Ian White produced a spellbinding display to thrash Michael van Gerwen 10-4 for a place in the European Championship Quarter-Finals, as Peter Wright defeated Gerwyn Price.
World number 12 White enjoyed a first televised win over Van Gerwen courtesy of one his strongest showings in a TV major to date, averaging almost 104 in Oberhausen.
The Stoke ace raced into a five-leg lead as he punished six missed doubles from Van Gerwen in the early stages, hitting three 13-darters and a 14-dart leg in the process.
The pair traded 11-darters as Van Gerwen pulled back to 7-4, but White reeled off the next three to secure a quarter-final tie with Devon Petersen on Saturday.
“It’s brilliant, a big moment,” said White. “It was a good game and everything went for me. Michael missed a few doubles at the beginning and I kept taking them out.
“You want to be leading at the first break but at 5-0 it was a matter of carrying on doing what I was doing. You know Michael can come back at you, he’s the best player in the world so even when I got to nine legs I had to keep hitting it.
“It’s a good win. I’ve beaten him a few times before but I know I can play like that, and the luck went for me tonight.
“I’ve got to focus on the next game against Devon now because he’s playing good darts. I’m feeling confident and playing well, and if I can keep playing like that then people will keep talking about me.”
Petersen also averaged above 100 as he reached his first individual TV quarter-final since the 2015 UK Open in a 10-8 comeback win over Martijn Kleermaker.
Kleermaker, who defeated reigning champion Rob Cross in round one, took leads of 3-0 and 4-1 as he started the brighter, only for Petersen to respond with five straight legs – including finishes of 70, 72 and 73 – as he moved into the lead at 6-4.
The Dutchman hit back with legs of 13 and 15 darts to level after 12 legs, but the 13th proved crucial as he missed one dart at tops to regain the lead, allowing Petersen to follow two 180s as he finished an 11-darter.
Double 16 gave Petersen breathing space at 8-6, and he added a 12-darter to keep Kleermaker at bay before holding his nerve to close out the win.
“I’m happy to go through,” said Petersen. “Martijn is an amazing talent and is probably the quickest player in the world at this point in time.
“In the first session I needed to catch my breath, find my rhythm in a sense and I was hanging onto his coat-tails and he was so clinical on his finishing.
“I was quite mesmerised by his pace. I recomposed myself at the start of the second session and those five legs I think put him in a wobble a little bit.
“I’m ecstatic that I’m performing at that level. As long as I play well, that’s the only thing that matters.”
Wright, meanwhile, showed his World Champion class to defeat Price 10-6 in a second round thriller as the pair both averaged over 100.
Welshman Price, who has won two televised titles this autumn, hit back from 2-0 down with a pair of 12-darters only to see the World Champion pull clear by landing two 11-dart legs in moving 9-3 up.
Price responded with checkouts of 148, 127 and 80 to threaten a comeback as he kept his hopes alive, but Wright pinned tops to secure his quarter-final spot on Saturday.
“It’s nice to get the win over Gezzy,” said Wright. “He’s on form at the moment, winning everything and hitting big averages.
“I just wanted to win because Gezzy has got the better of me a couple of times. I’m not relaxing with these darts but when I do, they’re going to be awesome.
“At 9-3 up I was thinking about not throwing it away, and he’s capable of coming back and winning. He took out the 148 and the 127 and I was doing nothing wrong, so fair play to him.
“I’m still in and still battling so we’ll see how it goes. This would be a nice one to win but I’ll just take each game as it comes.”
Steve West booked his spot in the quarter-finals for a second time in three years by coming through a dramatic decider against Mensur Suljovic.
West came from a leg down to lead 5-1, hitting four 14-darters and a 144 finish in a superb spell of darts only to see Suljovic hit back to win five of the next seven, including an 11-dart leg, as he pulled back to 7-6.
Tops saw West regain breathing space, but Suljovic took advantage of three missed doubles with an 88 finish in leg 15 before levelling on double nine in the next.
West took out 90 for a 12-darter to regain the lead, with Suljovic finishing 84 with a bullseye, double 17 combination to send the tie into a decider, but the Austrian was left waiting on 40 as West checked out a fine 106 combination for victory.
“I’m over the moon – it means the world to me,” said West, who dropped to his knees in celebration after hitting the winning double.
