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Arron Monk sealed his place at the Grand Slam of Darts in style, winning Saturday’s PDC Unicorn Youth Tour Event in Crawley to ensure that he will top this year’s Order of Merit.

The 22-year-old ace defeated Chris Aubrey 4-1 in the final to claim his fifth Youth Tour victory of 2012.

The youngster had lead Michael Smith by just £50 at the top of the rankings ahead of this weekend’s events, the final two of the year.

But Monk’s latest success gives him an unassailable lead before Sunday’s event, with a place at the prestigious Grand Slam his reward.

“It feels amazing,” Monk told the PDC’s official website after his triumph, which also guarantees him a place in the World Championships.

“It’s been a great year on the Youth Tour and at one stage I was quite a way ahead of Michael Smith but then he won £1,200 in Wigan and caught me right up.

“Luckily enough I’ve done the business this weekend and it would be a great bonus to win Sunday’s event too.

“Michael van Gerwen has said that his success on the Youth Tour last year helped his confidence and it’s brought my confidence along as well this year.”

“Thanks to the PDC Unicorn Youth Tour, I’ve now qualified for the Grand Slam of Darts and made sure of my World Championship place, so I’ve got a good couple of months ahead of me.

“The Grand Slam’s taught me a lot in the last two years because it’s a short format and I need to start off well this time. In the last two years I’ve not done that, but this could be my year.”

Monk had also defeated Scott Pearson, Cain Unwin, Ryan Harrington, Jake Patchett and Matthew Dicken before seeing off Aubrey in the decider to clinch the £500 first prize.

He will compete in the final Youth Tour event on Sunday before the Grand Slam of Darts kicks off in Wolverhampton next weekend.

By Chris Murphy

Book tickets to see some of the world’s top darts players in action at The Carlsberg Masters, Birmingham on Friday December 7.

Image courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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