Van Gerwen Claims 5th Consecutive Dutch Darts Masters Title

Michael van Gerwen continued his European Tour dominance and claimed a 5th consecutive Dutch Darts Masters Title on Sunday evening in Zwolle.

Albeit far from a vintage performance, the World No.1 triumphed 8-5 in the Final, denying Irish qualifier Steve Lennon a first senior PDC title.

He eased into a 5-1 lead as nerves seemed to get the better of his opponent, but Lennon composed himself and fought valiantly to pull it back to 7-5, pinning double 18 to break the Dutchman’s throw.

Competing in his 80th Pro Tour Final, MVG fell across the line with his 3rd attempt at double 10 to lift an astonishing 24th European Tour Trophy.

Green Machine Off-Colour

It was, however, far from plain sailing for ‘Mighty Mike’ who missed countless doubles, operated largely with his B game on show and looked jaded as the tournament entered its final stages.

Indeed, his highest average of 102.78- in his 6-2 Quarter-Final blitz of Aussie Kyle Anderson- was lower than anything he produced in his stunning run to the title in Germany 7 days ago.

Daryl Gurney squandered 3 match darts to reach the final (Photo: Lawrence Lustig)

In fact, van Gerwen has Daryl Gurney to thank for letting him off the hook in a bizarre Semi-Final encounter which saw ‘Super Chin’ take a 6-2 lead in a race to 7 legs, despite averaging in the mid 80’s.

Gurney then missed one dart at double 12 in the 10th leg to knock out the reigning champion and it was enough to spark MVG’s comeback.

A first 180 of the match for van Gerwen in the 11th leg brought the crowd to its feet as they sensed a miraculous turnaround and began jeering the Northern Irishman as he approached the oche.

With the gap closed to 6-5, Gurney engineered 2 more match darts at double 18, but blew it.

Drawing on all his experience and showing battling qualities in abundance, van Gerwen pounced on double 16 to force a decider, rattled in a 15-darter, and somehow escaped to victory to prevent an all-Irish Final.

After subsequently defeating Lennon, MVG’s record now stands at 21 wins from his last 21 tournament finals.

An astonishing achievement that he will aim to extend further on Thursday night at the O2 arena in London, as the Premier League reaches its conclusion.

Lennon benefitted from a bye in Round 2 and made the most of it (Photo: Lawrence Lustig)

Luck of the Irish

Aided by the last minute withdrawal of World Champion Rob Cross due to injury, Steve Lennon continued his emergence on the PDC circuit.

Having survived match darts against Rowby-John Rodriguez in the first-round, Lennon received a bye into the third-round- thanks to Cross- and rode his luck once more against James Richardson.

Back-to-back visits of 26 in the deciding leg seemed to spell the end, but Richardson missed the Bullseye and Lennon snuck into the Quarter-Finals for a meeting with Mensur Suljovic.

When it seemed as though his game had faltered, a magnificent 143 checkout dispatched the Austrian and moved him into uncharted territory- a PDC ranking Semi-Final against out-of-form Belgian Kim Huybrechts.

Both struggled to get going until Lennon produced another inspired tonne-plus finish to break throw and lead 6-5, completing the victory with a checkout of 119 in the following leg.

Reaching the Final with a tournament average of just 88.68, it’s no surprise he came up short against MVG.

But Lennon capitalised on his opponents’ errors and the £10,000 reward for his efforts means he will be seeded for the first time in his career at the Players Championship events next weekend – meaning he will avoid another potential meeting with van Gerwen in the early rounds.

24 year-old Lennon has also vaulted into the top 50 in the Order of Merit and will now represent his country, as the Irish No.1, in the World Cup of Darts at the end of the month.

Bunting believes he is back to his best (Photo: Lawrence Lustig)

Bullet Fires Back

Stephen Bunting produced the most eye-catching display of the entire event, annihilating ‘Bully Boy’ Michael Smith 6-0 with the weekend high average of 106.09.

Granted, Smith has been suffering with pleurisy and probably should have pulled out of the event to focus on Premier League duty, like Rob Cross, but even a fully-fit Smith would have done well to live with Bunting on this occasion.

‘The Bullet’ claimed he was playing ‘the best darts of his career’ prior to defeating Krzysztof Ratajski and reaching a first European Tour Quarter-Final since June 2017.

While most would argue Bunting hasn’t returned to the levels that got him selected for Premier League duty in 2015, he has halted a slide down the rankings, and this newfound belief could see him challenge for a return to the top 16 in the coming months.

Lewis is a 4-time Major Winner (Photo: Lawrence Lustig)

Lewis’ Woes Continue

Adrian Lewis continued to under-perform on the big stage and looked bereft of confidence, slumping to a 6-4 first-round defeat against Dutch favourite Jan Dekker.

Lewis looked a mile away from the naturally gifted genius that lifted back-to-back World Titles.

Employing a slower, more deliberate style, ‘Jackpot’ registered his worst ever performance in a European Tour match- an array of sloppy darts left him with an average of 82.32.

Though recent results in Players Championship events had suggested the former World No.2 was recovering his form, fans will be increasingly worried about the 33 year-olds future at the top of the sport.

Ultimately, the choice to use Raymond van Barneveld’s darts at Ally Pally in the World Championships was a clear sign that Lewis’ head hasn’t been in the right place for some time.

Lewis no longer qualifies to represent England and will miss the World Cup of Darts for the first time since 2010.

Jones reached the World Championship Semi-Finals way back in 2006

Wanderer Returns

Wayne Jones clambered back into the top 64 with a first-round win over World Championship Semi-Finalist Jamie Lewis.

In the process, 53 year-old veteran Jones achieved his first tonne-plus average in Europe since overcoming a certain Phil Taylor in this very event, 6 years ago.

Aptly nicknamed ‘The Wanderer’, Jones had dropped down to the Challenge Tour at the end of 2016 but some strong performances saw him regain his Tour Card for this season.

Although yet to make a Quarter-Final in 2018, there are signs that the 1999 World Masters Finalist could still be a force within the game.

