Michael van Gerwen returned to winning ways as he defeated Daryl Gurney 8-3 to claim Melbourne Darts Masters glory on an action-packed day of darts at the Melbourne Arena on Saturday.
This was just Van Gerwen’s second triumph in Australia – his first since 2016, as he powered his way to a 13th World Series crown with victories over Gary Anderson, Peter Wright and Gurney to clinch his first televised title since his Premier League success in May.
The opening two legs of the final were shared, before MvG converted a classy 110 checkout to lead. He extended his advantage with a break of throw in leg four, but Gurney responded strongly and levelled up proceedings at three apiece heading into the interval.
However, the Northern Irishman missed a dart at tops to break in leg seven and this proved costly, as ‘The Green Machine’ reeled off five consecutive legs to claim the £20,000 top prize and deny Gurney a maiden World Series title.
“It is good to be back and winning titles again. People have been talking a little bit because they are used to seeing me win all the time. Form is temporary and class is permanent, nobody should doubt my talent,” said a buoyant Van Gerwen after his win.
“To beat Gary Anderson, Peter Wright and then Daryl in the final it shows that I am still the man to beat and I want to make it two out of three when we go to Hamilton next week.”
The world number one hasn’t been at his blistering best over recent weeks, but he kicked off Saturday’s proceedings with an 8-6 win over Gary Anderson, as he averaged over 100 for remarkably the first time in 15 attempts.
The three-time world champion then brushed aside Peter Wright with a thumping 8-0 whitewash in the last four. Wright edged out Raymond van Barneveld 8-6 in an entertaining last eight tussle, but Snakebite struggled throughout against MvG, averaging just 82 to the Dutchman’s 96.97.
Having defeated Kyle Anderson in round one, Gurney defeated another Australian to reach the semi-finals, easing past home hero Simon Whitlock 8-4, in a contest which featured an eye-catching 132 kill from ‘Super Chin’.
In the last four Gurney faced World Matchplay champion Rob Cross, who cruised past Brisbane winner Damon Heta in the quarter-finals. Cross led 5-4 as he closed in on a second consecutive World Series final, but Gurney won four consecutive legs to topple the second seed.
The world number three was appearing in his second World Series final, after he finished runner-up to Van Gerwen at the 2017 US Darts Masters and Gurney conceded that missed doubles were his undoing in Saturday’s showpiece.
“I had my chances and if I had managed to hit my double I might have been able to win tonight. I’m playing well and giving myself good opportunities so to make it to another final shows I am still competing at the highest level,” said Gurney.
“There are a lot of big events coming up in the rest of the year and I hope to be lifting at least one of the big ones,” he added. However, next up for the PDC’s elite is the New Zealand Darts Masters in Hamilton on August 23-24, with bumper crowds expected throughout at the Claudelands Arena.
Photo Credit: PDC/David Callow