Michael Smith scoops hat-trick in 2022 PDC Annual Awards

Michael Smith has picked up a hat-trick of honours in the 2022 PDC Annual Awards following his sensational success over the last 12 months.

Newly-crowned World Champion Smith, who also claimed Grand Slam and US Masters glory last season, was named PDC Player of the Year in Tuesday’s Awards.

Smith received global acclaim following his historic exploits at Alexandra Palace, which saw him land an incredible nine-darter en route to victory over Michael van Gerwen in an epic final on January 3.

The 32-year-old also appeared in UK Open and European Championship finals in 2022, while celebrating three Players Championship wins and a European Tour success at the Dutch Darts Championship.

Smith’s treble success in the 2022 PDC Annual Awards also saw him crowned Fans’ Player of the Year and PDPA Players’ Player of the Year.

The world number one received almost 60% of the vote from a record number of fans who took part in the Selco Fans’ Player of the Year poll, while he claimed 40% of the votes from his fellow professionals.

“To pick up three awards shows I’m doing something right!” joked Smith, who joins the likes of Van Gerwen, Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson and Gerwyn Price in claiming multiple awards in one year.

“At the minute I’m on a massive rollercoaster and I’m loving every minute. I’ve put so much hard work in and I’m getting rewarded for it now.

“The fans’ award is one of the special ones, because they have lived it with me. They have felt the heartache I’ve felt, and they felt the joy when I won it. It feels really special.

“I won the Players’ Player of the Year in 2019, so to win my second one, I must be one of the players that people enjoy watching!

“I’m lost for words really. To win awards like this is amazing, but the hard work starts now. That was for 2022, and now I’ve got to work even harder in 2023.”

Elsewhere, Ross Smith, Luke Humphries and Josh Rock were also among the players recognised following their achievements over the last 12 months.

Ross Smith’s display in October’s European Championship final was judged the Televised Performance of the Year, as the Kent star celebrated his first televised title in Dortmund.

World number five Humphries was awarded ProTour Player of the Year after scooping five titles throughout 2022, which included four European Tour successes.

The 27-year-old claimed a maiden Players Championship crown, before lifting European Tour titles in Munich, Prague, Stuttgart and Trier to cap off a superb ProTour campaign where he earned £187,750 in prize money.

Elsewhere, emerging star Rock received the Best Newcomer and Young Player of the Year awards following a sensational breakthrough season in 2022.

Rock, who claimed five Development Tour titles and a maiden ProTour crown last term, announced his big stage arrival at November’s Grand Slam, landing a nine-dart finish in a titanic tussle against Van Gerwen.

The 21-year-old then lifted the World Youth Championship title just weeks later, before he continued his remarkable rise with a run to the last 16 on his World Championship debut.

PDC Annual Awards 2022

PDC Player of the Year
WINNER: Michael Smith
Michael van Gerwen
Gerwyn Price
Joe Cullen

ProTour Player of the Year
WINNER: Luke Humphries (£187,750)
Michael van Gerwen (£135,250)
Damon Heta (£134,750)
Rob Cross (£123,000)

Moneybarn Best Newcomer
WINNER: Josh Rock (36)
Rowby-John Rodriguez (51)
Scott Williams (57)
Jim Williams (59)

Toyo Tires Televised Performance of the Year
WINNER: Ross Smith – Cazoo European Championship Final
Gerwyn Price – Cazoo Premier League Belfast Semi-Final
Michael Smith – Cazoo World Darts Championship Final
Michael van Gerwen – Betfred World Matchplay Final

Selco Fans’ Player of the Year
WINNER: Michael Smith
Second: Michael van Gerwen
Third: Gerwyn Price

PDPA Players’ Player of the Year
WINNER: Michael Smith
Second: Josh Rock
Third: Michael van Gerwen

Winmau Young Player of the Year
WINNER: Josh Rock
Nathan Rafferty
Keane Barry
Sebastian Bialecki

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Magnificent Michael Smith secures fairy-tale first World Championship title

Michael Smith fulfilled his darting destiny by becoming World Champion for the first time courtesy of a sensational 7-4 victory over Michael van Gerwen in the final at Alexandra Palace.

Smith, who picked up his maiden major title at the Grand Slam in November, doubled his tally by scooping the sport’s most prestigious prize with the aid of an incredible nine-darter.