 

2018 Dutch Darts Masters Full Results

 

Friday May 11

First Round

Afternoon Session (1.15pm local time, 12.15pm BST)

Ryan Joyce 6-5 Michael Rosenauer

Dragutin Horvat 6-5 Toni Alcinas

James Richardson 6-4 Jason Cullen

Jermaine Wattimena 6-3 Adam Huckvale

Wayne Jones 6-1 Jamie Lewis

James Wilson 6-2 Johan Engstrom

Steve Lennon 6-5 Rowby-John Rodriguez

Kyle Anderson 6-3 Christian Kist

Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm BST)

Cameron Menzies 6-1 Kevin Munch

Terry Jenkins 6-2 Mike De Decker

Steve Beaton 6-5 Jeffrey de Graaf

Stephen Bunting 6-1 Tobias Mueller

Josh Payne 6-5 Jonny Clayton

Krzysztof Ratajski 6-2 Ricky Evans

Jan Dekker 6-4 Adrian Lewis

Cristo Reyes 6-3 James Wade

 

Saturday May 12

Second Round

Afternoon Session (1.15pm local time, 12.15pm BST)

Kim Huybrechts 6-2 Wayne Jones

John Henderson 3-6 James Richardson

Gerwyn Price 6-5 Dragutin Horvat

Mervyn King 6-4 Ryan Joyce

Joe Cullen 3-6 Jermaine Wattimena

Dave Chisnall 4-6 Cameron Menzies

Ian White 3-6 Kyle Anderson

Bye – Steve Lennon (Rob Cross withdrew)

Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm BST)

Simon Whitlock 6-4 Jan Dekker

Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Josh Payne

Michael Smith 0-6 Stephen Bunting

Peter Wright 6-4 James Wilson

Jelle Klaasen 2-6 Krzysztof Ratajski

Daryl Gurney 6-4 Cristo Reyes

Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Terry Jenkins

Darren Webster 6-4 Steve Beaton

 

Sunday May 13

Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm BST)

Third Round

Steve Lennon 6-5 James Richardson

Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Simon Whitlock

Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena

Peter Wright 6-3 Gerwyn Price

Stephen Bunting 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski

Daryl Gurney 6-2 Mervyn King

Kyle Anderson 6-5 Cameron Menzies

Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Darren Webster

 

Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm BST)

Quarter-Finals

Steve Lennon 6-3 Mensur Suljovic

Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Peter Wright

Daryl Gurney 6-2 Stephen Bunting

Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Kyle Anderson

Semi-Finals

Steve Lennon 7-5 Kim Huybrechts

Michael van Gerwen 7-6 Daryl Gurney

Final

Michael van Gerwen 8-5 Steve Lennon

Mighty Mike: King of Europe

(Picture by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

The PDC European Tour returns to Germany for the second weekend running as the 32 qualifiers get proceedings under way in first-round action from noon today.

Thousands of fans will descend upon the Zenith events hall in Munich to watch the action unfold over the Easter holiday.

Last year Michael van Gerwen was imperious on his way to the German Darts Grand Prix final- dropping only 1 leg on route- where he swept aside Rob Cross by 6 legs to 3, averaging 111 in the process.

Should we expect a repeat this time around? It is hard to argue otherwise…..

Reigning Supreme

There have been 53 European Tour events since its inception in 2012 and following his defeat of Peter Wright last weekend, Michael van Gerwen has now won 21 of them.

Astonishingly, this is 1 more than the rest of the current top 16 players in the world put together.

Believe it or not these tournaments are incredibly difficult to win. Only 5 of the 19 other men to have triumphed over the years have managed to climb the mountain more than once, further highlighting his incredible record.

‘Mighty Mike’ is the undisputed King of Europe. Blazing a trail across the continent- army of Dutch fans in tow- and leaving a trail of fallen opponents in his wake whilst collecting as much silverware as he can fit in his trophy cabinet.

(Picture by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

But, initially, van Gerwen made little impact on his European outings. Having debuted at the 2012 Austrian Darts Open as a 23 year-old qualifier, he won only 6 matches at his first 6 tournaments.

It would take just over a year for him to find his feet- breaking new ground with a run to the semi-finals of the European Darts Trophy on April Fools ‘ Day 2013. He would go on to win the next two events in Germany and Austria and end the year with a first World Crown.

Exactly five years to the day ‘The Green Machine’ will enter the fray on Sunday, along with the 15 other seeded challengers. But who will be laughing loudest as their name is being engraved on Monday evening?

Dedication for Perfection

Rivals such as Gary Anderson, Raymond van Barneveld, and Adrian Lewis have regularly opted out from what they consider unwelcome interruptions to the showpiece Major Tournaments.

They, instead, prefer to conserve energy in a justifiable attempt to reduce air miles and try to peak for the big occasion.

But the man with a 1 million pound cushion atop the world rankings has a different take on it. It’s his chance to escape the unrelenting pressure of the 16-week long Premier League season and perform in places where he is only ever adored, never jeered.

This could explain why he has only missed 6 events in 6 years but, also, van Gerwen has admitted he prefers to play more competitive fixtures (enabling him to practise less) in order to stay sharp when the Major Tournaments roll round.

It is hard to argue with his logic. MVG has topped the Premier League table every year he has been involved, whilst juggling his Euro Tour commitments.

Springboard to Greatness

Peter Wright has reaped the rewards of a very similar regime to the twice World Champion. ‘Snakebite’ also competes as often as he can, winning 10 PDC tournaments in 2017 including 5 in Europe- second only to MVG’s haul of 16.

The German Darts Grand Prix could be the stepping stone to greater things for somebody this weekend. 78% of players to make a final on the European Tour have reached the same stage in Majors.

So if a new face appears on Monday evening, take it as a sign of things to come….

Don’t miss a single dart with live coverage of every session at PDC.TV!

2018 German Darts Grand Prix

Schedule of Play

Saturday March 31st

First Round

Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm GMT)

Luke Humphries v William O’Connor

Rowby-John Rodriguez v Max Hopp

Danny Noppert v Krzysztof Ratajski

Nathan Aspinall v Steve Lennon

Maik Langendorf v Keegan Brown

Ryan Meikle v Scott Taylor

Steve West v Paul Rowley

Darren Webster v Jan Dekker

 

Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm GMT)

Madars Razma v James Wade

Jermaine Wattimena v Alan Tabern

Josh Payne v Michael Rasztovits

Martin Schindler v Chris Dobey

James Wilson v Toni Alcinas

Stephen Bunting v Christian Goedl

Johnny Clayton v Rene Berndt

Adrian Lewis v Yordi Meeuwisse

 

Sunday April 1st

Second Round

Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm GMT)

Gerwyn Price v Humphries/O’Connor

Dave Chisnall v Webster/Dekker

Kim Huybrechts v West/Rowley

Mervyn King v Rodriguez/Hopp

Kyle Anderson v Wattimena/Tabern

Simon Whitlock v Langendorf/Brown

Alan Norris v Wilson/Alcinas

Daryl Gurney v Meikle/Taylor

 

Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm GMT)

Joe Cullen v Lewis/Meeuwisse

Ian White v Bunting/Goedl

Jelle Klaasen v Razma/Wade

Michael Smith v Schindler/Dobey

Peter Wright v Payne/Rasztovits

Mensur Suljovic v Noppert/Ratajski

Michael van Gerwen v Aspinall/Lennon

Rob Cross v Clayton/Berndt

 

Monday April 2nd

Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm GMT)

Third Round

 

Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm GMT)

Quarter-Finals

Semi-Finals

Final

The making of a Master: Michael van Gerwen’s time in the BDO

The year is 2006. Phil Taylor and Jelle Klassen are the two world champions, Raymond van Barneveld has hit the Premier League’s first ever nine-darter, and Michael van Gerwen has hair.

