Gerwyn Price opened his account for 2020 with victory at Players Championship Six in Wigan, denying Michael van Gerwen in…
Gerwyn Price opened his account for 2020 with victory at Players Championship Six in Wigan, denying Michael van Gerwen in a last-leg thriller in the final.
The back-to-back Grand Slam champion had finished runner-up in two previous Players Championship events this season but held his nerve to deny his Dutch nemesis in an epic decider.
The world number three opened up leads of 4-1 and 7-4 before Van Gerwen hit back to force a decider at seven-all, but a nerveless 94 checkout on the bull clinched the £10,000 top prize for the Welshman.
“Going into the deciding leg, with Michael throwing first, it looked like the game was gone,” admitted Price.
“I just wanted to make sure I gave myself a shot for the match and I made sure I took it.
“I truly believe now that if I hit my doubles I will win matches against Michael, Peter [Wright] or whoever; my scoring game is up there, if not better than them.
“If you go back to when I started out I threw the towel in and lost games like this but I stuck in there today.
“I’ve played five events this year and I’ve got to three finals so I’m doing alright so far in 2020.”
Price missed double ten for a 140 checkout in the first leg and Van Gerwen took out 126 to set the tone for a high quality final.
Finishes of 70, 86 and 76 helped Price on the way to a 4-1 advantage before Van Gerwen took the next two legs to close the gap.
A 14-darter from Price was followed by a 114 checkout from MVG to trail 5-4, but double five and a 104 checkout saw the Welshman stretch his lead to three.
Van Gerwen then landed two 11-darters in the next three legs, including a 97 checkout, as he sent the match all the way, but after hitting a 174 to leave double 18, could only watch Price finish 94 on the bull to seal glory.
It is Van Gerwen’s second defeat in a Players Championship final this season and means he has not claimed a title in the first two months of the season for the first time since 2011.
Price began his run to the final with a 6-2 victory over Scotland’s Ryan Murray before surviving four match darts from Luke Woodhouse to edge through in a deciding leg.
He then saw off Simon Stevenson 6-3 before overcoming Jamie Hughes 6-4 and averaging 102 in a 6-4 defeat of Steve Beaton to reach the Semi-Finals.
There, Price powered past Stephen Bunting 7-3 with a 102.4 average before going on to become the sixth different winner in as many Players Championship events this season.
Van Gerwen landed a show-piece nine-darter in a 6-5 win over Cristo Reyes in the Last 16 following on from his victory over rival Gary Anderson in the previous round.
The world number one edged out last Sunday’s winner Krzysztof Ratajski 7-6 in the Semi-Finals with the aid of a 174 and tops in the decider.
Elsewhere, Stephen Bunting’s run to the Semi-Finals sees him leapfrog Jonny Clayton back into the world’s top 16, while Ian White produced a series of ton-plus averages on his way to the Last 16.
Players Championship Six 2020 Results
Sunday February 23
Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Joe Murnan
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-0 Nick Kenny
Mervyn King 6-1 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Gary Anderson 6-4 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Cristo Reyes 6-1 Jonny Clayton
Boris Krcmar 6-5 Wesley Harms
Richard North 6-5 Jeffrey De Zwaan
Jesus Noguera 6-1 Michael Barnard
Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Mike De Decker
Peter Jacques 6-5 Matthew Edgar
Ricky Evans 6-2 Harald Leitinger
Carl Wilkinson 6-1 Jeff Smith
James Wade 6-2 Lisa Ashton
Darius Labanauskas 6-3 Callan Rydz
Danny Noppert 6-5 Ross Smith
Marko Kantele 6-4 Jason Lowe
Peter Wright 6-2 Martin Schindler
Ted Evetts 6-5 Darren Penhall
Gabriel Clemens 6-1 Ciaran Teehan
Alan Tabern 6-5 Andy Boulton
Adrian Lewis 6-5 Jan Dekker
Josh Payne 6-5 Jonathan Worsley
Jose De Sousa 6-4 Robert Thornton
Scott Waites 6-1 Jitse Van der Wal
