Peter Wright continued his incredible winning run by securing the Masters title at the expense of a distraught Michael Smith…
Peter Wright continued his incredible winning run by securing the Masters title at the expense of a distraught Michael Smith in Milton Keynes.
A month on from his World Championship triumph at Alexandra Palace, Wright extended his winning streak to ten matches as he clinched a second successive televised title.
The world number two watched Smith squander three match darts in the deciding leg of a dramatic final before returning to seal the deal with his last dart in hand.
“I’m a very lucky player tonight, Michael should’ve won that,” admitted Wright, who pockets the £60,000 top prize.
“I’ve been in his position many times before, so I know how he’s feeling and it’s not nice.
“But, I’m obviously over the moon to win the first tournament of the year and hopefully there will be many more.
“I think my performance dipped at the end of the day, I started missing too many doubles so I need to cut that out.
“It’s very hard to carry on from the Worlds but I said I fancied this tournament and I did it.”
Wright began the final day by whitewashing a struggling Dave Chisnall 10-0 in the afternoon’s Quarter-Finals before seeing off his Scottish World Cup winning teammate Gary Anderson 11-7 in the Semi-Finals.
Smith overcame Adrian Lewis 10-6 in the Last Eight before coming through a tense last-leg decider with Nathan Aspinall.
The final began with Wright starting the stronger of the pair as he opened up 5-2 lead, only for a determined Smith to fight his way back into the contest at 6-4 despite not being at his fluent best.
A crucial break of throw followed for Smith, who then landed a 130 checkout to level it up at 8-8, and after the next four legs were shared the contest went all the way to a one-leg shoot-out.
Smith kicked off the decider with his eighth 180 of the match and followed up with a 140, but a timely 171 from Wright piled the pressure on the St Helens thrower – who missed two darts at tops and one at double ten to let victory slip through his grasp.
Wright then found double eight at the third time of asking to bring the curtain down on a dramatic final, leaving Smith to rue yet another agonisingly close bid for a second TV title.
“Peter could’ve easily buried me earlier in the game but when I gave myself a chance I missed it again,” admitted a frustrated Smith.
“It just looks like I bottle it but I’m not, I’m trying my hardest, it just won’t go.
“I wanted it so much – I think I threw too hard at the doubles for the match, but when they left my hand they felt like they were going in.
“It’s another runner-up trophy to add to my big collection but I’ll get over it and tomorrow I’ll be back on the board practicing double top.
“It is a positive start to 2020, even though I’m feeling so disappointed right now, but I’ve got the Premier League and UK Open to look forward to around the corner.”
Wright and Smith will now turn their attentions to Night One of the 2020 Premier League at Aberdeen’s new P&J Live on Thursday.
Anderson also enjoyed a strong start to the year ahead of the Premier League, with the two-time World Champion having averaged 102 in a 10-2 Quarter-Final rout of rival Gerwyn Price.
UK Open champion Aspinall also won through to the Semi-Finals after continuing his Masters debut with a 10-8 win over Jonny Clayton, who was unable to follow up his defeat of Michael van Gerwen despite a strong display.
Ladbrokes Masters 2020 Results
Sunday February 2
Michael Smith 10-6 Adrian Lewis
Nathan Aspinall 10-8 Jonny Clayton
Gary Anderson 10-2 Gerwyn Price
Peter Wright 10-0 Dave Chisnall
Michael Smith 11-10 Nathan Aspinall
Peter Wright 11-7 Gary Anderson
Peter Wright 11-10 Michael Smith