Back then a 17-year-old van Gerwen was playing in the BDO and showing a very promising form after amassing a collection of youth titles the previous year, as well as senior victories in the Norway Open and Northern Island Open.

This young Dutchman was starting to get noticed, although few would have predicted the level of success he has achieved since then.

Let’s pick up the story in September 2006. Mighty Mike had already won the Open Holland, Welsh Open and Europe Youth Cup, as well as reaching the quarter-finals of the International Darts League on his debut.

Van Gerwen was about to play in his third major tournament – the World Darts Trophy in Utrecht, where 27 BDO and five PDC players would face each other in a knockout format over nine days.

He entered the contest as the sixth seed, but even so, caused a shock in the first round as he beat van Barneveld 3-2. He would follow this up with narrow wins over Simon Whitlock and Mervyn King before facing BDO veteran Martin Adams in the semi-finals.

Despite losing 6-4 to Wolfie, van Gerwen highlighted his credentials as he came within one dart of a nine-dart finish during the match, posting a 96.66 average in the process.

The journey to major success

This gave him a good footing ahead of the 33rd World Masters, emerging as one of the favourites for the title – particularly as a host of big-name players departed in the early stages.

There were no such problems for Van Gerwen though, as he was able to dispatch Edwin Max, Anthony Miera, Mick Cummins, Robert Wagner and Darryl Fitton on his way to another semi-final.

There he would face another up-and-coming talent, Mark Webster, with the pair sharing the opening four sets before a 160 checkout helped Webster take a 3-2 advantage.

The Dutchman was struggling with his doubles and Webster had three darts to open up a two-set lead, but surprisingly missed and allowed Van Gerwen to drop in a 96 finish to level things up at three-all in this race to six.

From then on Van Gerwen stepped up a gear and quickly rattled off the next three sets to win the match with a 76 checkout to book his place in the final. He would once again face Adams, who himself had whitewashed Steve Farmer as he looked to win his first Masters at his 18th attempt.

Up against Wolfie

Adams was the favourite, and he looked to be proving the form guide right as he raced into a 4-1 lead, although van Gerwen pulled one back before the mid-session interval.

Coming back after the break Adams restored his three-set advantage and looked to be on course for his first Master’s triumph, but the tide was beginning to turn.

Wolfie had been in complete control of the match up to this point, but a 104 checkout saw van Gerwen take the eighth set, before hitting the double top in set nine to move back within one of the then England captain.

Van Gerwen had the throw in the 10th set, and he reeled off two straight legs to level things up and set up a thrilling climax.

A 121 outshot saw van Gerwen take the first leg of set 11 against the darts. However, Adams broke straight back and had the darts to move one away from the title.

It looked as if Adams would take the set, as he stepped up to the oche needing 81 while van Gerwen wasn’t on a finish, all the way back on 204.

But Adams missed six doubles to take the set. Van Gerwen tidied up to take a 6-5 lead and was now throwing for his first major success.

The drama wasn’t over yet though, as Adams immediately broke the throw in the 12th set with a spectacular 161 finish.

Again doubles proved problematic for Adams though as he missed five attempts to take the match into a deciding set, and van Gerwen levelled things up and now only needed the next leg for glory.

In the end, van Gerwen took the last leg comfortably with a 99 outshot and broke Eric Bristow’s long-standing record to become the youngest ever winner of the World Masters.

Troubles at the Lakeside

Following this success speculation started that van Gerwen may make the jump to the PDC. However, he had committed to playing at the Lakeside in early 2007 and was the favourite to land the world championship at his first attempt.

He went into the tournament as the number three seed and would face Gary Robson, who at that point had only ever made it past the first round once.

It seemed like it would be an easy win for Mighty Mike. However, things are never quite that simple in darts, and van Gerwen looked nervous on the Lakeside stage as he missed double after double.

The more experienced Robson pounced on this, and a little bit of gamesmanship in getting the crowd on his side saw him take an unexpected 3-2 win.

Van Gerwen was out, and before the world championships had finished, he announced his intention to switch to the PDC.

Speaking during the 2007 UK Open, van Gerwen explained why he made the move, saying the PDC was “more professional” as well as wanting the chance to play big names like Phil Taylor and van Barneveld.

Despite not being in the BDO for very long, van Gerwen had left his mark, and while it would take him a few years to hit his stride in the PDC, he has now gone on to become a two-time world champion, has dozens of TV titles to his name and is the clear world number one.

There’s undoubtedly plenty more success in store for van Gerwen, but it all started in the longest running of professional darts tournaments – the BDO World Masters.

Peter Machin is among the latest 2017 Grand Slam of Darts qualifiers.

BDO World Trophy champion Peter Machin among confirmed 2017 bwin Grand Slam of Darts qualifiers

Peter Machin is among the latest 2017 Grand Slam of Darts qualifiers.
BDO World Trophy champion Peter Machin is among the latest 2017 Grand Slam of Darts qualifiers.
Photo: David Gill/BDO

2017 Grand Slam of Darts qualifiers

A total of three of the BDO’s eight designated places for the bwin 2017 Grand Slam of Darts have been filled up, after Peter Machin was a shock winner at the recent World Trophy.

The 44-year-old Australian saw off Martin Phillips to claim his first Major title, after being a losing finalist at the event last year, and joins 2017 BDO World Championship and 2016 World Masters winner Glen Durrant and 2017 Lakeside runner-up Danny Noppert in taking part in the cross-organisation tournament later in November.

Durrant and Noppert both made their maiden Grand Slam appearances last year, and reached the quarter-finals – as did fellow Lakeside stars Darryl Fitton, Jeff Smith and Jamie Hughes.

A further five spots are still up for grabs, and will be awarded to the top five players in the BDO rankings by September 30, 2017 – not including the aforementioned players.

