Nathan Aspinall leads the way on the Players Championship Order of Merit following the opening weekend of action in Barnsley, which saw ‘The Asp’ produce a nine-dart finish and land a fourth PDC title.
Aspinall has enjoyed a meteoric rise since lifting his first senior ranking title in September 2018, reaching back-to-back World Championship semi-finals whilst also lifting the UK Open and the U.S Masters to establish himself within the world’s top eight.
The 28-year-old’s exploits were rewarded with a spot in this year’s Premier League and following a comfortable 7-3 win over ‘challenger’ John Henderson on Thursday, Aspinall maintained his fine form on Sunday to scoop the £10,000 top prize.
The Stockport star averaged 102 across the event – although his last eight display against world champion Peter Wright generated most headlines. He posted a nine-darter in the penultimate leg of their clash, averaging a whopping 117.50 before sweeping aside Gerwyn Price in the final.
Aspinall is closely followed on the Order of Merit by fellow Premier League star Gary Anderson, who clinched his first PDC title since September 2018 with victory at Players Championship One on Saturday.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ rolled back the years to kick off his 2020 season in style, posting four ton-plus averages and defeating Simon Whitlock, Price, Rob Cross, Joe Cullen and Adrian Lewis en route to claiming a 49th PDC title.
Anderson defeated Jeff Smith in Saturday’s showpiece and the Canadian occupies third spot following his impressive return to the PDC circuit. ‘The Silencer’ was featuring in his first Players Championship event since 2013 and he defeated four top ten stars throughout the weekend.
Smith saw off Dave Chisnall, Aspinall and Wright to reach the first PDC Pro Tour final of his career and the former BDO World Championship finalist also claimed the scalp of world No 7 Daryl Gurney en route to reaching the last 16 on Sunday.
World No 3 Gerwyn Price was denied a sixth Players Championship crown on Sunday although he sits in fourth spot, whilst world champion Wright is fifth following his back-to-back quarter-final appearances, which saw him average 113.70 in defeat to Aspinall in a contest littered with quality.
Two-time world champion Adrian Lewis is tied on £4,000 with Saturday’s semi-finalist Brendan Dolan and Dutchman Dirk van Duijvenbode, who performed superbly to reach his first PDC ranking semi-final on Sunday.
Mickey Mansell was one of five players to land nine-dart finishes throughout the weekend and he makes up the top ten alongside Ross Smith, and they’re closely followed by Sunday’s semi-finalist Gabriel Clemens, Jamie Hughes, Maik Kuivenhoven and the veteran Steve Beaton.
Michael van Gerwen’s wait for a ranking title in 2020 continues after the world No 1 suffered last 32 and last 16 exits in Barnsley and ‘The Green Machine’ is languishing in 15th position alongside his Premier League colleague Michael Smith.
Former Grand Slam winner Scott Waites enjoyed a solid start to life in the PDC after claiming a Tour Card at Qualifying School last month and he’s joined in the top 20 by three-time BDO world champion and Premier League debutant Glen Durrant.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
|Position||Name||Total Prize Money|
|6||Dirk van Duijvenbode||£4,000|
|15||Michael van Gerwen||£2,500|
|24||Jose de Sousa||£1,500|
|24||Mike van Duivenbode||£1,500|
|58||Jeffrey de Zwaan||£500|
|58||Kai Fan Leung||£500|
|58||Martin Atkins (Wigan)||£500|
|58||Mike De Decker||£500|
|90||Benito van de Pas||£0|
|90||Dimitri Van den Bergh||£0|
|90||Vincent van der Meer||£0|
|90||Vincent van der Voort||£0|