Michael van Gerwen won his third successive Dutch Darts Masters title with a brilliant 6-2 defeat of Daryl Gurney in Sunday’s European Tour decider in Venray as the Northern Irish ace reached his first PDC final.
World number one van Gerwen, who won five European Tour events in 2015, took the £25,000 first prize to open this year’s ten-tournament season in style in front of over 4,000 fans at the Evenementenhal.
The Dutch hero had defeated John Henderson in Saturday’s second round before seeing off Justin Pipe, Dave Chisnall and Mervyn King on his way to the final, landing a 170 checkout in his semi-final defeat of King.
However, he saved his best display of the weekend for the final as he stormed past Gurney 6-2 with a 112.26 average.
Van Gerwen kicked off the final with a stunning 152 checkout, with Gurney levelling with a 180 and a 116 finish only to see the Dutchman reel off five 180s in three legs as he fired in legs of 13, 11 and 12 darts to move 4-1 up.
Tops for a 14-darter saw van Gerwen move to the brink of victory, and though Gurney responded with double eight for a 14-dart finish, van Gerwen landed another maximum to set up tops for a 13-darter and the title.
“It feels incredible,” said van Gerwen. “It’s fantastic for myself and for the home crowd, and in the final I played good darts.
“I hope I can carry this on for the rest of the season but I’m playing well and I’m very pleased with this performance. I want to win as many tournaments as possible and I showed today that I was the best in this tournament.”
Gurney’s run to a first PDC final earned him Ł10,000 prize money as he moved into the world’s top 32 for the first time, after he impressed with some superb displays throughout the Dutch Darts Masters.
The Northern Irish qualifier began Sunday’s action with a 105 average as he knocked out Betway Premier League star Peter Wright, before he bettered that with nine 180s and a 106.84 average in a 6-4 quarter-final win over world number three Adrian Lewis.
He then dropped just one leg against Austrian ace Suljovic in the semi-finals, but found the world number one too strong in the decider.
“I’m happy just to get to the final and I lost to the best player in the world,” said Gurney. “I take my hat off to him because he’s the best day-in, day-out.”
Suljovic’s run to the last four saw him reach that stage for a second successive European Tour event, while King booked his semi-final spot in incredible style by coming from 5-0 down to defeat Dutch youngster Benito van de Pas.
Lewis, Chisnall and van de Pas were joined in the quarter-finals by resurgent Simon Whitlock, with the Australian returning to top form after opting to start wearing glasses whilst playing at the turn of the year.
The next PDC European Tour event will be the German Darts Masters in Munich from March 25-27. For tickets, visit www.pdc-europe.tv.
Dutch Darts Masters – European Tour Event One
Sunday February 14
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Justin Pipe
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Ritchie Edhouse
Devon Petersen 2-6 Mervyn King
James Wade 1-6 Benito van de Pas
Michael Smith 5-6 Mensur Suljovic
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Jelle Klaasen
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Terry Jenkins
Peter Wright 4-6 Daryl Gurney
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Dave Chisnall
Mervyn King 6-5 Benito van de Pas
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Simon Whitlock
Adrian Lewis 4-6 Daryl Gurney
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Mervyn King
Mensur Suljovic 1-6 Daryl Gurney
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Daryl Gurney
TOP-TEN rivals Michael van Gerwen, Dave Chisnall and Adrian Lewis moved through to the Dutch Darts Masters quarter-finals on Sunday after turning on the style with third round victories as Daryl Gurney knocked out Peter Wright in Venray.
Reigning champion van Gerwen’s bid to win a third successive European Tour title in his home country continued as he overcame the challenge of Justin Pipe in a repeat of last year’s final.
Pipe hit back from 3-0 down to level at three-all, but van Gerwen found an extra gear to claim the last three legs without reply, extending his tally of 180s to six for the match and ending with a 102.65 average.
Van Gerwen now takes on Betway Premier League rival Chisnall in the quarter-finals, after the St Helens ace also topped a ton-plus average in his 6-2 win over European Tour debutant Ritchie Edhouse.
Essex’s Edhouse opened up an early 2-0 lead, landing a 116 finish along the way, but Chisnall hit three successive 14-darters to move ahead and added legs of 12 an 11 darts on his way to victory.
Two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis also dropped just two legs as he overcame Terry Jenkins 6-2, and he now faces Northern Ireland’s Daryl Gurney, who continued his impressive recent form with an eye-catching 6-4 win over Peter Wright.
World number six Wright performed superbly as he took an early 4-1 lead, but Gurney took out finishes of 131 and 100 as he claimed five straight legs to end a fine win with a 105.18 average.