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-3 Max Hopp
Adrian Gray 6-5 Matthew Dennant
Vincent van der Voort 6-2 Conan Whitehead
Mickey Mansell 6-4 Damon Heta
Glen Durrant 6-5 Steve Brown
Ryan Meikle 6-1 David Pallett
John Henderson 6-5 Keegan Brown
Devon Petersen 6-3 Christian Bunse
Ian White 6-2 Maik Kuivenhoven
Ron Meulenkamp 6-3 Mark McGeeney
Darren Webster 6-0 William O’Connor
Gary Blades 6-2 Harry Ward
Vincent Van der Meer 6-3 Rob Cross
Madars Razma 6-2 Bradley Brooks
Jermaine Wattimena 6-3 Martin Atkins
Luke Humphries 6-5 William Borland
Steve Lennon 6-3 Dave Chisnall
Andy Hamilton 6-4 Gavin Carlin
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Karel Sedlacek
Ryan Joyce 6-5 Adam Hunt
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Matt Clark
Jelle Klaasen 6-5 Steve West
Stephen Bunting 6-2 Geert Nentjes
Wayne Jones 6-5 Krzysztof Kciuk
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Ryan Murray
Luke Woodhouse 6-4 Kyle Anderson
Justin Pipe 6-0 Aaron Beeney
Simon Stevenson 6-3 Toni Alcinas
Jamie Hughes 6-5 Jamie Lewis
Niels Zonneveld 6-4 Scott Baker
Robert Collins 6-4 Michael Smith
Benito van de Pas 6-0 Martijn Kleermaker
Daryl Gurney 6-3 Mike van Duivenbode
Kai Fan Leung 6-5 Kim Huybrechts
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Derk Telnekes
John Michael 6-4 Barrie Bates
Joe Cullen 6-5 Ryan Searle
Scott Mitchell 6-3 James Wilson
Steve Beaton 6-3 Yordi Meeuwisse
Kirk Shepherd 6-2 Reece Robinson
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Gary Anderson 6-4 Mervyn King
Cristo Reyes 6-5 Boris Krcmar
Jesus Noguera 6-3 Richard North
Peter Jacques 6-5 Mensur Suljovic
Ricky Evans 6-3 Carl Wilkinson
James Wade 6-3 Darius Labanauskas
Danny Noppert 6-5 Marko Kantele
Peter Wright 6-3 Ted Evetts
Alan Tabern 6-2 Gabriel Clemens
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Josh Payne
Scott Waites 6-1 Jose De Sousa
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-2 Adrian Gray
Mickey Mansell 6-2 Vincent van der Voort
Glen Durrant 6-4 Ryan Meikle
Devon Petersen 6-2 John Henderson
Ian White 6-4 Ron Meulenkamp
Gary Blades 6-4 Darren Webster
Vincent Van der Meer 6-5 Madars Razma
Jermaine Wattimena 6-4 Luke Humphries
Steve Lennon 6-4 Andy Hamilton
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Ryan Joyce
Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Jelle Klaasen
Stephen Bunting 6-2 Wayne Jones
Gerwyn Price 6-5 Luke Woodhouse
Simon Stevenson 6-4 Justin Pipe
Jamie Hughes 6-0 Niels Zonneveld
Robert Collins 6-4 Benito van de Pas
Daryl Gurney 6-3 Kai Fan Leung
Brendan Dolan 6-5 John Michael
Scott Mitchell 6-4 Joe Cullen
Steve Beaton 6-3 Kirk Shepherd
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Gary Anderson
Cristo Reyes 6-4 Jesus Noguera
Ricky Evans 6-3 Peter Jacques
James Wade 6-5 Danny Noppert
Peter Wright 6-2 Alan Tabern
Adrian Lewis 6-4 Scott Waites
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-2 Mickey Mansell
Devon Petersen 6-4 Glen Durrant
Ian White 6-1 Gary Blades
Jermaine Wattimena 6-2 Vincent Van der Meer
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Steve Lennon
Stephen Bunting 6-5 Nathan Aspinall
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Simon Stevenson
Jamie Hughes 6-4 Robert Collins
Daryl Gurney 6-4 Brendan Dolan
Steve Beaton 6-5 Scott Mitchell
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Cristo Reyes – *Van Gerwen hits a nine-darter*
James Wade 6-2 Ricky Evans
Peter Wright 6-3 Adrian Lewis
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4 Devon Petersen
Ian White 6-3 Jermaine Wattimena
Stephen Bunting 6-2 Simon Whitlock
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Jamie Hughes
Steve Beaton 6-3 Daryl Gurney
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 James Wade
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-2 Peter Wright
Stephen Bunting 6-4 Ian White
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Steve Beaton
Michael van Gerwen 7-6 Krzysztof Ratajski
Gerwyn Price 7-3 Stephen Bunting
Gerwyn Price 8-7 Michael van Gerwen