19-year-old Dutch star Danny Jansen triumphs in just his ninth ranking event

Dutch sensation Danny Jansen shocked the darting world to secure his first PDC ranking title in just his ninth event as a professional.

The 19-year-old came through a star-studded field at the Barnsley Metrodome to prevail in Players Championship 9, defeating Andrew Gilding 8-6 in Friday’s final.

Jansen, who only took up the sport in 2016, secured his PDC Tour Card in January, and he took a huge step towards World Championship qualification by scooping the £12,000 top prize.

“I’m feeling so good, this is unbelievable,” said Jansen.

“It’s crazy, I thought I would be able to win games on the tour but to win a title so early is more than I expected.

“I love to play here in the PDC with the big names in darts, and now I feel I belong among them.

“My target this year is to qualify for the World Championship.”

Jansen eased past Radek Szaganski in his opener, before defying a ton-plus average from William O’Connor in round two – his first of four last-leg deciders throughout the day.

The Dutchman – who sports a distinctive mullet – edged out world No 1 Peter Wright to reach the last 16, where he survived two match darts against Krzysztof Ratajski, who averaged over 105.

Jansen then battled past Chris Dobey in a nervy quarter-final tussle, before clinching a dramatic 7-6 success against Dave Chisnall in the semi-finals, firing in a 12-darter in the decider having surrendered a 3-0 lead.

Gilding was denied at the final hurdle in Barnsley, but it was another hugely positive afternoon for ‘Goldfinger’, who was featuring in his first Pro Tour final since 2014.

He kicked off his campaign with victory over Ross Smith, before claiming the scalps of Rob Cross, Jose De Sousa and UK Open champion Danny Noppert to seal his spot in Friday’s showpiece.

Elsewhere, Simon Whitlock landed the 14th nine-darter on the PDC tour in 2022 during his first round clash against Mike De Decker, only to succumb 6-5 to the Belgian.

Meanwhile, three-time BDO world champion Glen Durrant enjoyed a return to winning ways, defeating Tony Martinez and Dimitri Van den Bergh to register his first wins on the Pro Tour since July 2021.

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