Michael van Gerwen claimed his first ranking title of 2020 in style at the 2020 UK Open as he landed…
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
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
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