Meanwhile, 10 PDC stars have provisionally qualified for this year’s Grand Slam, which will again take place at Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall.

Recent World Cup of Darts champion Raymond van Barneveld and runner-up Mark Webster were the latest added to the list, after partnering already qualified Michael van Gerwen and Gerwyn Price respectively in a thrilling final.

MvG makes another appearance by a number of methods, being the current World Championship, Premier League, Masters, Players Championship and of course Grand Slam champion. While, Wales’ Price was runner-up at the 2017 UK Open, after losing to Peter Wright.

Snakebite, therefore, also makes the list, as do World Youth champion Corey Cadby, and runners-up at the last Worlds Gary Anderson, Grand Slam James Wade, Players Championship Dave Chsinall and World Youth Championship Berry van Peer.

A further six places are available to PDC stars based on TV appearances, with the World Matchplay, World Grand Prix, European Championship, Champions League and World Series of Darts Finals still yet to take place before the cut-off in 2017.

If the places are not all filled, then additional places will be filled from the reserve list of the following in order: 2017 European Tour winners, 2017 Players Championship winners and 2017 UK Open Qualifier winners (all in Order of Merit order at November 6).

Wright (3), Van Gerwen (1) and Michael Smith (1) have all been European Tour winners this year so far, meaning the latter currently stands to earn a place, with seven more to come.

Meanwhile, Wright, Van Gerwen, Anderson, Alan Norris, Rob Cross (2), Simon Whitlock, Adrian Lewis, Daryl Gurney and Joe Cullen have all claimed Players Championship titles, with 10 to play.

Another eight places are then available through a PDC qualifying event.

Qualifying Players: From PDC report

Invited in the following order up to a maximum of 16 players

2017 PDC World Championship champion – Michael van Gerwen
2016 Grand Slam champion – Michael van Gerwen
2017 Premier League champion – Michael van Gerwen
2017 World Matchplay champion – TBC
2017 World Grand Prix champion – TBC
2016 World Youth champion – Corey Cadby
2017 Masters champion – Michael van Gerwen
2017 UK Open champion – Peter Wright
2017 European Championship champion – TBC
2016 Players Championship champion – Michael van Gerwen
2017 Champions League champion – TBC
2017 World Series of Darts Finals champion – TBC
2017 World Cup winners (2 players with highest individual taking preference if only one spot available) – (Michael van Gerwen), Raymond van Barneveld
2017 PDC World Championship runner-up – Gary Anderson
2016 Grand Slam runner-up – James Wade
2017 Premier League runner-up – Peter Wright
2017 World Matchplay runner-up – TBC
2017 World Grand Prix runner-up – TBC
2016 World Youth Championship runner-up – Berry van Peer
2017 Masters runner-up – Gary Anderson
2017 UK Open runner-up – Gerwyn Price
2017 European Championship runner-up – TBC
2016 Players Championship runner-up – Dave Chisnall
2017 Champions League runner-up – TBC
2017 World Series of Darts Finals runner-up – TBC
2017 World Cup runners-up (2 players with highest individual taking preference if only one spot available) – Gerwyn Price, Mark Webster

This list can produce a maximum of 28 players. If it produces more than 16 players, they shall be taken in order as listed above and no further players shall qualify automatically.

If it produces fewer than 16 places then additional places shall be filled from the reserve list in the following order:

2017 European Tour winners (in Order of Merit order at Nov 6)
2017 Players Championship winners (in Order of Merit order at Nov 6)
2017 UK Open qualifier winners (in Order of Merit order at Nov 6)

Once 16 players are reached from the above criteria then the remaining 16 places shall be filled with eight players from a PDC Tour Card holder qualifier and eight BDO qualifiers.

BDO qualifiers

2017 Lakeside champion – Glen Durrant
2017 Lakeside runner-up – Danny Noppert
2016 World Masters champion – Glen Durrant
2017 BDO World Trophy champion – Peter Machin

Plus top five players from BDO Rankings at September 30, 2017

Tickets for the 2017 bwin Grand Slam of Darts are available now and can be purchased online through www.theticketfactory.com/PDC or from the Wolves Civic Box Office by calling 0870 320 7000.

Report – Netherlands crowned World Cup of Darts champions in thrilling final

Credit Lawrence Lustig PDC

The Netherlands were crowned PDC World Cup of Darts Champions in Frankfurt as Raymond van Barneveld hit the crucial blow to tie to stave off the Welsh in a thrilling final encounter.

Semi-Final’s

The Welsh progressed to their first World Cup of Darts final in five years following a convincing 2-0 over the Huybrechts brothers.

UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price stepped into the international spotlight first, taking on Belgium talisman Kim Huybrechts. In a game that had the Hurricane as slight favourite, Price pulled out a spectacular display.

He clinically put away 105 before extending his lead on tops. Huybrechts immediately broke back with another tonne plus check-out. But it would soon be curtains as Kim couldn’t replicate his quarter final performance and his nation fell into an early deficit.

Mark Webster put on a lesson in double ten hitting to confirm the win. The Spider has been going through a tough phase on the PDC circuit recently, but regained the ruthlessness that took him to the Lakeside title back in 2008. A 4-2 victory sending the Belgian’s packing.

The Netherlands ensured they would join them, dumping out reigning champions England in straight sets. The run consecutive finals was ended for The Three Lions as Michael van Gerwen took Adrian Lewis to a last leg decider before hitting the crucial double.

It was a brave effort from Lewis who was ultimately pipped at the post. Dave Chisnall couldn’t resurrect England’s chances against the Doyenne of Dutch darts. It took until leg five before Barney missed a dart at double, Chizzy not living with the Big man’s ruthlessness. A 4-2 victory confirming a Netherlands versus Wales final in Frankfurt.

The Final

The Dutch and Michael van Gerwen drew first blood. The Green machine reeling off four consecutive legs to take the early advantage.

A rejuvenated Mark Webster took to the stage to level proceedings. The Spider showing great composure to take out 70 and 94, subduing Barney to a 4-1 defeat.

With the scores all tied up, the best of five match would go into a doubles affair, with the Dutch again coming out on top. The Welsh pairing struggled to find their rhythm and after missing double 20 in the opening leg, the Netherlands would cruise into a 3-0.

A spectacular tops-tops 100 checkout from Price would redeem some pride, but it was too little too late as van Gerwen hit double 16 to make it 2-1.

The trophy would be delivered to deluxe Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld as the fatherfigure of Dutch darts tied the knot on a huge win for him and partner Michael van Gerwen.