Number two seed Michael Smith landed a 164 checkout during his clash with Mensur Suljovic, but lost out 6-5 in a deciding leg as the Austrian moved through to the event’s final session.
Suljovic now takes on Simon Whitlock, whose revival continued as he defeated Dutch ace Jelle Klaasen 6-3 with another resilient display.
Home favourite Benito van de Pas, the emerging youngster who reached a European Tour final last year, delighted a 4,000-strong Venray crowd with a superb 6-1 win over James Wade.
Van de Pas now takes on former European Tour winner Mervyn King, who followed up Saturday’s second round win over World Champion Gary Anderson with a 102 average as he defeated South Africa’s Devon Petersen 6-2.
Michael van Gerwen’s bid to win a third successive Dutch Darts Masters title continued with a high-quality 6-3 win over Dave Chisnall, with both players averaging 103.
Van Gerwen kicked off the game with a 148 checkout and added a 12-darter to break as he moved 3-1 up, before Chisnall replied with an 11-dart leg as he levelled, only to see the home favourite pull clear before sealing victory with a 130 bull finish.
Mervyn King progressed to a semi-final against van Gerwen with a stunning comeback from 5-0 down against Benito van de Pas as the young Dutchman paid for missing ten match darts.
Van de Pas played some beautiful darts as he swept through the opening five legs, with a 12-darter accompanied by back-to-back 13-dart legs and a superb 132 bull checkout.
Double four saw King finally get off the mark in leg six, and he also took out 100 in a run of five legs to level before punishing van de Pas’ tenth missed match dart – at the bull – in the deciding leg by hitting double ten to complete the fightback.
“He was phenomenal for five legs and in total control, but he took his foot off the pedal and I never gave up,” said King.
Austria’s Mensur Suljovic reached his second successive European Tour semi-final by averaging 102.10 in a 6-3 win over resurgent Simon Whitlock.
Suljovic broke throw immediately and took out a 12-darter on his way to a 3-1 lead, with Whitlock staying in touch by finishing legs of 14 and 12 darts to pull back to 4-3.
A 102 finish from Suljovic moved him two legs clear once more, and he wrapped up a superb win with a 13-dart leg.
Daryl Gurney smashed in an incredible nine 180s and averaged 106.84 as he reached his first European Tour semi-final with a 6-4 win over Adrian Lewis in a thrilling clash.
Gurney replied to Lewis’ 177 in the opening leg with a 180 as he took out a 13-darter, with Lewis levelling and sharing the next two legs before breaking with an 11-darter to move 3-2 up.
Gurney, though, replied with back-to-back 11 dart legs to move 4-3 ahead, with Lewis levelling by taking out 110.
The pair traded 180s in the next two legs, but Gurney crucially took both to cap a majestic display.
Michael van Gerwen booked his spot in a third successive Dutch Darts Masters final with a 6-2 defeat of Mervyn King.
The home favourite punished four missed doubles from King to win the opening leg and reeled off legs of 14, 13 and 14 darts before piling home a 170 checkout for a 5-0 lead.
King threatened a repeat of his quarter-final comeback from five legs down when he took out double 12 and tops, but two misses in the eighth leg allowed van Gerwen to seal a final place on double four.
Daryl Gurney won through to his first PDC final with a 6-1 defeat of Mensur Suljovic in their last four clash.
Gurney broke throw in leg one by finishing 75, with Suljovic firing in two 180s as he levelled with a 12-darter only to be punished for missed doubles in leg three as the Northern Irish ace edged ahead.
Gurney fired in a 180 in a 13-darter to move 3-1 up and took the next three without reply as he set up a decider against van Gerwen.
Final – Leg-By-Leg
Michael van Gerwen v Daryl Gurney
1-0 – van Gerwen claims the opening leg with a brilliant 152 checkout.
1-1 – Gurney levels with a superb 12-darter, landing a 180 and finishing 116 on double 18.
2-1 – The pair trade 180s before van Gerwen pins double 14 for a 13-darter to regain the lead.
3-1 – van Gerwen tees up a possible nine-darter by opening with two 180s, and he hits a seventh treble 20 before missing treble 19 on a 141 finish. He returns to win the leg in 11 darts to break.
4-1 – van Gerwen pushes his average up to 118 with a brilliant 12-darter, hitting two 180s and an 84 finish on double 12, with Gurney landing one maximum in reply.
5-1 – The Dutchman lands tops for a 14-dart leg to move to the brink of the title.
5-2 – Gurney keeps his hopes alive by pinning double eight for a 14-darter.
6-2 – van Gerwen fires in a 180 to leave tops before hitting the bed at the first time of asking to complete a 13-darter and claim a third successive Dutch Darts Masters title.