Van Gerwen maintains unbeaten start to 2019 with Players Championship 1 triumph

MVG continues his clinical run (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Michael van Gerwen maintained his winning start to the season by claiming the Players Championship 1 title with an 8-4 triumph over Jermaine Wattimena in the final in Wigan on Saturday.
The first ProTour event of the season saw the World Champion register four 105-plus averages throughout the day to make extend his unbeaten run to 18 consecutive matches dating back to November 2018.
The Dutchman, who lifted his fifth consecutive Masters crown last weekend, began the day with victories over Luke Woodhouse, Gary Eastwood, Mickey Mansell and Mark Dudbridge for the loss of just eight legs as he reached the quarter-finals.
There, the world number one averaged 110 to blow Jonny Clayton away 6-1 before seeing off PDC newcomer Scott Baker 7-5 in what turned out to be his toughest test of the day to make the final which saw him average 109.5 in the all-Dutch show-down with Wattimena.
"I am proud of how I played today, especially in the final," said Van Gerwen.
"It's always a big achievement to win a ProTour because there are 127 players who all want to beat me, there is a huge target on my back.
"I had to work really hard to win this today, you have to be at your best against these players and I'm already looking forward to tomorrow."
A high-quality start to the final set the tone for the match, as Wattimena's 105 finish in leg one was answered with a 106 from Van Gerwen in the next, both on throw.
With the players level at 2-2, Van Gerwen landed the first break of the match win an 11-dart leg, before Wattimena fired straight back with an 11-darter of his own to make it 3-3.
A third consecutive 11-dart break of throw followed for Van Gerwen to make it 4-3, and it proved decisive as Van Gerwen reeled off four of the next five legs to claim the £10,000 top prize.
Despite defeat at the final hurdle, Wattimena enjoyed a successful start to 2019 as he made his first ProTour final, claiming the scalps of Ian White in the last 16 and Peter Wright in the semi-finals.
A number of players were competing in their first PDC events, with Baker the pick of the bunch as he took out Rob Cross and Kyle Anderson on his way to the final four.
Harry Ward also enjoyed a successful debut as he made the quarter-finals, defeating Simon Whitlock in the opening round, while Challenge Tour players Andrew Gilding, Stephen Burton, Diogo Portela and Mick Todd all reached the last 16.
It was a disappointing start to PDC life for Glen Durrant who was edged out 6-5 by Alan Tabern in round one, while Mark McGeeney suffered the same fate at the hands of Gerwyn Price.
Michael Smith lost with a 112 average against Wright in the quarter-finals, while Premier League stars Cross, Daryl Gurney, James Wade, Price and Raymond van Barneveld all exited before the last 16 stage.

Players Championship 1 Results

Saturday February 9

First Round
van Gerwen, Michael 6-2 Woodhouse, Luke
Eastwood, Gary 6-4 Kist, Christian
Mansell, Mickey 6-3 Van der Meer, Vincent
Meikle, Ryan 6-3 De Sousa, Jose
Wilson, James 6-3 Wilson, Mark
Dudbridge, Mark 6-3 Owen, Robert
Searle, Ryan 6-4 West, Steve
van Barneveld, Raymond 6-2 Alcinas, Antonio
Gurney, Daryl 6-2 Temple, Terry
Bain, Jamie 6-3 van Duijvenbode, Dirk
de Zwaan, Jeffrey 6-4 Lewis, Jamie
Reyes, Cristo 6-5 Robbe, Mario
Clayton, Jonny 6-5 Brooks, Bradley
Edgar, Matthew 6-4 Richardson, James
Henderson, John 6-4 Razma, Madars
Monk, Arron 6-5 O'Connor, William
Wade, James 6-5 Huybrechts, Kim
Worsley, Jonathan 6-3 Newell, Tony
Anderson, Kyle 6-1 Rodriguez, Rowby-John
Humphries, Luke 6-4 Gray, Adrian
Chisnall, Dave 6-1 Derry, Nathan
Michael, John 6-4 Brown, Keegan
Gilding, Andrew 6-1 Beaton, Steve
Evetts, Ted 6-3 Jones, Wayne
Cross, Rob 6-4 Van Baelen, Davy
Baker, Scott 6-0 Goldie, John
Joyce, Ryan 6-4 Bunse, Christian
Labanauskus, Darius 6-3 van den Bergh, Dimitri
Burton, Stephen 6-3 Noppert, Danny
Kuivenhoven, Maik 6-2 Whitehead, Conan
Evans, Ricky 6-5 Rafferty, Nathan
Robinson, Reece 6-1 Carroll, Shaun
White, Ian 6-3 Lerchbacher, Zoran
Clark, Matt 6-5 Meeuwisse, Yordi
Klaasen, Jelle 6-3 Prins, Dave
Kanik, Tytus 6-5 Murnan, Joe
King, Mervyn 6-4 Dolan, Brendan
Edhouse, Ritchie 6-3 Burness, Kevin
Wattimena , Jermaine 6-3 Smith, Ross
Bates, Barrie 6-4 Justicia, Jose Antonio
Price, Gerwyn 6-2 McGeeney, Mark
Portela, Diogo 6-3 Huybrechts, Ronny
Payne, Josh 6-4 Hunt, Adam
Kantele, Marko 6-1 Hudson, Peter
Ward, Harry 6-5 Whitlock, Simon
Marijanovic, Robert 6-3 Nentjes, Geert
Dekker, Jan 6-5 Dobey, Chris
van der Voort, Vincent 6-2 van de Pas, Benito
Smith, Michael 6-2 Thornton, Robert
Koltsov, Boris 6-2 Pallett, David
Kamphuis, Vincent 6-4 Schindler, Martin
Dootson, Eddie 6-3 Hamilton, Andy
Cullen, Joe 6-4 North, Richard
Tabern, Alan 6-5 Durrant, Glen
Lennon, Steve 6-4 Petersen, Devon
Aspinall, Nathan 6-1 Murschell, Dawson
Wright, Peter 6-4 Meulenkamp, Ron
Webster, Mark 6-1 Shepherd, Kirk
Clemens, Gabriel 6-3 van Duivenbode, Mike
Carlin, Gavin 6-2 Pipe, Justin
Bunting, Stephen 6-3 Boulton, Andy
Wilkinson, Carl 6-2 Norris, Alan
Ratajski, Krzysztof 6-3 Stevenson, Simon
Todd, Mick 6-2 Barnard, Michael

