Peter Wright made it back-to-back Premier League wins with victory over Michael Smith in Liverpool and speaking in his post-match press conference, the world champion playfully declared that he thinks Michael van Gerwen is the fourth best player in world darts at present.
Wright defeated Van Gerwen to secure World Championship glory on New Year’s Day – his first win over the Dutchman in a major final at the tenth attempt, although there’s a consensus within the sport that Van Gerwen and Price are currently the two best players in the world.
The pair locked horns in a thrilling UK Open final last Sunday, which saw Price surrender a 5-1 advantage as Van Gerwen roared back to claim his first PDC title since November – which ironically also saw ‘The Green Machine’ defeat Price 11-9 in a major final at Minehead.
Price has reached finals in his last four ranking events – winning two of those, whilst Van Gerwen remains the man to beat, evidenced by his UK Open triumph where he boasted a tournament average of 104.39 across his six matches, landing his seventh televised nine-darter in the process.
Nevertheless, Wright has scooped three titles in 2020 thus far, following up his World Championship success by prevailing in the season-opening Masters and storming to Players Championship Five glory, and the Scot refutes the suggestion that Van Gerwen and Price are the top two.
“I don’t think Michael [van Gerwen] is [the best] but me and Gezzy [Price] I think are and then Nathan Aspinall and then Michael is fourth I’d say. I think it’s the best Premier League by far because everyone is playing some fantastic darts,” the 50-year-old admitted.
Wright moved up to fifth in the table with a 7-4 success over Smith in the evening’s curtain-raiser, in a repeat of their thrilling Masters final. Wright led 6-2 before ‘Bully Boy’ launched a late rally, only for the world No 2 to fire in a 10-darter to triumph with a 100 average and four maximums.
There’s just four points separating the top eight and Wright can move level with league leader Glen Durrant next week, with the pair due to collide on Night Seven in Newcastle. Wright defeated ‘Duzza’ in last week’s UK Open and has won his last four meetings against the three-time world champ.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC