Four-time world champion Lisa Ashton makes history by becoming first female darts player to win on the PDC Tour
Four-time darts world champion Lisa Ashton has made history by becoming the first woman to win a match on the PDC Tour.
The 49-year-old became the first female to secure a PDC Tour card last month after a brilliant display at the Q School in Wigan.
And she marked her entry onto the male-dominated scene with a 6-3 victory over German Christian Bunse at the Players Championship in Barnsley.
The victory came after two defeats to Brendan Dolan and Darius Labanauskas, but as Ashton explained before the tournament, she does not want to be treated any differently to the others on the tour, regardless of the result.
Speaking to The Guardian she said: “I don’t want to be thought of as Lisa Ashton, the first woman to play on the men’s tour. No thank you.
“I want to be Lisa Ashton, the dart player. If someone beats me, fair enough. Whether I’m a man or a woman shouldn’t come into it.”
“There’s still a fair few male players who I think feel the pressure because they don’t want to lose to a woman – hopefully that helps me out this year.”
Ashton's breakthrough onto the PDC circuit comes less than two months after Fallon Sherrock captivated the darts world with a sensational run to the third round at the world championships.
And it is this rise of a number of women's players, including reigning BDO world title holder Mikuru Suzuki, which leads many to believe this is the beginning of female darts stars competing at the top level of the game.
“I’ve seen the ladies game snowball in recent years and knew this was the next step, one of us getting a card," added Ashton.
"Fallon has made the headlines, and wasn’t she brilliant at Ally Pally? But below her, myself and Mikuru Suzuki.
“There are so many names coming through. I think it’s just the start. Barry Hearn said if the women were good enough, they’d get opportunities. We’ve proven that can happen.”