“It’s probably the best I’ve played since two years ago when I played Michael van Gerwen in this event. At 7-3 up I was cruising but I let him get close and he pushed me all the way – I was in massive trouble.
“Peter Wright doesn’t like playing me, and we’ve had a good few battles. If I can play my game, I’m good enough to beat him.
“I came here believing that I can win this event and if I win this, I’d retire!”
James Wade is the only former champion left in the field after the 2018 winner saw off Nathan Aspinall 10-8 in a high-quality encounter to set up a tie with William O’Connor.
With the pair both averaging almost 97, it was Wade’s more clinical finishing which proved superior as he punished Aspinall for 19 missed doubles, including three chances to level in the second half of the tie.
Wade fired in a 161 finish as he moved 2-0 up, and after Aspinall levelled he posted another 12-darter in moving two legs clear again.
Aspinall posted legs of 14 and 13 darts as he remained in touch, but he ultimately paid for missing his chances to level as Wade held his advantage to secure a quarter-final spot.
O’Connor won through to only his second individual televised quarter-final by defeating Jamie Hughes 10-3 in a dominant performance.
O’Connor had come into the event as 32nd seed with Glen Durrant ruled out, but is grasping his opportunity in Oberhausen after seeing off top seed Joe Cullen and now Hughes.
The Irish star won the opening five legs without reply as he took charge of the game, and though Hughes took out 122 as he pulled back three legs, checkouts of 138 and 100 secured O’Connor’s quarter-final place.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” said O’Connor, a World Cup finalist for Ireland last year. “I’ve got a huge opportunity now to push on a little bit further.
“It was easier than I was expecting today but I felt Jamie was a little bit nervous and I wanted to win my leg and break him early on to get 2-0 up and use that throughout the game, but Jamie never got into the game.
“I’m trying to play myself back into form and the more I play the closer I feel I’m getting to where I want to be.
“Every time I go out there I try to play the best I can and have no regrets.
“I need more match practice under my belt but I’ll be giving it 100 percent and hopefully I’ll feel comfortable, relaxed and refreshed. I’ll have to play well to win.”
Dirk van Duijvenbode continued his brilliant October form with a 10-8 comeback win over Michael Smith, who had hit back from 3-0 down to take command of the tie.
The World Grand Prix finalist made a brilliant start, finishing 95 and 94 to complete back-to-back 12-darters as he moved 3-0 up, only to see Smith open his challenge with an 11-darter to spark a run of six straight legs.
Smith maintained the edge as a 12-darter moved him 8-6 up, but Van Duijvenbode replied in kind in leg 15 and capitalised on missed doubles from the world number four in the next two to move 9-8 up, before finishing 110 to seal the win.
“I’m very happy that I won,” said Van Duijvenbode. “I know we’re both fast players but I said to myself I had to not go at his rhythm, and I stopped playing well and lost my confidence.
“He missed some chances and I regained my composure. I was upset with myself for missing three darts to go 4-1 up because I could have relaxed then. He played well then but happily I composed myself to play normal again.
“I’m still not playing my best darts but it’s about regaining your confidence and if making a major final doesn’t give you confidence then nothing does.”
Van Duijvenbode will take on Jonny Clayton in the last eight, after the Welshman ensured a best-ever run in the event with a 10-6 win over Jose De Sousa, who was unable to repeat the heroics of Thursday’s nine-dart finish.
De Sousa landed an early 11-darter as he moved 2-1 up, only for Clayton to move ahead in leg five with a break as finishes of 68 and 76 moved him into a lead he would never relinquish.
The Portuguese ace finished 121, 80 and 137 as he pulled back to 6-5, but legs of 13 and 14 darts gave Clayton breathing space before he sealed his first quarter-final in the event.
Friday October 30
William O’Connor 10-3 Jamie Hughes
Devon Petersen 10-8 Martijn Kleermaker
Jose De Sousa 6-10 Jonny Clayton
Nathan Aspinall 8-10 James Wade
Michael Smith 8-10 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Gerwyn Price 6-10 Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen 4-10 Ian White
Mensur Suljovic 9-10 Steve West
Ian White ended a two-year wait for a Players Championship title by claiming glory in Barnsley on Sunday with an 8-3 victory over James Wade in the final.
White, who picked up two European Tour titles in 2019, last tasted success in a Players Championship event in June 2018, but stormed to the £10,000 title at the Barnsley Metrodome.
