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Nine-dart Van Gerwen returns to winning ways by claiming third UK Open title

Jamie Shaw in UK Open 08 Mar 2020
Van Gerwen celebrates a third UK Open triumph (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Michael van Gerwen claimed his first ranking title of 2020 in style at the 2020 UK Open as he landed a nine-darter en route to glory in Minehead.

The world number one had gone more than 100 days without winning a PDC tournament but opened his account for the new season superbly by coming from 5-1 down to defeat Gerwyn Price 11-9 in the final.

Van Gerwen produced a roof-raising nine-dart finish on his way to an 11-3 rout of Daryl Gurney in the Semi-Finals, the second perfect leg of the weekend after Jonny Clayton’s effort on Saturday.

The Dutchman punished a series of fatal missed doubles from Price at the business end of the final to clinch the £100,000 title and become only the second player to win the UK Open on three or more occasions.

“It’s an incredible win and it means a lot to me to win this tournament,” said Van Gerwen. “I’ve had a phenomenal tournament and the pressure was on me.

“It was a hard day for me, I had to play three Premier League players and it was not easy but I played really good darts and didn’t do a lot wrong.

“The nine-darter was fantastic but with the way I was playing it was just a matter of time. That’s just one leg though and I had to keep my focus.

“Gerwyn had his chances in the final but I took good advantage and I never missed a chance. That was important, so I only can be happy with this.”

Price, who was beaten by Van Gerwen in last November’s Players Championship final at the same venue, began the final strongly by racing into a 5-1 lead with the aid of a 105 checkout.

Van Gerwen took the next two legs before missing the bull for a 124 checkout and allowing the Welshman to move 6-3 ahead.

Price then missed one dart at double 16 to extend his advantage and MVG seized his reprieve on double 11 before taking out 76 in the following leg to trail 6-5.

Price re-established a two-leg cushion but was left to rue ten missed darts in the next three legs as Van Gerwen turned the tables to move in front.

The three-time World Champion dealt another crushing blow with a 136 checkout before finishing 96 for an 11-darter to move within a leg of victory at 10-7.

Price rallied back with a 94 checkout before surviving a match dart from the Dutchman in the following leg to peg back to just one behind.

However, Van Gerwen averted the need for a nail-biting decider with a 66 finish on double 18 to return to the winner’s circle.

Price was forced to settle for the runner-up spot for the second time at the Ladbrokes UK Open, and admitted: “I bombed numerous opportunities and possibly could have been 9-6 up, but that’s the way darts goes.

“It’s just battling against myself when I go for doubles. If I hit my doubles, I probably am the best player in the world.”

Van Gerwen began the day by thrashing Rob Cross 10-4 with a blistering 110.8 average in a repeat of the 2019 Premier League final.

He then averaged 110.3 in thrashing Gurney 11-3 with a stunning nine-darter in the process – the seventh of his career in televised competition.

Price dispatched Dimitri van den Bergh 10-5 in the Quarter-Finals with a 102 average and went on to sustain that level in brushing aside fellow Welsh ace Jonny Clayton 11-4 in the Semi-Finals.

Ladbrokes UK Open 2020 Results

Sunday March 8

Afternoon Session

Dimitri van den Bergh 5-10 Gerwyn Price
Michael van Gerwen 10-4 Rob Cross
Daryl Gurney 10-9 Jelle Klaasen
Jamie Hughes 9-10 Jonny Clayton

Evening Session

Gerwyn Price 11-4 Jonny Clayton
Michael van Gerwen 11-3 Daryl Gurney – *Van Gerwen hits a nine-darter*

Michael van Gerwen 11-9 Gerwyn Price