Him and Gerwyn Price has exchanged the first four legs on throw, but a pivotal double five would turn the tides as Raymond van Barneveld picked apart Price in the final leg of the match. He would stroke the final blow on double four as the Netherlands were crowned 2017 World Cup of Darts champions.

Netherlands survive scare in World Cup of Darts – Day 3 evening report

Credit Lawrence Lustig – PDC

The Netherlands survived a monumental scare against the USA as they set up a quarter final tie with host nation Germany tomorrow afternoon. Read on to find out how they made it through and who will join them in the quarter finals of the World Cup of Darts.

Austria opened the evening’s action with a routine victory over Canada. John part failed to reach the dizzy heights of his glory days in the PDC as Mensur Suljovic produced a whitewash on the three time champion of the world.

Rowby-John Rodriguez would wrap up the victory, in a slow paced encounter. RJR was out of the blocks quickly, racing into a 2-0, but he quickly became bemused by the on stage antics of John Norman Jnr.

Improved clinicality would see Norman take two of the next three legs, but after loosing his cool late in the sixth leg, Rodriguez would wrap up the victory on tops.

England resumed their defence of the World Cup of Darts against South Africa, and there was nothing the team of Devon Peterson and Deon Oliver could do to stop them.

Adrian Lewis stepped up to oche after a dismal first showing yesterday afternoon. He re-collected himself for a singles match with fans favourite Devon Peterson. Two maximums and some much improved finishing later, England were already on their way to the quarter final’s.

Dave Chisnall was second to take the stage, adding a four more legs and concluding the 8-0 rout for England. The scoreline would not tell the whole story, Deon Oliver conducted him self magnificently against the former Grand Prix runner-up. But the relentless scoring of Chizzy was too much for the South African as England ran away big winners in round two.

The crowd went wild as host nation Germany progressed to round three, setting up mouthwatering meeting with the Netherlands. Both Max Hopp and Martin Schindler smoothly sailed through their respective singles matches, meaning there was no need for a doubles clash.

World Cup of Darts debutant Schindler was up first against Alexandre Sattin. He kicked off the contest with on double 16, before holding his nerve on the madhouse to increase the advantage. He was milimetres away from a outstanding 160 checkout, but he would eventually mop up on double 10 to seal an impressive whitewash win.

Hopp would follow suit, a mouthwatering 161 getting the ball rolling. There would little Diogo Portela could do as Hopp cruised into a 3-0 lead sporting a 120 average.

With the finish line in sight, the young German would stumble, Portela recording Brazil’s first leg of the match. But Hopp would soon be back on the straight and narrow as the world number 38 closed out an excellent display by the pair.

The Netherlands rounded off the evening’s entertainment with a triumph over the USA, surviving a monumental scare.

Big Daddy Darin Young pushed Michael van Gerwen for the first four legs of their encounter. But the World number one would shift into second gear, taking the next two legs and recording a 4-2 victory.

Raymond van Barneveld could only stand and watch and former Matchplay champion larry Butler levelled the game with three beautiful checkouts. A 120, 109 and 95 on the bull, gave the USA a glimmer of hope against the tournament favourites.

Barney redeemed himself in the doubles decider as himself and self appointed captain van Gerwen strolled through the USA challenge. There was little resistance from Young and Butler as the Netherlands continued their quest for World Cup glory

Austria 2-0 Canada

Germany 2-0 Brazil

England 2-0 South Africa

Netherlands 2-1 USA

Hosts shock sixth seeds at the World Cup of Darts 2017 – Day two report

Credit Lawrence Lustig – PDC

It was a day for the favourites in Frankfurt as all the top seeds progressed after Singapore shook the darting world yesterday evening. Josh Green gives his account on proceedings of day two at the World Cup of Darts.

The hosts made it through to the round of 16 in front of a raucous Frankfurt crowd at the World Cup of Darts. The match was in the balance for almost half an hour, as it came down to a nail-biting final leg.

Daryl Gurney had given Northern Ireland the advantage earlier in the match with a 124 checkout on the back of two maximums from partner Brendan Dolan and Germany’s Max Hopp.

The German pair with a combined age of just 40 years of age responded with a 123 from Hopp, before Martin Schindler held his nerve to keep their dreams alive.

Despite a worrying foot injury for Michael van Gerwen it was a smooth showing for the Dutch in their World Cup of Darts opener.

The tournament favourites averaged 109 in their 5-1 demolition of the Czech Republic, with van Gerwen looking as silky as ever. They will definitely be a force to be reckoned with as they continue their international campaign.

Second seeds England joined their arch rivals in round two, making light work of Gibraltar. Dave Chisnall pulled on the red and white for the first time, and carried the pair to a simple victory.

Adrian Lewis, seemingly rattled by the antics of Dyson Parody, scattered his darts all over the board, leaving Chizzy to sweep up. Despite improving in the latter stages, it was clear the Stoke native was not on top form and will need to improve in the next round.

Alternatively, Chisnall looked at home on the Frankfurt stage. Confident doubling and the usually heavy scoring all coming together for the world number five. With Michael van Gerwen suffering from a foot injury and Scotland already on their way home it could be yet another World Cup of Darts title for England.

In the first match of the evening the experienced pairing of Larry Butler and Darin Young destroyed the relatively youthful Italian pair.

Despite a wobbly start with some inconsistent scoring in the early stages, the USA would pick up their game to proceed with a deserved 5-1 victory.

Butler, who has represented his home country on five occasions, put the win beyond Italy with a sensational 121 checkout on the bull.

The well oiled team of John Norman Jnr and former World Champion John Part shoved the Hungarian’s aside in their pursuit of World Cup glory in Frankfurt.

While the exuberant Norman produced the steady scoring, Part was there to pick up the pieces. Canada had taken a commanding 3-0 lead before Hungary got their first leg on the board.

Following one more Darth Maple checkout, an excellent 83 from Zoltan Mester. The 5-2 victory would be rounded off by the ever green Part, his double 8, taking them into round two.

The fusion of youth an experience proved too much for team China as the Austrian’s performed a demolition job on their opponents.

The result of the contest was never in doubt as Mensur Suljovic showed with some excellent finishing. The fresh faced Rowby-John Rodriguez should also not be underestimated.

His power scoring has been a key factor in previous years, and with top seeds Scotland falling yesterday evening, there could be an opening to be exploited for some of the lesser fancied nations.