The world number eleven averaged in excess of 100 in all but one of his seven victories on the day, including a 111.3 in his win over John Henderson in the Last 32.
White began the second day of the weekend’s ProTour double-header with a 105 average in a 6-4 win over William Borland before defeating Brazil’s Diogo Portela by the same scoreline with a 102.4 average
His Last 32 triumph over Henderson was followed by a 103.7 average in a 6-2 success over Stephen Bunting before averaging 109.7 in a 6-4 defeat of Dave Chisnall.
The 49-year-old then defeated Kim Huybrechts 7-4 in the Semi-Finals and went on to brush aside Wade for a 13th PDC title of his career.
“I’ve been playing good darts through the year but not been getting the luck, so this title has been coming,” said White.
“The form is coming on, I’ve had a few problems but I’m sorting myself out and everything is going well.
“A couple of weeks ago Peter Wright was hitting lots of 100-plus averages so that spurred me on to keep up with him.
“Everyone goes on about my TV form not being as good as my ProTour form but I play good darts on the TV stages, I’ve hit a few averages over 100.
“I’ve just run into top class players at their best a few times, I just think I’ve been unlucky.
“My heads on this year and I want to stay in that top ten.”
White squandered four darts at doubles to win the opening leg of the final but took out 80 in the second to level up.
The Stoke star then finished 71 and landed double ten to move two clear, and after Wade cleaned up 80 to peg back, ‘Diamond’ reeled off three consecutive legs with finishes of 71 and 98 en route to a 6-2 lead.
Wade stopped the rot with an 85 checkout but White followed in with a 105 finish to make it 7-3 before converting double ten to complete a commanding victory.
Wade was appearing in his first ranking final of the season following earlier wins over Wesley Harms, Jason Lowe, Ciaran Teehan, Josh Payne, Keegan Brown and Derk Telnekes.
The Machine’s win over Lowe saw him average 111.2, one of three ton-plus averages across the day.
Dutch newcomer Telnekes followed up Saturday’s Quarter-Final run with a superb run to the Semi-Finals as he continued his impressive start to life in the PDC.
World number one Michael van Gerwen suffered a shock First Round exit at the hands of his compatriot Maik Kuivenhoven in a last-leg decider.
Gary Anderson also fell at the first hurdle to Andy Hamilton, as did Saturday’s champion Nathan Aspinall – who was beaten by Latvia’s Madars Razma.
Sunday March 15
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-5 Michael van Gerwen
Gavin Carlin 6-2 Mike van Duivenbode
Scott Waites 6-4 Darren Webster
Gary Blades 6-4 Alan Tabern
Derk Telnekes 6-5 Steve Beaton
Graham Usher 6-5 Marko Kantele
Jose De Sousa 6-0 Daniel Ayres
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Adam Hunt
Jamie Lewis 6-4 Joe Cullen
Luke Woodhouse 6-5 Arjan Konterman
Jeff Smith 6-4 Gabriel Clemens
Mickey Mansell 6-3 Martin Schindler
Glen Durrant 6-5 Ryan Murray
Connor Scutt 6-2 Robert Thornton
Scott Mitchell 6-3 Chris Dobey
Ryan Meikle 6-4 Steve Lennon
James Wade 6-3 Wesley Harms
Jason Lowe 6-1 James Hubbard
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Nathan Derry
Ciaran Teehan 6-5 Jim Walker
Jonny Clayton 6-1 Barrie Bates
Josh Payne 6-3 Nick Kenny
Danny Noppert 6-4 Richard North
Luke Humphries 6-5 Martijn Kleermaker
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Vincent Van der Meer
Steve West 6-4 Peter Jacques
Justin Pipe 6-2 Carl Wilkinson
