Mike van Duivenbode dreamt about earning a PDC Tour card on his birthday, and that's exactly what happened on day two of the 2019 European Qualifying School in Hildesheim on Friday.
The two-time PDC Unicorn Development Tour event winner celebrated his 20th birthday in style to follow another 20-year-old Dutchman, Niels Zonneveld, in securing full-time status on the PDC circuit.
Dordrecht's Van Duivenbode impressed throughout the day at Halle 39, with Dutch youngsters Levy Frauenfelder and Justin van Tergouw joined by Greek World Cup representative Veniamin Symeonidis in being early victims.
He also defeated Nigel van Milligen and Gergely Lakatos before whitewashing Dragutin Horvat with a 100 average in the quarter-finals.
Van Duivenbode then overcame experienced Finnish ace Marko Kantele in the semi-finals and battled back from 4-2 down in the final against Latvia's Madars Razma.
Having taken the final to a deciding leg, Van Duivenbode opened with scores of 180 and 140 to be first to a finish before taking out 80 to secure his Tour Card.
"My day was unbelievable," said Van Duivenbode. "I felt so good - it's my birthday and I dreamed last night that I won my Tour Card today and I did it. I'm so happy.
"I was 4-2 down [in the final], and you think you've already lost but you must never give up. I played my game as I threw all day and I won."
Razma's performance will stand him in good stead for the remaining two days of the European Qualifying School and puts him in a strong position to win a Tour Card from the final Order of Merit.
The Latvian ace, who held a Tour Card in 2017-2018, defeated Manfred Bilderl, Michael Rosenauer, Thomas Kohnlein, Ingo Vogt and Gabriel Rollo in the early rounds.
He then defeated recent William Hill World Darts Championship qualifiers Yordi Meeuwisse and Jeff Smith to reach the decider, only to agonisingly fall just short of reclaiming his Tour Card.
Razma currently sits top of the European Qualifying School Order of Merit on ten points, ahead of Kantele (eight points) and the pairing of Austria's Michael Rasztovits and Hungary's Gergely Lakatos (seven points).
Saturday sees Day Three of the European Qualifying School take place in Hildesheim, where the winner will secure a PDC Tour Card.
2019 PDC European Qualifying School
Day Two, Friday January 4
- Marko Kantele 5-3 Danny Van Trijp
- Karel Sedlacek 5-3 Vincent Van der Meer
- Dragutin Horvat 5-2 Michael Rasztovits
- Mike van Duivenbode 5-1 Gergely Lakatos
- Mike De Decker 5-1 Pavel Jirkal
- Jeff Smith 5-3 Pero Ljubic
- Madars Razma 5-3 Gabriel Rollo
- Yordi Meeuwisse 5-2 Maik Kuivenhoven
- Marko Kantele 5-3 Karel Sedlacek
- Mike van Duivenbode 5-0 Dragutin Horvat
- Jeff Smith 5-3 Mike De Decker
- Madars Razma 5-2 Yordi Meeuwisse
- Mike van Duivenbode 5-3 Marko Kantele
- Madars Razma 5-3 Jeff Smith
- Mike van Duivenbode 5-4 Madars Razma