Raymond van Barneveld produced one of the finest displays in PDC World Championship history when he dispatched Jelle Klaasen 5-1 in the 2009 quarter-finals at the Alexandra Palace.
The five-time world champion had survived match darts in beating Ronnie Baxter in a breathless sudden-death leg in the previous round, which set up a last eight showdown against his Dutch compatriot.
The pair had contested the 2006 BDO World Championship Final and prior to their Ally Pally clash, Van Barneveld was yet to register a televised victory over Klaasen. However, Barney rewrote the history books in sensational style; landing the first nine-darter in the 16 years of the PDC World Championship en route to victory.
Paul Lim was the only man to have previously achieved a nine-dart finish at a World Championship, with ‘The Singapore Slinger’ having done so in the BDO event in 1990- some 29 years earlier.
Van Barneveld completed the feat in the second leg of the sixth set; following up successive maximums with a sublime 141 finish. It was a moment of magic but his subdued reaction was almost as mesmerising- as he remained intensely focused on sealing his progression.
Barney completed the win in fittingly majestic style; converting a classy 161 finish on the bullseye to triumph. Klaasen had snatched the opening set, but Van Barneveld then reeled off five successive sets for the loss of just four legs; averaging 106.68 and boasting an incredible 64% checkout success rate in the process.
Reflecting on his history-making exploits, Barney admitted: “I don’t know what I’ve done. It’s really special for me, hitting this in the World Championships is massive – I’m very proud. These nine-darters are really special to do on TV. Darts on TV makes me a darts hero. If darts was never on TV, I would still work as a postman.”
The Den Haag ace went on to defeat James Wade in the semi-finals, before succumbing to an irrepressible Phil Taylor in the final, who posted a record 110.94 average to seal his 14th world crown. However, Barney repeated his nine-dart heroics twelve months later, landing the perfect leg in his second-round win over Brendan Dolan.
Ironically, there have now been nine 9-dart finishes in PDC World Championship history, but Barney’s name will forever be etched in history for registering the first two. Adrian Lewis also matches RvB’s tally with a brace of nine-darters, and the pair could potentially meet in the last 32 at the Alexandra Palace this year. That would be special!
WATCH: Here’s a reminder of Van Barneveld’s historic nine-darter at the 2009 PDC World Championship, as the Alexandra Palace crowd officially went bonkers!