Second Round
Van Gerwen, Michael 6-1 Eastwood, Gary
Mansell, Mickey 6-1 Meikle, Ryan
Dudbridge, Mark 6-4 Wilson, James
Searle, Ryan 6-5 van Barneveld, Raymond
Gurney, Daryl 6-1 Bain, Jamie
de Zwaan, Jeffrey 6-2 Reyes, Cristo
Clayton, Jonny 6-4 Edgar, Matthew
Monk, Arron 6-4 Henderson, John
Wade, James 6-4 Worsley, Jonathan
Anderson, Kyle 6-5 Humphries, Luke
Michael, John 6-4 Chisnall, Dave
Gilding, Andrew 6-1 Evetts, Ted
Baker, Scott 6-4 Cross, Rob
Labanauskus, Darius 6-1 Joyce, Ryan
Burton, Stephen 6-5 Kuivenhoven, Maik
Evans, Ricky 6-1 Robinson, Reece
White, Ian 6-4 Clark, Matt
Klaasen, Jelle 6-2 Kanik, Tytus
Edhouse, Ritchie 6-1 King, Mervyn
Wattimena , Jermaine 6-4 Bates, Barrie
Portela, Diogo 6-5 Price, Gerwyn
Payne, Josh 6-2 Kantele, Marko
Ward, Harry 6-2 Marijanovic, Robert
Dekker, Jan 6-3 van der Voort, Vincent
Smith, Michael 6-4 Koltsov, Boris
Dootson, Eddie 6-3 Kamphuis, Vincent
Cullen, Joe 6-3 Tabern, Alan
Lennon, Steve 6-5 Aspinall, Nathan
Wright, Peter 6-1 Webster, Mark
Carlin, Gavin 6-3 Clemens, Gabriel
Bunting, Stephen 6-5 Wilkinson, Carl
Todd, Mick 6-2 Ratajski, Krzysztof
Losers: £500

Last 32
Van Gerwen, Michael 6-2 Mansell, Mickey
Dudbridge, Mark 6-3 Searle, Ryan
de Zwaan, Jeffrey 6-1 Gurney, Daryl
Clayton, Jonny 6-2 Monk, Arron
Anderson, Kyle 6-3 Wade, James
Gilding, Andrew 6-2 Michael, John
Baker, Scott 6-1 Labanauskus, Darius
Burton, Stephe 6-5 Evans, Ricky
White, Ian 6-2 Klaasen, Jelle
Wattimena , Jermaine 6-2 Edhouse, Ritchie
Portela, Diogo 6-3 Payne, Josh
Ward, Harry 6-0 Dekker, Jan
Smith, Michael 6-2 Dootson, Eddie
Cullen, Joe 6-1 Lennon, Steve
Wright, Peter 6-2 Carlin, Gavin
Todd, Mick 6-4 Bunting, Stephen
Losers: £1,000

Last 16
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Mark Dudbridge
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Kyle Anderson 6-4 Andrew Gilding
Scott Baker 6-0 Stephen Burton
Jermaine Wattimena 6-5 Ian White
Harry Ward 6-3 Diogo Portela
Michael Smith 6-0 Joe Cullen
Peter Wright 6-2 Mick Todd
Losers: £1,500 

Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Jonny Clayton
Scott Baker 6-3 Kyle Anderson
Jermaine Wattimena 6-3 Harry Ward
Peter Wright 6-5 Michael Smith
Losers: £2,250 

Michael van Gerwen 7-5 Scott Baker
Jermaine Wattimena 7-2 Peter Wright
Losers: £3,000
Michael van Gerwen 8-4 Jermaine Wattimena
Winner: £10,000
Runner-up: £6,000

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Van Gerwen maintains unbeaten start to 2019 with Players Championship 1 triumph

Michael van Gerwen maintained his winning start to the season by claiming the Players Championship 1 title with an 8-4 triumph over Jermaine Wattimena in the final in Wigan on Saturday.

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