Jelle Klaasen won his second Pro Tour title of 2015 as he beat compatriot Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 in Sunday’s Players Championship event at the Barnsley Metrodome. The Cobra averaged 98 in the final, hitting 3 180’s and he secured victory in stunning style, with a brilliant 11-darter.
Klaasen was in fantastic form throughout the day, after coming through a testing first-round tussle against Joe Cullen, which the Dutchman edged 6-4. He then dropped just 5 legs in his next three matches, where he beat Ronnie Baxter, Gerwyn Price and Steve West respectively, to reach the quarter-finals.
Klassen then eased past former BDO man Robbie Green 6-2 in the quarter-finals, but it’s extremely encouraging to see Green participating in the latter stages of tournaments after all his struggles earlier in the year.
Jelle’s semi-final against Simon Whitlock was a topsy-turvy affair, but after some key missed doubles from the Australian, the former Lakeside Champion held his nerve to post a 14-darter to progress.
Sunday’s final was a hard-fought affair. Both men started strongly, but Klaasen claimed the opening leg, taking out 72 for a 14-darter, but van Barneveld responded instantly, hitting D10 for one apiece. The 5-Time World Champion missed three darts to break in leg three, before Klaasen forged 3-1 ahead, taking out 81 after he’d hit back-to-back maximums.
Klaasen appeared in command, but missed a wonderful opportunity to extend his lead, by missing three darts at 38. Van Barneveld took full advantage, taking out D14 to break straight back, before levelling up at 3-3 with D20.
The next two legs were shared, essentially making it a best of three contest, but the 9th leg proved pivotal, as van Barneveld missed one dart at D18 to break throw. Klaasen held his nerve, before securing the win with a brilliant 11-darter, with Raymond sat on D20 ready to send the contest into a last-leg decider.
Klaasen has been superb on the Pro Tour this year and this victory simply underlines his growing maturity and progress over the last 12 months. He will certainly be a dangerous proposition in next week’s World Grand Prix.
However, this was also an extremely encouraging day’s work for Raymond van Barneveld, who reached his first Pro Tour final since October 6th 2013. He also secured World Grand Prix qualification with his run to the final. He was made to work hard, as he overcame Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 and Andrew Gilding 6-2 just to reach his board final.
He then faced yesterday’s Players Championship winner Terry Jenkins in the last 32, but Barney was in inspired form. He established a 2-0 lead thanks to a tremendous 132 checkout although Jenkins restored parity at 4-4; van Barneveld led from the outset and closed out a 6-4 victory with a 102 average.
He then faced fellow Premier-League semi-finalist Dave Chisnall in the last 16, and despite Chizzy hitting six 180’s, van Barneveld’s consistency wore down the St Helen’s star, allowing RvB to progress with a 6-4 win.
He faced giant-killer Ronny Huybrechts in the quarter-finals, after Ronny had already beaten Vincent van der Voort, Stephen Bunting and James Wade earlier in the day.
Ironically, Ronny’s victories over van der Voort and Bunting confirmed van Barneveld’s World Grand Prix spot. However, this proved a step too far for the Rebel, who suffered a 6-2 defeat in the quarter-final, with van Barneveld averaging 103.
Fellow Dutchman Benito van de Pas awaited for RvB in the semis; but the 48-year-old raced into a 5-1 advantage with a 105 average. Van de Pas continued to battle and reduced the arrears to 5-3, nailing a 131 checkout with Barney sat on 64 to secure his final spot, but he eventually closed it out with an 86 finish to seal a 6-3 triumph.
His World Grand Prix spot was in some doubt prior to today’s event, so he’ll be extremely satisfied with his performances. He has risen from 43rd to 32nd in the Pro Tour Order of Merit, putting himself in with a great chance of qualifying for both the European Championships and the Players Championships.
Another man who returned to form in Barnsley was Simon Whitlock. Whitlock played superbly well today; he averaged 104 in thrashing Mervyn King 6-2 in the last 32; he also whitewashed Michael van Gerwen’s conqueror Nathan Derry 6-0 to reach the last eight.
Whitlock’s quarter-final against Kim Huybrechts was absolutely remarkable. Whitlock prevailed 6-5, despite a majestic 9-darter from the Belgian in the very first leg of the contest. Incredibly, Huybrechts then wired D12 for a second nine-darter in leg three.
Despite this, The Wizard kept with him and managed to sneak through, in spite of Kim averaging 107. It was somewhat reminiscent of his Premier League campaign; where he played superbly well but didn’t get the results he perhaps deserved.
Gary Anderson’s miserable weekend was complete as he was astonishingly whitewashed 6-0 by Andy Boulton in Round One. Michael van Gerwen suffered a shock last 32 defeat to Nathan Derry, whilst yesterday’s finalist, Peter Wright, was beaten 6-4 by Adam Hunt in the opening round. With the World Grand Prix starting next week, there are many players finding form at the right time, with other established stars struggling for form.