The historic triumph sees Smith become the new world number one, denying Van Gerwen a fourth world title following an epic final.

From 3-2 down, Smith produced a devastating burst of four straight sets to take control at 6-3, before crushing any hopes of an MVG fightback by sealing an unforgettable victory.

“The way I felt when I won will never be topped, no matter what I do in this sport in the future,” said an emotional Smith.

“To be World Champion and world number one is amazing.

“Michael let me off a lot and, for once, I finally took my chance.

“In practice today I kept going 180-180-miss and I wanted to give the crowd what they deserved, a nine-darter.

“When I won the Grand Slam I said I would eventually become World Champion and world number one.

“I want to do what Michael [van Gerwen] has done, I want to dominate the sport but he’s still around!

“It’s now one-one between us in World Championship finals, but I don’t think it will be the last.”

Competing in his sixth World Championship final, Van Gerwen suffered a third defeat in the sport’s showpiece event, posting his first sub-100 average of the tournament.

“Michael played a phenomenal game, he deserves this win,” admitted a gracious Van Gerwen.

“Of course, I had my chances – I missed too many doubles and when you don’t hit them you get punished.

“I didn’t play too well in the last few sets but I can only blame myself for that, you have to take it on the chin.

“When you lose games it’s hard but it’s part of the job. I will be back.”

A game of the highest quality saw Smith end the match with a 100.87 average and an incredible 22 180s, while Van Gerwen posted a 99.58 average with 15 maximums.

The opening set saw Van Gerwen land an 84 checkout to break throw and win his 14th consecutive set of the tournament.

The second set featured the greatest leg of darts in televised history as Smith produced a roof-raising nine-dart finish in the same leg which saw Van Gerwen miss double 12 for a perfect leg of his own.

The nine-darter, the 14th in PDC World Championship history, sealed a break of throw for Smith, who then tidied up 25 in two darts to wrap up the set and level the match at 1-1.

After missing the bullseye for a 170 checkout, Smith wrapped up the third set, before Van Gerwen took the fourth without conceding a leg to level the tie at 2-2.

In a fifth set decider, Van Gerwen broke throw in 14 darts to take the lead for what proved to be the final time in the match at 3-2.

However, the key passage of the match saw Smith win 12 of the next 16 legs to take a 6-3 lead in sets.

Van Gerwen stopped the rot with a 105 checkout before the set ten decider saw Smith take the first shot at a match-winning checkout, but he was unable to land a 167 before Van Gerwen found a last-dart double 16 to stay alive.

Van Gerwen then took a 2-0 lead in the 11th set, but Smith hit back with a 106 checkout, followed up with a 15-dart break to move within a leg of the title.

Smith kicked off the deciding leg with back-to-back 180s before sealing victory with an 11-darter on double eight to confirm a stunning 7-4 success and clinch the £500,000 top prize.

He becomes the 11th different player to win the PDC World Championship, the fifth Englishman, and the 12th different PDC world number one.

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Michael Smith claims first major title after landing Grand Slam of Darts crown

Michael Smith claimed his first major title after a commanding 16-5 rout of Nathan Aspinall sealed the Grand Slam of Darts crown on Sunday.

A beaten finalist on eight occasions, Bully Boy finally ended his long wait for silverware at Aldersley Leisure Village as he lifted the Eric Bristow trophy while pocketing the top prize of £150,000.

Smith hit nine 180s and 12 140s on the way to becoming the seventh different winner of this event after Phil Taylor, Michael van Gerwen, Gerwyn Price, Raymond van Barneveld, Scott Waites and Jose de Sousa.

Meanwhile, an out-of-sorts Aspinall missed 10 darts at doubles as he suffered his third defeat in four major final appearances.

“I’m used to giving the runners-up speech. I don’t know what to do, I’m not used to this,” he told Sky Sports.

“I’m just over the moon. Everyone can’t say I’m a bottle job, they can’t take this away from me now. It’s a big weight off my shoulders.

“I didn’t play well, Nathan let me off in the final. My doubles just went in. Every time I got a shot, I checked it. When I started to find my scoring, my doubles stayed.

“I was nervous playing [Nathan]. In the first few legs, I was shaking like mad. He started to miss doubles and let me in, he just didn’t get going. If he’d have got going tonight, it would’ve been a completely different game. Nathan’s a quality player.”

