THREE-TIME world champion Michael van Gerwen backed Winchester’s Chas Barstow to earn himself a full Tour Card after battling past him at the PDC World Championship.

Van Gerwen got his campaign under way with a 3-1 second-round victory over Barstow, with the Dutchman averaging 94.54.

Mighty Mike did not have things all his own way however, dropping the first set before losing the opening leg of the second to the Hampshire thrower.

But he hit his straps thereafter, winning six successive legs to establish a 2-1 lead.

Van Gerwen then took out 99 in the final couple of legs to secure victory over Barstow, who lives in Chandler’s Ford.

Posting on social media after the match, the Dutchman said: “What can I say it felt so good to be back on that stage and the fans were phenomenal.

“I missed too many doubles but the first game is all about winning.

“Credit to Chas who will get his card at Q School. Thank you for all the support.”

Reacting further on Sky Sports, van Gerwen said: “I think Chas played well in the beginning of the game, but I made it too hard for myself.

“I missed so many doubles, but at the end I won, that's the most important thing. I never give up."