Gerwyn Price joined an exclusive group following his maiden World Championship triumph on January 3. Not only did he become the first Welshman to lift the coveted Sid Waddell Trophy, he was also the 11th player to achieve world No 1 status within the PDC.
‘The Iceman’ leapfrogged Michael van Gerwen at the top of the PDC Order of Merit after pocketing the £500,000 top prize at Alexandra Palace, subsequently ending the Dutchman’s seven-year monopoly at the summit of world darts.
It’s been a remarkable rise for the 35-year-old, who claimed his first televised title at the 2018 Grand Slam of Darts, and he’s since captured another Grand Slam crown, whilst adding the World Grand Prix and World Championship titles to his growing collection within the last two years.
The Welshman is only the fourth player – alongside Van Gerwen, 16-time world champion Phil Taylor and five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld – to become world No 1 since the PDC made the move to a prize money-based Order of Merit in 2007.
Incredibly, there are now three players over the £1million mark on the Order of Merit for the first time in PDC history. Van Gerwen is sat in second spot on £1,044,750, just ahead of 2020 world champion Peter Wright, who suffered a surprise third round exit in the capital against Gabriel Clemens.
Rob Cross has climbed a place to fourth, despite suffering a second consecutive opening-round exit at the Worlds. The 2018 champion began the tournament in fifth before losing in a last-leg thriller to Dirk van Duijvenbode, yet he moves above World Cup partner Michael Smith.
‘Bully Boy’ was defending £200,000 in prize money following his run to the final in 2009, but the five-time major finalist was stunned by debutant Jason Lowe in his opener. As a result, Smith has dropped five places to ninth and has yet to be selected for the 2021 Premier League.
Nathan Aspinall is up to a career high of fifth despite failing to reach a third consecutive Alexandra Palace semi-final, whilst Dave Chisnall has regained his place in the world’s top six, following a semi-final showing at the Worlds – his best performance as a PDC player.
Chizzy produced an imperious display to whitewash Van Gerwen 5-0 in the quarters, only to succumb to Gary Anderson in the last four. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ has also risen up the ranks after reaching his fourth world final in seven years – moving up five places to eighth.
James Wade remains in seventh, after his bid for an elusive world crown ended in disappointment. ‘The Machine’ landed the first nine-darter at Ally Pally since 2016, only to relinquish a two-set lead against eventual semi-finalist Stephen Bunting in his last 32 tussle.
World Matchplay champion Dimitri Van den Bergh has slipped one place to tenth following his last 16 exit against Chisnall, whilst Daryl Gurney has maintained his grip on 11th spot, having equalled his best World Championship showing.
The Northern Irishman has endured a tough 2020 which has seen him surrender his place in the world’s top ten for the first time in over three years, but he enjoyed a welcome return to form over Christmas, culminating in a last-leg defeat to eventual winner Price in the last eight.
Ian White can consider himself extremely unfortunate yet again at the World Championship. ‘The Diamond’ posted another ton-topping average in his opener, but it wasn’t enough to see off a resurgent Kim Huybrechts, and he now finds himself tied in 11th with two-time major winner Gurney.
The top 16 is made up of Premier League champion Glen Durrant, World Championship quarter-finalist Krzysztof Ratajski, Grand Slam winner Jose De Sousa and Joe Cullen – who lost out in an epic deciding leg to Van Gerwen in round four, in arguably the match of the tournament.
Stephen Bunting has catapulted himself to within touching distance of the world’s top 16 courtesy of his exploits in the capital. ‘The Bullet’ was facing the prospect of relinquishing his top 32 status with an early exit, but instead he’s looking up after enjoying a stunning revival on the sport’s biggest stage.
However, it was a role reversal for Adrian Lewis, who is down to 24th on the Order of Merit – his lowest ranking position for over 15 years. ‘Jackpot’ was condemned to just his second opening-round exit at the Worlds, as Danny Baggish produced the performance of his life to triumph.
Elsewhere, Van Duijvenbode marked a breakthrough 2020 campaign by sealing a top 32 spot. The World Grand Prix finalist reached his fourth major quarter-final of the season in his return to the sport’s showpiece event, defeating Cross and Durrant before succumbing to Anderson.
Image Credit: Chris Dean/PDC
|2||Michael van Gerwen||£1,044,750|
|10||Dimitri Van den Bergh||£387,750|
|15||José de Sousa||£314,250|
|22||Jeffrey De Zwaan||£211,000|
|28||Vincent van der Voort||£188,000|
|32||Dirk van Duijvenbode||£168,000|