South Africa put their name in the hat for round two as ‘Dancing’ Devon Peterson took control to carry a sloppy Deon Oliver through a slow paced encounter.

The formentioned Oliver had split double three with a chance to close out the contest, only for Daniel Larsson to swoop on 110.

Seasoned campaigner Magnus Caris nerly took the match to a deciding leg, narrowly missing a 160 checkout. Peterson would then swoop in and take out a huge 81 on double 12.

World Cup of Darts debutants Brazil moved into round two after a dramatic 5-4 win over fellow first-timmers Switzerland.

Diogo Portela, winner of Sky Darts gameshow One Hundred and Eighty, was the marquee name on the Frankfurt stage, although it was Alexandre Sattin who would hit the crucial double.

There were tears at the final whistle as Sattin landed double top on a 72 combination as Brazil progressed to the round of 16.

USA 5-1 Italy

Canada 5-2 Hungary

Austria 5-0 China

South Africa 5-3 Sweden

Brazil 5-4 Switzerland

Germany 5-4 Northern Ireland

England 5-2 Gibraltar

Netherlands 5-1 Czech Republic

2017 Dubai Masters preview.

2017 Dubai Duty Free Masters: Preview

2017 Dubai Masters preview.
2017 Dubai Masters preview. Gary Anderson starts his title defence against Phil Taylor, who is yet to win the event.
Photo: PDC

Anderson defends title, as Price makes World Series bow

With the 2017 Premier League season now over, it’s time for the World Series of Darts to take place, and the Dubai Duty Free Masters kicks it all off from May 24–25.

Set in the open-air Dubai Tennis Centre, it provides a unique experience for the eight arrowmsiths each year, as they have to battle with the scorching weather and breeze – as well as their superstar opponent.

This edition of the event marks a World Series debut for Welshman Gerwyn Price, while Gary Anderson is defending champion and Michael van Gerwen will be keen to win back the title he claimed the first three years here.

MvG takes on Raymond van Barneveld in a tussle of Dutch giants, The Flying Scotsman duels with all-time great Phil Taylor, Price goes up against James Wade, and Peter Wright and Dave Chisnall lock horns in the other fixture.

So, read on as Sam Barnard provides a 2017 Dubai Masters preview for Darts World, of the first round fixtures in order of play on Wednesday…

James Wade (4) v Gerwyn Price

Former professional rugby player Price, who still keeps in great shape, may well be the most suited to these Dubai conditions than the rest of the draw so it will be intriguing to see how he gets on.

The Welshman, who is on the verge of breaking into the PDC’s top 16 after a terrific year which included reaching the UK Open final, has been handed a favourable tie too against fourth seed Wade.

Englishman Wade has won three of their five meetings, including last time out this year at the German Darts Masters, but Price has had the better and more profitable 2017 to date.

On top of that, the Machine has only won once in Dubai, which was way back in the inaugural edition in 2013, when he defeated Simon Whitlock. He then convincing lost out to Raymond van Barneveld.

Peter Wright (3) v Dave Chisnall

Snakebite has seemingly put the disappointment of missing out on a Premier League title well behind him, as he bounced back immediately in the very next tournament to win Players Championship 11.

The in-form Scot also managed a huge 120.71 average in his semi-final along the way, and will be determined to keep it up and collect more silverware.

He is yet to claim a World Series trophy, though did reach the final here in 2014.

As for Chisnall, he too is in decent form, and still leads Wright 11-9 in meetings – though has won only two of their last eight.

Chizzy is making just his third appearance here, and has reached the semis on both occasions. He lost out to Wright 11-8, though, when they battled in somewhat of a poor quality affair in 2014.

Gary Anderson (2) v Phil Taylor

PDC chairman Eddie Hearn has stated that he’d love to still be able to invite the retiring Taylor to World Series events in 2018, but it remains to be seen if he accepts the offer or not.

So, we are still not certain if this will be The Power’s last appearance in Dubai, but one thing’s for sure: he’ll certainly want to win this trophy, as it’s one of the very few he is yet to get his hands on.

Taylor did reach the final in 2015, beating Anderson along the way in the semis, but then lost out to Van Gerwen.

This duo battled last year too at the same stage. On that occasion The Flying Scotsman prevailed, and went on to beat MvG.

That sets up an intriguing fight this time around, particularly as the pair were both losing Premier League semi-finalists recently too.

Michael van Gerwen (1) v Raymond van Barneveld

The Dubai Masters organisers have saved the best until last on day one. MvG v Barney is always an unmissable occasion, and this should be no different.

Mighty Mike has got the better of his Dutch compatriot over the years, but Van Barneveld has caused troubles for his young pretender on more than a few occasions.

Barney has actually won two of their last World Series meetings, but lost out to him 10-8 here in 2015.

The Dutch duo also met in the first ever Dubai Masters final in 2013, and again MvG came out on top.

Van Barneveld hasn’t won a match here since, as he narrowly lost to the eventual champions (Anderson and Van Gerwen) the last two years.

Player thoughts

Wade: “I don’t think anyone enjoys the heat and the conditions but everyone has to do the same thing. It’s the same for every player and I can’t wait.”

Wright: “My plan is to come here and win. I want to make up for losing out in the Premier League so I’m going to try and win this one.

“I think Chizzy is probably playing the best darts of anyone else and you just have to look at the end of the Premier League, when he was unbeaten in seven games, so I’ve got a very hard game.”

Meanwhile, on World Series debutant Price, Wright added: “It’s Gerwyn’s first time and it will be interesting to see how he deals with the heat on stage, but he’s a professional sportsman so he should be alright.

“You’re not sure how the darts are going to fly up there so I’m going to take two sets of darts with me on stage. If one doesn’t go, and the others don’t go, then I’m in real trouble!”

Anderson: “It’s a tough game. Phil beat me the last time we played in the Premier League so it will be hard game, and he’ll be trying his damnedest because this is his last year.

“It’s nice to get over to Dubai and be back here. Winning the event last year was a great memory and I’d love to do it again.”

Van Gerwen: “I’m looking forward to it. It’s always a fantastic tournament for me and I’ve always played well over here.

“Last year I let Gary Anderson walk away with the trophy, unfortunately I made a few mistakes, but I’m here to try to get it back again.

“That’s what you need to aim for, keep your confidence high and make sure you perform well and also prepare well because you need to get used to the heat again. I feel comfortable about it.”

Van Barneveld: “There were no easy draws and you know what you’ve got to do – play your best. To beat Michael, the Premier League champion and world champion, is going to be tough so I hope I play well tomorrow.

