World number one Michael van Gerwen was named as the PDC Player of the Year at the 2019 PDC Annual Awards Evening on Monday night, as Gary Anderson, Michael Smith and Daryl Gurney also scooped awards at The Dorchester in London.
Van Gerwen claimed an incredible 19 titles throughout the calendar year, before being crowned world champion for a third time on New Year’s Day. He also retained his Premier League and Masters titles, while regaining his World Grand Prix crown.
The Dutchman clinched his third World Cup of Darts title alongside five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld and his astonishing achievements saw him crowned PDC Player of the Year for the fourth consecutive year.
‘The Green Machine’ was also awarded the title of PDC Pro Tour Player of the Year. The 29-year-old won eight of this year’s 13 European Tour events and prevailed in four Players Championship events, despite only featuring in eight. Van Gerwen also competed in three UK Open qualifiers – winning two of them.
“To win these two awards is a phenomenal achievement, along with winning my third World Championship a few weeks ago,” Van Gerwen said. “Other players are getting better and better every week so I have to be at my best all the time. I love playing darts and I’m going to come back even stronger next year.
“Darts is growing bigger and bigger and is being watched by more and more people around the world, so it’s amazing to be World Champion and win this award as the sport continues to grow,” added the three-time world champion.
Two-time world champion Gary Anderson was voted as the Fans’ Player of the Year ahead of Van Gerwen after scooping three major televised titles in a trophy-laden 2018. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ claimed maiden titles at the UK Open, World Matchplay and Champions League of Darts, with his epic Matchplay victory completing the much coveted triple-crown.
Van Gerwen was also runner-up in the PDPA Players’ Player of the Year category, with Michael Smith collecting that particular accolade. ‘Bully Boy’ enjoyed a breakthrough 2018; appearing in three televised finals. He was runner-up in the Premier League, World Series Finals and most recently the World Championship, which saw him rise to a career high of sixth in the world.
Daryl Gurney received the award for Televised Performance of the Year, following his triumph over Van Gerwen at the Players Championship Finals. Gurney edged out the Dutchman 11-9 in the final to deny ‘Mighty Mike’ a fourth consecutive Minehead title- becoming the first player to defeat MvG in a major televised final since the 2015 World Grand Prix.
“Around a year ago I was questioning whether I could still play at the top level, but that Players Championship Finals win showed I can still do it,” said the two-time PDC major winner. “For that reason that performance was a huge one for my career and I hope I can add many more titles to my honours list and keep making young Daryl proud.”
Max Hopp was voted as Young Player of the Year after winning two senior PDC titles last year. The former World Youth champion famously secured German Darts Open glory on home soil, before winning a Players Championship event in September. Hopp also reached his first TV semi-final at the European Championship to break into the world’s top 32 for the very first time.
Elsewhere, Luke Humphries edged out Danny Noppert, Ryan Joyce and Gabriel Clemens to be crowned Best Newcomer. Humphries topped the Development Tour Order of Merit for the second consecutive year, before defeating Stephen Bunting, Dimitri van den Bergh and Rob Cross en route to reaching the quarter-finals at the recent PDC World Championship.
The 23-year-old admitted: “This is a massive award and shows how far I have come over the last year. To beat the reigning World Champion at Alexandra Palace was unreal for me and now my goal is to carry on my development and continue to make a name for myself.”
The penultimate award of the evening saw two-time World Matchplay champion Rod Harrington deservedly inducted into the PDC Hall of Fame. Harrington had a wonderful playing career, becoming world number one, reaching a World Championship final and most famously winning back-to-back titles at the Winter Gardens.
Nevertheless, Harrington also played an integral role in the formation of the PDC and, alongside his work as a TV commentator for Sky Sports, has since gone on to play a huge part in setting up the European Tour, Challenge Tour and Development Tour systems which have seen a host of young players progress in the sport.
“I have to thank everyone for making the PDC what it is today and I am privileged to have played a role in our journey,” said Harrington. “When I stopped playing darts the best thing I ever did was get involved in helping to run the PDC. The most important thing we did, and continue to do, is to invest in young players; they are the future of our great sport.
“It’s been an incredible journey, I’ve had ups and downs in my career but when I see what the PDC has become I can say it was all worth it. Now I am excited by the future of the company as we continue to grow around the world with more and more players taking up the sport,” Harrington added.
Finally, players who achieved perfect nine-dart legs in PDC tournaments during 2018 were recognised with places in the PDC Nine-Dart Club. Gary Anderson and Dimitri van den Bergh received a commemorative gold-pin badge for their televised nine-darters in the World Matchplay and Grand Slam of Darts respectively.
Additionally, silver pin badges were presented to 25 other players who landed nine-dart finishes in non-televised events, including Van Gerwen, James Wade, Adrian Lewis, Ian White, Stephen Bunting, Krzysztof Ratajski and Vincent van der Voort. The full list of awards and nominations from the 2019 PDC Awards Dinner can be viewed below.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
2019 PDC Annual Awards
PDC Nine-Dart Club
Gold Pins: Gary Anderson, Dimitri Van den Bergh
Silver Pins: Robbie Green, Ian White, Michael van Gerwen (x3), Peter Jacques, John Goldie, Cameron Menzies, Jamie Lewis, Noel Malicdem, Steve Hine, Stephen Bunting, Nathan Aspinall, Dawson Murschell, Dennis Nilsson, Lee Turle, Simon Preston, Adrian Lewis, Vincent van der Voort, James Wade, Krzysztof Ratajski, Rowby-John Rodriguez, George Killington, Peter Hudson, Andrew Gilding, Jimmy Hendriks, Eddie Lovely
ProTour Player of the Year
Winner: Michael van Gerwen
Nominated: Peter Wright, Rob Cross, Ian White
Winner: Luke Humphries
Nominated: Danny Noppert, Ryan Joyce, Luke Humphries, Gabriel Clemens
Televised Performance of the Year
Winner: Daryl Gurney (Players Championship Finals Final v Michael van Gerwen)
Nominated: Michael van Gerwen (Premier League Final v Michael Smith), Gary Anderson (World Matchplay Quarter-Final v Joe Cullen), Michael Smith (World Championship Semi-Final v Nathan Aspinall), Luke Humphries (World Championship Fourth Round v Rob Cross)
Fans’ Player of the Year
Winner: Gary Anderson
Runner-up: Michael van Gerwen
PDPA Players’ Player of the Year
Winner: Michael Smith
Runner-up: Michael van Gerwen
Young Player of the Year
Winner: Max Hopp
Nominated: Dimitri Van den Bergh, Jeffrey de Zwaan, Luke Humphries
PDC Hall of Fame Inductee
Rod Harrington – PDC Director and two-time World Matchplay Champion
Player of the Year
Winner: Michael van Gerwen
Nominated: Gary Anderson, Michael Smith, James Wade