.

The Weston darts player tops the Somerset Super League averages with 31.32 and is also top of the West of England Darts League. Mike is in great form clearly benefitting playing with the likes of former world champion Bob Anderson.

Mike’s breakthrough came in January at the Wigan qualifying school, where a lot of other pros play a high standard in an attempt to ultimately win one of several competitions over several days, which gives you a pro tour card entering you into the best competitions and televised events.

He proved his talent several times by reaching the last 32 out of a field of more than 512. This time he reached a board final narrowly missing out on his card losing to Robert Owen 5-3, but Mike qualified to play at Wigan in the UK open qualifiers.

Mike’s first weekend attempt was an eye opener to the standard he has to compete at, but with some good pro friends around him like Mark Dudbridge and Dave Chisnall, Mike went into the following weekend in confident fashion.

Reaching the last 64 out of more than 512 pro players was an achievement. The following day he was on a roll, hitting 30+ averages taking out George Killington 6-5, Joe Cullen(top 20 ranking) 6-5, Dave Prins 6-5, before his ultimate test playing former two-time world champion Adrian (jackpot) Lewis in the last 16.

Checkouts of 108 and 106 gave Norton a 6-3 victory, which in turn qualified him 54th, placing him into the second round draw at the UK Open in Minehead on March 2-4.

With the draw already been done by PDC, it has been confirmed Mike will play Raymond Van Barneveld on the main stage, which will be televised.

Mike is still looking to secure sponsorship for this season and this is a great start to the year. Anyone interested in sponsoring Mike should contact mikenorton180@gmail.com

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