“Mike is a machine but someone has to stop him and why not me? If there is one player in darts that can beat him it’s me, I’ve shown that for the last two or three years.”

2017 Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters

Draw bracket
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Raymond van Barneveld
James Wade (4) v Gerwyn Price
Gary Anderson (2) v Phil Taylor
Peter Wright (3) v Dave Chisnall

Schedule
Wednesday May 24
Quarter-finals (best of 19 legs)

Thursday May 25
Semi-finals (best of 21 legs)

Final (best of 21 legs)

Betway odds

Tournament winner
4/6 Michael van Gerwen
9/2 Peter Wright
11/2 Gary Anderson
14/1 Phil Taylor
20/1 Dave Chisnall
25/1 Raymond van Barneveld
33/1 James Wade
80/1 Gerwyn Price

Odds correct at time of writing and courtesy of www.betway.com. Subject to fluctuation.

Tickets: www.dubai-darts.com

2017 Premier League play-offs preview.

2017 Betway Premier League Play-offs: Preview and Stats

2017 Premier League play-offs preview.
Only one of these four stars can walk away with the trophy. Read Darts World’s in-depth thoughts in our 2017 Premier League play-offs preview.
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Who will be crowned 2017 PL champion?

The 2017 betway Premier League play-offs are finally upon us, after 15 gruelling and entertaining weeks of top quality darting action!

Just four men remain – Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright, Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson (in table order) – and between them have 10 titles in this competition, with just Snakebite hunting for his first.

Defending champion MVG and fellow two-time PL winner The Flying Scotsman take to the oche first in a colossal opening clash. While, in-form play-offs debutant Wright and retiring six-time victor The Power will face off in the other semi-final.

No player has beaten the other twice this Premier League season, which makes the occasion all the more intriguing, as they all aim to claim the prestigious trophy and £250k prize.

So, read on as Sam Barnard provides a 2017 Premier League play-offs preview for Darts World, while TheRedBit has come up with some detailed photo stats.

Note that the semis are now first to 10 legs, and the final is first to 11.

Get ready for Finals Night too by taking our Premier League participants quiz, as well as checking out our overall regular season analysis.

Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson

Van Gerwen beat Anderson in their previous PL semi, but lost in the 2015 final to the Scotsman.
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Anderson will have been left kicking himself after letting Taylor finish above him in the table, as he now faces Anderson in the semis instead. Though, at least he has the chance to knock the reigning champion out early.

This is the second week in succession the duo go head-to-head in the PL, as Mighty Mike won 7-4 last time out in Aberdeen. Both averaged over 100, and fans at the O2 will be hoping for a similar quality match-up by both this Thursday.

In 11 Premier League meetings, MvG is 6-3 up (with two draws), but they drew earlier this season. Scotsman Anderson won their most crucial duel of them all 11-7 in the 2015 final to claim his second title, though lost the only time they faced off in the semis (in 2014, 8-7).

Van Gerwen has the outstanding record of now having topped the league in all five seasons he’s played in, and has reached the final every year too – meaning the Dutchman’s never lost a semi-final!

Anderson, meanwhile, may not have been in as consistent form this campaign, finishing fourth, but did manage the second-highest overall average – with 102.16 – behind only Mighty Mike.

Whatever the outcome, expect there to be only a couple legs in it, as well as 180s galore!

Peter Wright v Phil Taylor

Will in-form Wright reach the final? Or does Taylor have one more Major title triumph in him?
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

This duo are not as rapid throwers as Van Gerwen or Anderson, but can still produce a match of similar quality.

Wright has finally made it to the play-offs at the fourth time of asking, while Taylor will be aiming to reach the final for an incredible ninth time in 13 years.

The Power may have a superior 20-9 career record over Snakebite, but the Scot has lost only one of their seven Premier League meetings – with three wins and as many draws. Taylor’s only PL victory against Wright came earlier this season (7-5), but he then lost to him 7-3 in Week 13.

With the all-time great retiring at the start of 2018, this duo’s career peaks are at completely opposite ends. Snakebite finally won his first Major (the UK Open) this year, and looks as though he’ll claim many more, while The Power’s only singles TV title since 2014 was the Champions League of Darts – which is not classified as a Major – last September.

You’d have to say that Wright, therefore, has the edge in this semi-final, as his odds with bookmakers also suggest.

But you just never know with Taylor, who’ll be determined to claim one last notable trophy before he hangs up his arrows. He is, after all, the only one of this year’s semi-finalists to have beaten Van Gerwen in the league this season – the other was Raymond van Barneveld.

Player statistics

Player thoughts

Van Gerwen: “It’s time for business now. I feel good and I know I’m playing well – I had a good game when I had to play well last against Gary and I have to do the same tomorrow night.

“They know what they have to do to beat me if they want to win the tournament, but I need to make sure I hold them off by playing some good darts and putting them under pressure.

“It’s four good players and you can’t let them have a sniff of the trophy, because if you give them a finger they will take your hand. I want to win the trophy again and it would be really special if I can.”

Anderson: “It would be nice to win it again and if I play well I’ve got a good chance.

“You’ve got to beat everyone that’s in front of you and whoever turns up on the night is going to walk away with the trophy.

“It’s always going to be hard anyway but it’s going to be interesting because it’s Phil’s last, it’s Peter’s first time here and both me and Michael have won it twice, so it’s all to play for.”

Wright: “I’ve been close to the Play-offs before but I’ve made it this time, and I want to go and win the Premier League now. I’ve seen these great guys win it in recent years and I want to be one of those great guys too.

“To be in the top four alongside Phil, Michael and Gary is immense and I’m really happy with how the season has gone.

“I’m still learning and there are times this year that I’ve changed things to improve too. I’ve learned a lot over the years and I know how to beat people now, especially Michael because he’s the man we all want to beat.

“You have to believe in your own ability and that what you do on the practice board you can do on the stage against him and anyone else in the world.”

Taylor: “Getting into the top four has been the aim all year so I’m delighted to have got through and I’d love to go on and win this now, but there’s no pressure on me.

“Peter’s been in brilliant form all year so I know what to expect, but this is his first time in the semi-finals so I don’t know how he’s feeling.

“I’ve approached the whole season in the same way and I’ll go up there to enjoy myself. It would be fantastic if I could win this title again, the perfect way to finish in the Premier League.”

Betway odds

Tournament winner
4/7 Michael van Gerwen
9/2 Peter Wright
5/1 Gary Anderson
11/1 Phil Taylor

Semi-final match odds
1/3 Michael van Gerwen v 9/4 Gary Anderson
8/15 Peter Wright v 6/4 Phil Taylor

Odds correct at time of writing and courtesy of www.betway.com. Subject to fluctuation.

