Michael van Gerwen returned to winning ways on the PDC Pro Tour, after thrashing his old adversary Peter Wright to win Players Championship Six at the Arena MK in Milton Keynes on Sunday afternoon.
The world champion was beaten by Wright in the final of last week’s German Darts Championship, whilst he was also edged out by an inspired Adrian Lewis in the semi-finals of Saturday’s Players Championship Five.
Nevertheless, ‘Mighty Mike’ produced a series of dominant displays to scoop the £10,000 winner’s cheque and clinch his first Players Championship title of the season. None of Van Gerwen’s seven opponents won more than three legs against him, whilst MvG conceded just 15 legs in total over the course of the day.
The top two seeds on the Pro Tour contested the final, but Van Gerwen was dominant throughout. The Dutchman averaged 103.83, landed three maximums and converted 46% of his double attempts to prevail in comprehensive fashion.
However, both players made a tentative start to the final. Wright surrendered his throw in the opening leg after spurning four darts at tops, which allowed MvG to break throw via D2. The Dutchman then continued to pounce on Wright’s wastefulness to peg D10 in successive legs and establish a commanding 3-0 cushion.
Yet, the contest sparked into life from the fourth leg onwards. Van Gerwen stormed into a 4-0 lead after conjuring up a majestic 129 finish (T19, D18, D18), but Wright responded superbly and opened his account with a brilliant 136 outshot.
Unfortunately for the Scot, this wasn’t to be the start of a heroic fightback. Van Gerwen moved to the cusp of victory with an effortless 81 kill for a 12-dart hold, before he clinched the title with a sensational 153 checkout, to secure his second Pro Tour title of 2017.
Earlier in the day, Van Gerwen began by registering consecutive 6-3 victories over Mickey Mansell and Andy Jenkins, before he eased past his compatriot Ron Meulenkamp to reach round-four.
MvG then faced Spanish star, Cristo Reyes, in the last 16 for the second day in succession and the result was the same, as the world number one recorded a convincing 6-3 victory. ‘The Green Machine’ then breezed into the last four with an emphatic 6-2 win over Belgian star Kim Huybrechts.
In the semi-finals, Van Gerwen faced Mervyn King, who had defeated Vincent Kamphuis, Kevin Painter, Peter Hudson, Darren Webster and Raymond van Barneveld to reach the last four. However, ‘Mighty Mike’ proved an obstacle too far for King, as the Dutchman prevailed 6-1 to reach just his second Pro Tour final of the year.
Whilst his day ultimately ended in disappointment, Peter Wright continued his fine form to reach his eighth final of the year. ‘Snakebite’ coasted into round-two with victory over Terry Roach, before claiming a hard-fought 6-4 win over Jimmy Hendriks; a player who has secured prize money from all six Players Championship events so far this year.
The world number three then produced a blistering sequence of darts; dropping just five legs in four matches to reach the final. Wright thrashed David Pallett 6-1 in round-three, before avenging yesterday’s last 16 defeat to Steve Beaton by whitewashing ‘The Bronzed Adonis’ at the same stage of this afternoon’s event.
In the last eight, Wright dispatched Richard North 6-2, who recorded successive quarter-final appearances in Milton Keynes. North, who only secured a tour-card at this year’s Q-School, lost out to eventual winner Adrian Lewis in yesterday’s quarter-finals, before dumping out James Wade en route to replicating Saturday’s fine showing.
However, Wright then went on to face third seed Mensur Suljovic in the semi-finals, after the Austrian ace defeated Dirk van Duijvenbode, John Norman Jr, Jeffrey de Graaf, Gary Anderson & Simon Whitlock to reach the last four. However, Snakebite swept aside ‘The Gentle’ after posting a magnificent 109.61 average to prevail.
Elsewhere, Raymond van Barneveld produced a series of fine performances to reach his third Players Championship quarter-final in five events. The five-time world champion claimed a hard-fought 6-4 victory over Ryan Searle in his opening match, before averaging 104.86 to whitewash Jelle Klaasen in round-two.
Van Barneveld then defeated Daryl Gurney 6-4 in an epic tussle. The Dutchman’s winning legs came in 12, 14, 13, 12, 11 and 15 darts, whilst Gurney took out finishes of 108, 121 and 164. Barney then eased past Suffolk star Ryan Meikle in the last 16, before succumbing to three huge ton-plus finishes against Mervyn King in the last eight.
Nevertheless, a number of high-profile stars suffered early exits on Sunday afternoon. Saturday’s winner Adrian Lewis was edged out in round-one by Jan Dekker, whilst yesterday’s runner-up Dave Chisnall was stunned by a resurgent Richie Burnett.
James Wade suffered a deciding-leg defeat to Richard North in his opening game, whilst Michael Smith and Benito van de Pas ended the weekend without a win to their names, after losing out to Peter Hudson and Ryan Meikle respectively.
Sunday’s tournament also saw Ricky Williams land his first competitive nine-dart finish, although the achievement came during a first round defeat to Jeffrey de Graaf. The full list of results from Players Championship Six can be viewed below!
