Gerwyn Price added the World Grand Prix title to his rapidly-growing haul after a 5-2 victory over Dirk van Duijvenbode…
Gerwyn Price added the World Grand Prix title to his rapidly-growing haul after a 5-2 victory over Dirk van Duijvenbode in the final in Coventry on Monday.
The rampant Welshman, who has also claimed successive Autumn Series wins and the World Series Finals crown in recent weeks, continued his remarkable winning run to land a fourth televised title.
Price entered the final as huge favourite against world number 73 Van Duijvenbode and ensured there would be no fairy-tale ending for the Dutch debutant.
Price powered his way into a 4-1 lead, and though Van Duijvenbode took the sixth set to threaten a fightback, the Premier League star produced a ton-plus finish in the seventh to seal the win in style.
“I’m over the moon,” said Price. “At the end I was thinking about the [Dave] Chisnall game again and how I almost threw that game away.
“I seem to punish myself all the time, I kept bombing opportunities and I need to cut that out of my game. I can’t let players like Dirk back in.
“I knew tonight whenever I put him under pressure he would struggle and for most of the game I did that.
“It was a difficult game and maybe it looked a little bit easier than it was, but I’m happy to get over the winning line.
“It was a good tournament for me but this one’s over now. I’ll enjoy it tonight but there’s a European Tour event coming up on the weekend to look forward to.
“I’ve got one eye on the Grand Slam of Darts in November. I’ve got good memories of that tournament and now good memories in Coventry too.
“Hopefully I will have a good back end of the year.”
The £110,000 winner’s cheque puts Price up to a career-high second on the PDC Order of Merit, continuing the incredible rise of the former rugby player in only his seventh year on the circuit.
While Van Duijvenbode fell short in the final, he has gained a new army of fans following a career-changing week which saw him become the first debutant to reach the final since 1998.
The 28-year-old Aubergine farmer climbs 19 places to 54th on the PDC Order of Merit, while also securing him a debut in November’s Boylesports Grand Slam.
“I feel very disappointed in myself,” said a distraught Van Duijvenbode. “I don’t mind losing. If I play my normal game I’m okay if I lose, but tonight I don’t know what happened.
“I didn’t show what I could until I was 4-1 down and from then I think I was the better player, but it was too late.
“I’m more disappointed about my game than losing the final.
“I don’t mind losing to Gerwyn. He is a great player, in the top two players in the world for sure.”
The final saw Price start strongly, taking the opening set without reply, before winning the set two decider to double his lead.
Van Duijvenbode began to find the form which saw him defeat Gary Anderson and Simon Whitlock in the previous two rounds as he won the third set, only for Price to roar back in the fourth to restore his three-set cushion.
The Dutchman landed a 135 checkout out of the blue in the fifth set, only for Price to win his tenth deciding leg of the tournament from as many attempts to go 4-1 up.
Price seemed to be cruising to the finish line, but a dogged Van Duijvenbode showed class and determination to recover from 2-1 down to claim the sixth set.
Van Duijvenbode kicked on and looked likely to pull it back to 4-3 in sets as he led 2-0 in the seventh, but this time it was Price’s turn to turn a set around as he reeled off three consecutive legs, winning the title in style with a 102 checkout.
Price has now won four of his last five tournaments and 22 of his last 23 games, making him the most decorated player of the season so far.