Niels Zonneveld 6-5 Harry Ward
Rob Cross 6-4 Conan Whitehead
Steve Brown 6-4 Matthew Edgar
Keegan Brown 6-3 Kirk Shepherd
Kai Fan Leung 6-4 Michael Barnard
Ian White 6-4 William Borland
Diogo Portela 6-3 Aaron Beeney
John Henderson 6-4 Lisa Ashton
Mark McGeeney 6-4 Robert Collins
Dom Taylor 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena
Andy Hamilton 6-4 Gary Anderson
Stephen Bunting 6-1 Ross Smith
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-3 Stu Wilson
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Adam Huckvale
Darren Penhall 6-4 Andrew Gilding
Mervyn King 6-5 Simon Stevenson
Benito van de Pas 6-2 Jelle Klaasen
Geert Nentjes 6-4 Jamie Hughes
Jonathan Worsley 6-4 David Pallett
Christian Bunse 6-2 Vincent van der Voort
Damon Heta 6-3 Kyle Anderson
Peter Wright 6-1 Colin Osborne
Scott Taylor 6-5 Reece Robinson
Scott Baker 6-5 William O’Connor
Ryan Searle 6-5 Bradley Brooks
Mike De Decker 6-1 Jeffrey De Zwaan
Jan Dekker 6-5 Ron Meulenkamp
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Devon Petersen
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Adrian Gray
Madars Razma 6-3 Nathan Aspinall
Carl Hamilton 6-3 Ted Evetts
Ricky Evans 6-1 Jitse Van der Wal
Eddie Lovely 6-1 Darius Labanauskas
Michael Smith 6-4 Andy Boulton
Wayne Jones 6-1 James Wilson
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Ryan Joyce
Joe Murnan 6-3 Brian Raman
Gavin Carlin 6-2 Maik Kuivenhoven
Gary Blades 6-3 Scott Waites
Derk Telnekes 6-3 Graham Usher
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 Jose De Sousa
Luke Woodhouse 6-2 Jamie Lewis
Mickey Mansell 6-2 Jeff Smith
Glen Durrant 6-1 Connor Scutt
Scott Mitchell 6-5 Ryan Meikle
James Wade 6-1 Jason Lowe
Ciaran Teehan 6-5 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Josh Payne 6-3 Jonny Clayton
Luke Humphries 6-5 Danny Noppert
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Steve West
Justin Pipe 6-2 Niels Zonneveld
Rob Cross 6-4 Steve Brown
Keegan Brown 6-4 Kai Fan Leung
Ian White 6-4 Diogo Portela
John Henderson 6-3 Mark McGeeney
Dom Taylor 6-2 Andy Hamilton
Stephen Bunting BYE Rowby-John Rodriguez
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Darren Penhall
Mervyn King 6-4 Benito van de Pas
Jonathan Worsley 6-1 Geert Nentjes
Christian Bunse 6-5 Damon Heta
Peter Wright 6-2 Scott Taylor
Ryan Searle 6-4 Scott Baker
Jan Dekker 6-5 Mike De Decker
Kim Huybrechts 6-2 Brendan Dolan
Carl Hamilton 6-2 Madars Razma
Ricky Evans 6-5 Eddie Lovely
Michael Smith 6-5 Wayne Jones
Joe Murnan 6-5 Simon Whitlock
Gavin Carlin 6-4 Gary Blades
Derk Telnekes 6-2 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Luke Woodhouse 6-5 Mickey Mansell
Glen Durrant 6-4 Scott Mitchell
James Wade 6-4 Ciaran Teehan
Josh Payne 6-5 Luke Humphries
Justin Pipe 6-3 Daryl Gurney
Keegan Brown 6-5 Rob Cross
Ian White 6-3 John Henderson
Stephen Bunting 6-5 Dom Taylor
Dave Chisnall 6-5 Mervyn King
Christian Bunse 6-1 Jonathan Worsley
Peter Wright 6-4 Ryan Searle
Kim Huybrechts 6-1 Jan Dekker
Ricky Evans 6-2 Carl Hamilton
Michael Smith 6-2 Joe Murnan
Derk Telnekes 6-2 Gavin Carlin
Luke Woodhouse 6-5 Glen Durrant
James Wade 6-5 Josh Payne
Keegan Brown 6-2 Justin Pipe
Ian White 6-2 Stephen Bunting
Dave Chisnall 6-0 Christian Bunse
Kim Huybrechts 6-0 Peter Wright
Michael Smith 6-5 Ricky Evans
Derk Telnekes 6-3 Luke Woodhouse
James Wade 6-4 Keegan Brown
Ian White 6-4 Dave Chisnall
Kim Huybrechts 6-4 Michael Smith
James Wade 7-2 Derk Telnekes
Ian White 7-4 Kim Huybrechts
Ian White 8-3 James Wade