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Players Championship Six
Sunday April 2, Arena MK, Milton Keynes
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Mickey Mansell
Andy Jenkins 6-1 Mark Barilli
Robert Thornton 6-2 John Henderson
Ron Meulenkamp 6-2 Jim Brown
Stephen Bunting 6-5 Dennis Smith
Max Hopp 6-4 Shaun Griffiths
Cristo Reyes 6-5 Ryan Palmer
Keegan Brown 6-2 Kirk Shepherd
Ian White 6-1 Aden Kirk
Andy Boulton 6-4 Matthew Dennant
Jan Dekker 6-5 Adrian Lewis
Stephen Burton 6-5 William O’Connor
Kim Huybrechts 6-1 Brian Woods
Ritchie Edhouse 6-4 John Part
Mark Webster 6-3 Chris Dobey
Wes Newton 6-5 Steve Lennon
Ryan Meikle 6-5 Benito van de Pas
Zoran Lerchbacher 6-4 Darren Johnson
Ronny Huybrechts 6-4 Matt Clark
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-0 Ronnie Baxter
Jelle Klaasen 6-1 Simon Stevenson
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Ryan Searle
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Antonio Alcinas
Jamie Lewis 6-3 Darron Brown
Richie Burnett 6-3 Dave Chisnall
Matthew Edgar 6-2 Scott Taylor
Darren Webster 6-1 Simon Preston
Jamie Bain 6-0 Peter Jacques
Peter Hudson 6-4 Michael Smith
Sven Groen 6-2 Ross Twell
Mervyn King 6-2 Vincent Kamphuis
Kevin Painter 6-1 Maik Langendorf
Peter Wright 6-1 Terry Roach
Jimmy Hendriks 6-5 Terry Temple
Josh Payne 6-1 Prakash Jiwa
David Pallett 6-2 Devon Petersen
Joe Cullen 6-5 Paul Nicholson
Steve Hine 6-2 Paul Harvey
Steve Beaton 6-2 Mike de Dekker
John Bowles 6-5 Joe Murnan
Alan Norris 6-4 Andrew Gilding
James Richardson 6-0 Martin Schindler
Christian Kist 6-1 Robert Owen
Richie Corner 6-3 Yordi Meeuwisse
Richard North 6-5 James Wade
Mick McGowan 6-0 Ray Campbell
Mick Todd 6-3 James Wilson
Brendan Dolan 6-1 Berry van Peer
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Harry Robinson
Dimitri van den Bergh 6-2 Lee Bryant
Robbie Green 6-5 Colin Roelofs
Warrick Scheffer 6-0 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Paul Rowley
Jonny Clayton 6-0 Ricky Evans
Kyle Anderson 6-2 Jamie Caven
Rob Cross 6-5 Jonathan Worsley
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Dirk van Duijvenbode
John Jnr Norman 6-4 Madars Razma
Andy Hamilton 6-4 Justin Pipe
Jeffrey de Graaf 6-4 Ricky Williams – Ricky Williams hits nine-dart finish
Gary Anderson 6-2 Haruki Muramatsu
Ted Evetts 6-5 Tony Newell
Steve West 6-5 Chris Quantock
Vincent van der Voort 6-1 Adam Hunt
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Andy Jenkins
Ron Meulenkamp 6-5 Robert Thornton
Max Hopp 6-4 Stephen Bunting
Cristo Reyes 6-4 Keegan Brown
Ian White 6-3 Andy Boulton
Jan Dekker 6-0 Stephen Burton
Kim Huybrechts 6-1 Ritchie Edhouse
Mark Webster 6-1 Wes Newton
Ryan Meikle 6-5 Zoran Lerchbacher
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-4 Ronny Huybrechts
Raymond van Barneveld 6-0 Jelle Klaasen
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Jamie Lewis
Richie Burnett 6-5 Matthew Edgar
Darren Webster 6-3 Jamie Bain
Peter Hudson 6-2 Sven Groen
Mervyn King 6-5 Kevin Painter
Peter Wright 6-4 Jimmy Hendriks
David Pallett 6-1 Josh Payne
Steve Hine 6-2 Joe Cullen
Steve Beaton 6-1 John Bowles
James Richardson 6-4 Alan Norris
Christian Kist 6-2 Richie Corner
Richard North 6-3 Mick McGowan
Mick Todd 6-5 Brendan Dolan
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Dimitri van den Bergh
Warrick Scheffer 6-4 Robbie Green
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Jonny Clayton
Rob Cross 6-2 Kyle Anderson
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 John Jnr Norman
Jeffrey de Graaf 6-2 Andy Hamilton
Gary Anderson 6-2 Ted Evetts
Steve West 6-3 Vincent van der Voort
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Ron Meulenkamp
Cristo Reyes 6-4 Max Hopp
Jan Dekker 6-4 Ian White
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Mark Webster
Ryan Meikle 6-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Daryl Gurney
Darren Webster 6-1 Richie Burnett
Mervyn King 6-3 Peter Hudson
Peter Wright 6-1 David Pallett
Steve Beaton 6-3 Steve Hine
James Richardson 6-5 Christian Kist
Richard North 6-1 Mick Todd
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Warrick Scheffer
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Rob Cross
Mensur Suljovic 6-1 Jeffrey de Graaf
Gary Anderson 6-5 Steve West
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Cristo Reyes
Kim Huybrechts 6-2 Jan Dekker
Raymond van Barneveld 6-2 Ryan Meikle
Mervyn King 6-4 Darren Webster
Peter Wright 6-0 Steve Beaton
Richard North 6-5 James Richardson
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Gerwyn Price
Mensur Suljovic 6-4 Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Kim Huybrechts
Mervyn King 6-2 Raymond van Barneveld
Peter Wright 6-2 Richard North
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Simon Whitlock
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Mervyn King
Peter Wright 6-2 Mensur Suljovic
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Peter Wright