Tickets: 0844 856 0202 or via www.axs.com

Premier League Week 15 preview.

Betway Premier League – Week 15 Preview and Stats

Premier League Week 15 preview.
Can Wright topple MvG? Find out in our Premier League Week 15 preview.
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Top spot and 4th place still up for grabs!

Aberdeen’s GE Oil & Gas Arena hosts the final night before the 2017 Premier League play-offs on May 18.

While the top four is all-but secured, Peter Wright and Dave Chisnall are the main talking points, as they still have outside chances of finishing first and fourth respectively.

Snakebite is just one point and five legs behind Michael van Gerwen, meaning he needs fellow Scot Gary Anderson to do him a favour against MvG. Meanwhile, Chisnall is two points and 10 legs off Phil Taylor, so has to win well and hope The Power suffers a big defeat.

Raymond van Barneveld, James Wade and Adrian Lewis are also in action this Thursday, but are now simply fighting for pride and to finish as high as they can.

Read on as Sam Barnard provides a Premier League Week 15 preview, in order of play, while TheRedBit provides some detailed photo stats…

Dave Chisnall v James Wade

Chizzy – unbeaten in his last six – has a chance to immediately put pressure on Taylor, if he beats Wade. A draw or loss will not be good enough.

Basically, if Chisnall concedes four or more legs, then it’s all over. If he triumphs 7-3, Taylor can afford to lose 7-1 to Lewis.

But 2009 Premier League champion Wade will certainly be no pushover, boasting an 11-9 win record over his fellow Englishman and now with no pressure on him.

Chizzy can take confidence in the fact that he’s beaten The Machine in their last three meetings, though, and will have to try and play at a similar standard to when he defeated Wade 7-1 in this competition in 2015 – the year he reached the semis.

Phil Taylor v Adrian Lewis

If Chisnall does put the pressure on Taylor, then his former protege Lewis has the chance to make life very difficult for the six-time PL winner.

Just a point for The Power, though, will be enough to see him through to yet another play-offs night.

The retiring all-time great needs only four legs to secure his place, but will need to be careful because he’s been beaten by Jackpot with fewer legs than that three times in the Premier League before.

Taylor’s also lost his last two duels with Lewis, including last time out in this event 7-4.

But surely, after upsetting Van Gerwen last week, we’ll be seeing The Power at the O2 Arena again.

Peter Wright v Raymond van Barneveld

Onto the next two intriguing battles, again it is the player behind in their race who can pile the pressure on first – Wright on this occasion.

Snakebite also has a much better chance than Chisnall of achieving his goal in Week 15, as a win or draw puts him in with an opportunity of finishing the season in first. And, thus gain the £25k bonus.

If Wright draws, he can top the league if Van Gerwen loses 7-1 or 7-0. While, if the Scotsman wins 7-2, 7-3, 7-4 or 7-5, MvG only needs a draw.

Wright has arguably been the form player of 2017, and has the mental edge going into the night in Aberdeen for a couple of reasons.

Not only is he playing in front of his home crowd, but the Scot also recently destroyed Van Gerwen 6-0 in the European Grand Prix final last weekend.

On top of that, Snakebite’s only lost to Barney once in six Premier League meetings – though did draw four of them.

Van Barneveld may have a trick or two up his sleeve, however, as he’ll look to end his losing run of four.

Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson

The final match of the evening may or may not be a dead rubber, but any battle between the PDC’s number one and two ranked players is not to be missed.

This duo have claimed the last two Premier League and World Championship titles, and Anderson will relish playing in front of his home crowd.

Van Gerwen may have only lost one of his previous eight meetings with The Flying Scotsman, but that defeat was their most recent at a Players Championship event in late April.

They also drew in their last PL fixture, which could ultimately be fatal for Van Gerwen in his quest to finish first in all five campaigns he’s now taken part in.

Player thoughts

Chisnall: “I’m relying on other results but I’m still in with a chance and it should be exciting.

“It’s been good in recent weeks and I’ve been feeling great. I’ve been playing well for a while now so we’ll see what happens this week and hopefully I can play well again.

“James is a top quality player, one of the best finishers in the game and I can’t give him a chance. I’ve given people some chances recently and they’ve take it and I can’t afford to do that with James.”

Taylor: “I’m in a good position but I’ve still got to perform. I’m trying to get to The O2 and if I get there then it will be fantastic to be involved.


“I’m not banking on anything because Adrian could come out and put in a massive performance – there’s no pressure on him now that he can’t qualify.”

Wright: “I’m feeling really good. It’s nice not to have the pressure on, having qualified with two weeks to go, but I still want to finish top – Michael’s the best player in the game at the moment but I’m trying to push him.

“I need to beat Barney to try and get that top spot and I’m looking at the two points.

“Playing Barney in Scotland will be huge because the crowd treat him like one of their own. It should be a fantastic match with loads of noise from the crowd and singing because Aberdeen’s a great crowd so I’m looking forward to it.”

Van Gerwen: “Last year was fantastic in Aberdeen and it’s a great memory for me, but I have to focus on this week’s game because Gary’s in good form.


“He’s won his last couple of matches so I know I’ve got to prepare myself. My aim was to finish top and it’s still in my hands, so I’ll do everything I can to achieve it this week.”

Anderson: “I’ve got wins when I’ve needed to in the last two weeks and it’s all about getting into the top four, but it will be really good to play Michael.

“If I turn up, Michael knows what game he’s going to get, and it’s the same the other way around too.

“He’s in my country now and I’m looking forward to it. I played Barney in Holland this year and it was great to see the support behind him, and hopefully it will be the same for me too this week.

“We don’t get too many events in Scotland so it’s always good to get back up there because the crowds are brilliant.”

Betway Odds

Tournament winner
1/2 Michael van Gerwen
4/1 Peter Wright
11/2 Gary Anderson
10/1 Phil Taylor
80/1 Dave Chisnall

Week 15 match betting
4/5 Dave Chisnall
7/2 Draw
5/2 James Wade

4/5 Phil Taylor
7/2 Draw
5/2 Adrian Lewis

4/5 Peter Wright
7/3 Draw
5/2 Raymond van Barneveld

4/5 Michael van Gerwen
7/2 Draw
3/1 Phil Taylor

Odds correct at time of writing and courtesy of www.betway.com. Odds subject to fluctuation.

Tickets: Sold out