Players Championship 16
Sunday September 27, Barnsley Metrodome
Michael van Gerwen(1) 6-3 Dimitri van den Bergh
Darren Webster 1-6 Wayne Jones
Cristo Reyes(32) 6-0 Mark Walsh
Nathan Derry 6-5 Martyn Turner
Simon Whitlock 6-2 Wes Newton
Andy Smith 6-2 Andy Hamilton
Marvyn King 6-2 Colin Osborne
Joey ten Berge 1-6 Jamie Robinson
Kim Hurbrechts(8) 6-1 Mark Frost
Nathan Aspinall 5-6 Nigel Heydon
Mark Webster(25) 6-4 Tony Newell
Gary Stone 3-6 Matthew Edgar
Gary Anderson(9) 0-6 Andy Boulton
Dean Winstanley 6-5 Michael Barnard
Jamie Lewis(24) 6-4 Mick Todd
Christian Kist 6-1 Tony Richardson
Robert Thornton 6-3 Jan Dekker
Andy Parsons 5-6 Mark Dudbridge
Jamie Caven(28) 6-1 Devon Petersen
Kevin McDine 6-4 Eddie Dootson
Justin Pipe(12) 2-6 Matt Clark
John Bowles 6-4 Terry Temple
John Henderson(21) 6-5 Kevin Painter
Robbie Green 6-3 William O’Connor
Peter Wright(4) 4-6 Adam Hunt
Shaun Griffiths 6-4 Ross Twell
Daryl Gurney(29) 4-6 Steve West
Max Hopp 6-1 Alan Tabern
Jelle Klaasen(13) 6-4 Joe Cullen
Trevor Burkhill 2-6 Ronnie Baxter
Gerwyn Price(20) 6-0 Dennis Smith
Adan Kirk 6-3 Prakash Jiwa
Michael Smith(2) 6-1 Kevin Bambrick
Jonny Clayton 3-6 Jay Foreman
David Pallett(31) 6-3 Darren Johnson
Steve Brown 1-6 Steve Hine
Benito van de Pas(15) 6-1 Lee Palfreyman
Jason Lovett 6-0 Stuart Kellett
Mensur Suljovic(18) 6-4 Chris Dobey
Kevin Thomas 6-2 Nick Fullwell
Ian White(7) 6-2 Jyhan Artut
Matt Padgett 4-6 Jeffrey de Zwann
Joe Murnan(26) 6-5 Stephen McNally
Ricky Evans 5-6 Mike Zuydwijk
Brendan Dolan(10) 4-6 Jermaine Wattimena
Mike de Decker 6-3 Luke Woodhouse
Steve Beaton(23) 6-1 Steve Douglas
Curtis Hammond 6-4 Colin Lloyd
Dave Chisnall(6) 6-3 Andy Jenkins
Jim Walker 3-6 Mickey Mansell
Keegan Brown(27) 6-1 Jason Marriott
David Ladley 4-6 Ken Macneil
Terry Jenkins(11) 6-4 Arron Monk
Jason Wilson 6-4 Jamie Bain
Andrew Gilding(22) 6-3 John Part
Dirk van Duijvenbode 4-6 Raymond van Barneveld
James Wade(3) 6-2 James Wilson
Roxy-James Rodriguez 6-5 Mark Barilli
Rowby-John Rodriguez(30) 6-2 Ian Moss
Alan Norris 6-0 Ben Ward
Vincent van der Voort(14) 6-3 James Hubbard
Barrie Bates 3-6 Ronny Huybrechts
Stephen Bunting(19) 6-1 Stephen Willard
Johnny Haines 5-6 Brian Woods
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Wayne Jones
Cristo Reyes 5-6 Nathan Derry
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Andy Smith
Mervyn King 6-5 Jamie Robinson
Kim Huybrechts 6-1 Nigel Heydon
Mark Webster 6-2 Matthew Edgar
Andy Boulton 6-4 Dean Winstanley
Jamie Lewis 5-6 Christian Kist
Robert Thornton 6-3 Mark Dudbridge
Jamie Caven 6-5 Kevin McDine
Matt Clark 6-2 John Bowles
John Henderson 4-6 Robbie Green
Adam Hunt 4-6 Shaun Griffiths
Steve West 6-0 Max Hopp
Jelle Klaasen 6-1 Ronnie Baxter
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Aden Kirk
Michael Smith 6-1 Jay Foreman
David Pallett 6-3 Steve Hine
Benito van de Pas 6-5 Jason Lovett
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Kevin Thomas
Ian White 6-5 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Joe Murnan 5-6 Mike Zuydwijk
Jermaine Wattimena 3-6 Mike de Decker
Steve Beaton 6-2 Curtis Hammond
Dave Chisnall 6-0 Mickey Mansell
Keegan Brown 6-3Ken Macneil
Terry Jenkins 6-4 Jason Wilson
Andrew Gilding 2-6 Raymond van Barneveld
James Wade 6-2 Roxy-James Rodriguez
Rowby-John Rodriguez 3-6 Alan Norris
Vincent van der Voort 3-6 Ronny Huybrechts
Stephen Bunting 6-1 Brian Woods
Michael van Gerwen 4-6 Nathan Derry
Simon Whitlock 6-2 Mervyn King
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Mark Webster
Andy Boulton 2-6 Christian Kist
Robert Thornton 4-6 Jamie Caven
Matt Clark 2-6 Robbie Green
Shaun Griffiths 5-6 Steve West
Jelle Klaasen 6-1 Gerwyn Price
Michael Smith 6-4 David Pallett
Benito van de Pas 6-5 Mensur Suljovic
Ian White 6-1 Mike Zuydwijk
Mike de Decker 4-6 Steve Beaton
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Keegan Brown
Terry Jenkins 4-6 Raymond van Barneveld
James Wade 6-4 Alan Norris
Ronny Huybrechts 6-5 Stephen Bunting
Nathan Derry 0-6 Simon Whitlock
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Christian Kist
Jamie Caven 2-6 Robbie Green
Steve West 3-6 Jelle Klaasen
Michael Smith 4-6 Benito van de Pas
Ian White 6-4 Steve Beaton
Dave Chisnall 4-6 Raymond van Barneveld
James Wade 5-6 Ronny Huybrechts
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Kim Huybrechts
Robbie Green 2-6 Jelle Klaasen
Benito van des Pas 6-5 Ian White
Raymond van Barneveld 6-2 Ronny Huybrechts
Simon Whitlock 5-6 Jelle Klaasen
Benito van de Pas 3-6 Raymond van Barneveld
Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Raymond van Barneveld