Dazzling Durrant seals his first PDC title!

Glen Durrant clinched his first ever PDC title with victory in Players Championship Four at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan on Sunday afternoon. The three-time BDO world champion averaged 101.11 over the course of the day and defeated World Youth champion Dimitri Van den Bergh 8-3 in the final to seal the £10,000 winner’s prize.

Durrant was appearing in his second Pro Tour final in the space of a week, after losing 8-7 against Dave Chisnall in Players Championship 2 last Sunday. However, ‘Duzza’ went one better at Players Championship Four to add his name to the history books of PDC winners.

The Middlesbrough man, who featured as the contender in last Thursday’s Premier League action in Glasgow, stormed into an early 3-0 lead against Van den Bergh in Sunday’s showpiece. Durrant drew first blood with a clinical 95 kill on the bull, before breaking throw via double one moments later.

The 48-year-old stretched his lead to 3-0 with a 15-dart hold via double four, but Van den Bergh opened his account in leg four; completing a 13-dart hold on double twelve. Durrant regained his three-leg buffer with a 13-dart hold, but Van den Bergh doubled his tally in leg six; following up his first maximum with a 15-darter on double eight.

The three-time Lakeside world champion moved 5-2 ahead via double six, before ‘The Dream Maker’ reduced the arrears to 5-3 after converting a two-dart 72 combination to complete a 14-dart hold. Nevertheless, the turning point came in the ninth leg of the contest.

Van den Bergh left himself on 32 after 15 darts as he attempted to break back, but Durrant produced a nerveless 76 checkout on double 18 to move 6-3 ahead. The Teessider then moved to the cusp of victory with a classy 12-dart break, before sealing the title with his second 76 finish of the contest, to prevail with a 96.20 average.

Durrant is now up to 74th on the PDC Order of Merit after just four events and speaking to PDC commentator Dan Dawson, he reflected: “That is as good as it gets, it’s a wonderful feeling. To showcase my talents – I have just had the best two weeks. I am now a PDC champion, and I am ecstatic.”

Durrant performed magnificently throughout the day and he’s now put himself in firm contention to qualify for July’s World Matchplay. The three-time BDO world champion posted four ton-plus averages en route to reaching the final, performing with remarkable consistency for the second Sunday in succession.

‘Duzza’ kicked off his campaign with a hard-fought 6-3 win over former World Championship semi-finalist Jamie Lewis, before posting successive 103 averages as he saw off Ritchie Edhouse and Joe Cullen to seal his spot in the last 16.

Durrant then breezed past world number seven Mensur Suljovic; averaging 99.20 to defeat ‘The Gentle’ 6-2 to set up a quarter-final showdown against 18-year-old Bradley Brooks. Brooks defeated Max Hopp and Adrian Lewis to reach the last eight and he led Durrant 5-4, but the Teessider showed his class to triumph with a sublime 11-dart leg in the decider.

The 48-year-old faced Grand Slam champion Gerwyn Price for a place in Sunday’s showpiece and Durrant produced the best performance of his PDC career to date. Price averaged 103.40 and crashed in five maximums, but it was to no avail, as Durrant ran out an emphatic 7-3 winner with a 109.30 average, after registering legs of 14, 13, 13, 13, 12, 13 and 15 darts.

However, Van den Bergh also transferred his electrifying stage form to the Pro Tour, claiming a number of big scalps before losing out in his first senior PDC ranking final. The Belgian recovered from back-to-back first round exits last weekend by reaching the last 16 of Saturday’s event, before upping the ante even further with a series of high-quality displays on Sunday.

The World Youth champion kicked off proceedings with an impressive 6-2 win over Saturday’s semi-finalist Chris Dobey, before easing past Toni Alcinas in a scrappy affair. Van den Bergh then recorded a fine 6-4 victory over nine-time major winner James Wade – averaging 101.50 in the process.

Van den Bergh claimed consecutive 6-4 wins over Stephen Burton and Matthew Edgar to set up a semi-final showdown against 2018 world champion Rob Cross, who continued his strong start to the season by posting five ton-plus averages throughout the day. However, the Belgian denied Voltage 7-5 in a thriller, with Cross averaging 105.40 in defeat.

Elsewhere, a number of high-profile stars suffered early exits in Wigan. Premier League stars Peter Wright and Daryl Gurney were beaten in round-one by Tipton pair Scott Baker and Jamie Hughes respectively, whilst Simon Whitlock’s woes continued, as he slipped to his fourth successive opening-round Players Championship exit at the hands of Darius Labanauskas.

Saturday’s runner-up Ian White was beaten by an impressive Luke Woodhouse in the second round, whilst Players Championship 2 winner Dave Chisnall and James Wade both bowed out in round-three, losing out to Matthew Edgar and Van den Bergh respectively.

Michael van Gerwen was denied a third Players Championship title of 2019 after losing 6-1 to an inspired Nathan Aspinall in the last 16. ‘The Asp’ averaged 101.90 and reeled off five consecutive legs in 16, 14, 15, 12 and 15 darts, but the Ally Pally semi-finalist was edged out by Gerwyn Price 6-5 in a thrilling quarter-final tussle.

Van Gerwen’s Premier League colleagues Michael Smith and Mensur Suljovic also suffered last 16 exits at the Robin Park Tennis Centre. Smith was edged out by Price, whilst Suljovic was comprehensively beaten by Durrant. Two-time world champion Adrian Lewis also enjoyed a run to the last 16, where he was beaten by 18-year-old star Bradley Brooks.

Photo Credit: Taylor Lanning

Last 16
Nathan Aspinall 6-1 Michael van Gerwen
Gerwyn Price 6-5 Michael Smith
Bradley Brooks 6-4 Adrian Lewis
Glen Durrant 6-2 Mensur Suljovic
Kyle Anderson 6-3 Mark McGeeney
Rob Cross 6-3 Jonny Clayton
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Stephen burton
Matthew Edgar 6-0 Adrian Gray

Quarter-Finals
Gerwyn Price 6-5 Nathan Aspinall
Glen Durrant 6-5 Bradley Brooks
Rob Cross 6-2 Kyle Anderson
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Matthew Edgar

Semi-Finals
Glen Durrant 7-3 Gerwyn Price
Dimitri Van den Bergh 7-5 Rob Cross

Final
Glen Durrant 8-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh

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