Michael van Gerwen secured his second title in the space of 48 hours with victory over Jose De Sousa on day three of the PDC Summer Series in Milton Keynes.
The world No 1 defeated world champion Peter Wright to triumph on Wednesday and having suffered a surprise second round exit against his compatriot Maik Kuivenhoven on Thursday, Van Gerwen returned to winning ways on Friday afternoon at the Marshall Arena.
De Sousa was bidding to lift the third PDC title of his career and the enigmatic Portuguese star produced some sublime displays, averaging over 102 in five of his six games en route to the final.
Nevertheless, ‘The Special One’ was unable to topple the impregnable Dutchman in Friday’s showpiece, with Van Gerwen reeling off eight of the final nine legs and averaging 102.5 to scoop the £10,000 top prize and extend his lead at the top of the Summer Series Order of Merit.
Van Gerwen advanced to the quarter-finals with relative ease, relinquishing just seven legs against the quartet of Alan Tabern, Kim Huybrechts, Robbie Collins and James Wade. ‘Mighty Mike’ averaged over 107 in a sparkling win over Wade and maintained that form in his last eight tie with Chris Dobey.
Dobey defeated Adrian Lewis, whitewashed Rob Cross’ conqueror Mickey Mansell and also overcame Dimitri Van den Bergh to boost his hopes of World Matchplay qualification, but even a 106 average wasn’t enough to defeat MvG, who ran out a 6-4 winner in a captivating affair.
The 31-year-old then sealed a spot in his fourth Players Championship Final of 2020 with a battling 7-4 win over Jeff Smith. ‘The Silencer’ reached a Pro Tour final back in February and claimed the scalps of Nathan Aspinall and Peter Wright in Milton Keynes, but fell just short against Van Gerwen.
De Sousa was even more impressive in his progression to the final. He opened up proceedings with a 109 average to dispose of Adam Hunt, before easing past Aaron Beeney – who defeated two-time world champion Scott Waites to secure his first ever win as a PDC Tour Card holder.
De Sousa then defied a stunning 109 average from Danny Noppert to reach the last 16, where he landed three more ton-topping averages to record wins over top seed Gerwyn Price, former Lakeside world champion Stephen Bunting and world No 7 Daryl Gurney.
‘The Special One’ continued that form in the early stages of his tussle against MvG, firing in 15 and 14-dart legs to move into a 2-0 cushion. However, Van Gerwen rallied, as brilliant 130 and 146 finishes helped him establish a 4-2 buffer.
The world No 1 extended his advantage to 6-2 courtesy of some errant doubling from De Sousa and although the 46-year-old finally stopped the rot to reduce the arrears, Van Gerwen responded with a brace of 14-darters to wrap up yet another Pro Tour triumph.
Six of the world’s top 16 – Rob Cross, Gary Anderson, Glen Durrant, Mensur Suljovic, Adrian Lewis and Simon Whitlock all bowed out at the first hurdle in Milton Keynes and with just two days of the Summer Series remaining, the race for World Matchplay qualification will intensify over the weekend.
Image Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
PDC Summer Series Day Three (Players Championship Ten)
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
Jose De Sousa 6-3 Gerwyn Price
Stephen Bunting 6-3 Ryan Murray
Daryl Gurney 6-1 Ryan Meikle
Ian White 6-2 Jonny Clayton
Peter Wright 6-4 Jermaine Wattimena
Jeff Smith 6-1 Mike De Decker
Chris Dobey 6-4 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 James Wade
Jose De Sousa 6-2 Stephen Bunting
Daryl Gurney 6-0 Ian White
Jeff Smith 6-3 Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Chris Dobey
Jose De Sousa 7-3 Daryl Gurney
Michael van Gerwen 7-4 Jeff Smith
Michael van Gerwen 8-3 Jose De Sousa