Price celebrates a magical nine (credit:Jonas Hunold/PDC Europe)
Gerwyn Price landed a spectacular nine-dart finish to seal a comeback win over Glen Durrant in Round Two of the 2019 Czech Open in Prague, while Keegan Brown made it back-to-back European Tour scalps of Michael van Gerwen.
Welsh star Price became the sixth player to achieve a perfect leg on the European Tour since live streaming was introduced and the fourth player to do so this season as he completed a superb comeback in style.
The Grand Slam champion trailed Durrant 3-0 with an average of just 75 but came roaring back to claim six of the next seven legs, rounded off by a roof-raising nine-darter, to seal victory.
“It’s the first one I’ve ever hit in competition, it was going to happen sooner or later,” said Price.
“Every time I’m on for the nine I always miss the double and today it’s gone in.”
Price now sets up a Third Round clash with Simon Whitlock – who survived a scare as an unfortunate fall-out when Justin Pipe was on a finish allowed the Australian to swoop in and snatch a deciding leg victory.
World number one Van Gerwen suffered a rare case of Deja Vu as he went down to former World Youth Champion Brown for the second time on the Euro Tour this season, with the Isle of Wight ace punishing 13 missed darts at doubles from the Dutchman.
Van Gerwen established leads of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 before Brown produced checkouts of 104 and 115 on the way to leading 5-4, and though MVG forced a decider, it was Brown who held his nerve to get over the line and maintain his grip on the final World Matchplay qualification spot.
“Winning in these conditions is always great but to do it against Michael is second to none,” said Brown.
“I go in to every tournament thinking I’m going to win it and today was no different – that’s it.”
Brown will face Danny Noppert in the Third Round after the Dutchman edged out Darren Webster 6-4 in a frosty encounter
Eleven of the 16 seeded players were sent packing in the searing heat of the Prague stage, including an out-of-sorts Adrian Lewis – who was subjected to a 6-0 whitewash by Jamie Hughes with an average of just 78.
Mervyn King pulled off an impressive 6-2 win over James Wade with a 97 average, a high checkout of 155 and six doubles hit from seven attempts.
King will face his nickname namesake Corey Cadby on Sunday after the Australian’s dream European Tour debut continued with a last-leg win over Michael Smith.
Cadby raced into a 5-1 lead, and though Smith fought back to force a decider, it was the 2018 UK Open runner-up who landed a timely 14-darter to seal the deal.
Jermaine Wattimena also secured a spot in the Last 16 after a 6-2 victory over Jonny Clayton and Andrew Gilding reached the final day of a European Tour event for the first time since 2015 after seeing off an out of sorts Nathan Aspinall 6-4.
Ron Meulenkamp kept the possibility of a World Matchplay place alive with a 6-4 defeat of Steve Beaton, as did Ted Evetts – who saw off Ricky Evans 6-3 in a bid for a place at The Winter Gardens next month.
Daryl Gurney ended William O’Connor’s hopes of a place in the Betfred
World Matchplay after defeating the Republic of Ireland star 6-4.
Danish Open finalist Chris Dobey continued his fine European Tour form with a 6-3 defeat of Joe Cullen, while Ian White defied the partisan Czech crowd and secured his place in the Last 16 with a 6-4 win over Host Nation Qualifier Karel Sedlacek.
Stephen Bunting secured his spot in Round Three with a 6-4 victory over fifth seed Peter Wright, while Mensur Suljovic thrashed a struggling John Henderson 6-0, with the Scot averaging a mere 78 in the intense heat.
Czech Darts Open 2019 Results
Saturday June 29
Jonny Clayton 2-6 Jermaine Wattimena
Darren Webster 4-6 Danny Noppert
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Justin Pipe
Nathan Aspinall 4-6 Andrew Gilding
Daryl Gurney 6-4 William O’Connor
Ian White 6-4 Karel Sedlacek
Steve Beaton 4-6 Ron Meulenkamp
James Wade 2-6 Mervyn King
Ricky Evans 3-6 Ted Evetts
Joe Cullen 3-6 Chris Dobey
Peter Wright 4-6 Stephen Bunting
Michael van Gerwen 5-6 Keegan Brown
Mensur Suljovic 6-0 John Henderson
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Glen Durrant – *Price hits a nine-darter*
Adrian Lewis 0-6 Jamie Hughes
Michael Smith 5-6 Corey Cadby