Gerwyn Price secured his first World Series tour title at the 2022 New Zealand Darts Masters courtesy of a comeback…
Gerwyn Price secured his first World Series tour title at the 2022 New Zealand Darts Masters courtesy of a comeback win over Jonny Clayton in the final in Hamilton.
Price reeled off six consecutive legs from 4-2 down to deny his Welsh compatriot and claim the £20,000 title to round off the PDC’s Oceanic triple-header.
The world number one was denied glory by Michael van Gerwen in the final of the Queensland Masters a fortnight ago, but made amends to sign off in style in New Zealand.
Clayton was bidding to make it back-to-back World Series titles following his triumph in Wollongong last weekend, and he started strongly with an 11-dart hold in leg four sparking a sequence of three straight legs.
However, Price pinned double five to stop the rot in a crucial seventh leg, and he was indebted to the same target moments later, closing out a 12-dart break to restore parity at four apiece.
The 2021 World Champion continued his charge with legs of 15, 14 and 15 darts to move 7-4 ahead, and after Clayton fluffed his lines on the outer ring, Price converted a 92 finish on double 12 to complete the comeback.
“It feels fantastic,” said Price. “Fair play to Jonny. I think he upped his game in the final, but thankfully I improved after the break and showed why I’m world number one.
“I think I was quite fortunate to win the last leg before the break, and I knew if I upped my scoring game I would have a chance.
“The crowd were absolutely awesome. They supported both of us tonight and they were magnificent.”
Price began Saturday’s action with a commanding 6-2 win over James Wade, avenging his defeat against the left-hander in last weekend’s New South Wales Masters Semi-Finals.
The Welshman then produced an impressive display to oust top seed Dimitri Van den Bergh in the Last Four, winning six out of the last seven legs to complete a 7-4 win.
Clayton was unable to secure his second successive World Series victory, but he dumped out defending champion Van Gerwen in a heavyweight Quarter-Final tussle.
The former Premier League champion averaged 98 and landed two ton-plus checkouts to record a convincing 6-3 win over MVG – who trailed 5-1 at one stage.
The 47-year-old then stormed into Saturday’s showpiece with a battling 7-5 win over Michael Smith, producing a classy display of combination finishing to defeat the St Helens star for the second successive event.
“Gezzy is lucky I missed those three darts at double 18,” joked Clayton.
“Fair play to Gerwyn. He came out of the blocks after the break and I can have no complaints. He was fantastic.
“I have loved every second of my time in New Zealand. We had two Welshmen in the final, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Van den Bergh edged out Joe Cullen in a gripping last-leg shoot-out to reach his first Semi-Final in the Oceanic treble-header, while Smith was in merciless mood in the Quarter-Finals, whitewashing 22-year-old home favourite Kayden Milne, who had dumped out Fallon Sherrock on his big stage bow on Friday.
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New Zealand Darts Masters 2022 Day Two Results
Saturday August 27
Dimitri van den Bergh 6-5 Joe Cullen
James Wade 2-6 Gerwyn Price
Michael van Gerwen 3-6 Jonny Clayton
Michael Smith 6-0 Kayden Milne
Gerwyn Price 7-4 Dimitri van den Bergh
Jonny Clayton 7-5 Michael Smith
Gerwyn Price 8-4 Jonny Clayton