A closely fought final was expected with both players having registered 40 per cent doubles success, as well as a top checkout of 142.

But Smith, fresh from ending Van Barneveld’s fairy-tale run earlier in the day with a 16-12 triumph, lay down an early marker by breaking in the opening leg, before a pair of 14-darters put him 5-2 to the good.

Former UK Open champion Aspinall, who overcame Luke Humphries 16-12 in the semi-finals, broke back with a 15-darter on 80, but Bully Boy responded in the following leg before pinning tops for a 13-darter and 7-3 lead.

The Asp hit back with a 13-dart leg of his own before both players shared 15-darters for 8-5, but it was one-way traffic thereon.

Indeed, Smith capitalised with his opponent not firing, producing three 14-dart legs and a 12-darter and as reeled off the next seven, before clinically checking out 56 to finally break into the winners’ enclosure.

“[It’s] two major finals in three tournaments, but it’s my third defeat [in major finals],” Aspinall said.

“I love Michael to bits. I’m so proud of him. It’s hard to get over the line and he’s finally done it.

“I’m really sorry to the rest of the tour card holders, but we’re all in trouble now because he’s won his first major.

“I just think two games was too much for me today. I could not find that treble 20; the harder I tried to hit the treble 20, the worse it was getting. If I was going to lose to anyone, I’m glad it’s Michael.”

Fairytale in New York for Michael Smith at the US Darts Masters

Michael Smith secured his second World Series title at the 2022 US Darts Masters courtesy of an 8-4 victory over Michael van Gerwen in the final in New York.

Shanghai Masters champion in 2018, Smith doubled his tally in style at the Hulu Theater inside Madison Square Garden, picking up the £20,000 top prize to continue his blistering winning streak.

Having won Night 16 of the Premier League and the Dutch Darts Championship, ‘Bully Boy’ made it three titles inside ten days and extended his unbeaten run to 12 matches.

Smith had opened the tournament on Friday with victory over American qualifier Doug Boehm, and began Saturday’s final stages with an 8-3 defeat of Gary Anderson in the Last Eight.

He then landed eight 180s in an 8-6 Semi-Final win over World Champion Peter Wright, before recovering from 3-1 and 4-3 down in the final to defeat Van Gerwen with the aid of five straight legs.

Van Gerwen had finished 130 in leg seven to restore his advantage, but Smith hit back with a 100 checkout, moved ahead with tops and then produced legs of 14, 14 and 12 darts to wrap up the title.

“I’ve won tournaments before but it’s unreal to win at Madison Square Garden,” said Smith. “Everyone wanted to win this event and it’s unreal for me to be that person.

“I’ve just won a tournament in the most iconic venue in the world, and I’m the first person to do it. I’m ecstatic.

“I wasn’t playing my best darts, but I put in a decent second half in the final. I did that earlier against Peter too and long may it continue.

“Michael’s the same, we’re capable of putting in four or five legs on the spin with no reply, and luckily I did.”

Smith had lost in the World Championship and UK Open finals earlier this year, but has since embarked on an emphatic winning run which also included back-to-back Players Championship titles.

“I’m playing well and picking up titles, and it’s unreal the way things have swung in my favour,” he added.

“Since I won the last night of the Premier League, my confidence has grown and grown. I wasn’t chasing results, I was chasing wins and I’ve just won the first ever tournament at Madison Square Garden.

“Now that I’m making finals each week and winning them – and the way I’m winning them – is massive for my confidence and self-belief.”

Van Gerwen followed up Friday’s First Round win over Jules van Dongen by seeing off James Wade 8-3 in the Quarter-Finals.

He then averaged 99.6 in an 8-4 Semi-Final defeat of Gerwyn Price, but was to be denied a second US Darts Masters title.

“Of course I want to win, but Michael played a really good game and you have to take your hat off and say congratulations,” said Van Gerwen.

“This is special but I can say that I didn’t win, Michael didn’t win – I think darts won tonight especially here in America.

“I think this is a massive step forward for the professionalisation of darts in general and the global sport of darts.”

Price had reached the Last Four with a narrow 8-7 win over Jonny Clayton in a gripping all-Welsh clash, while Wright was an 8-3 Quarter-Final winner over newly-crowned North American Champion Leonard Gates.


US Darts Masters 2022 – Day Two Results

Saturday June 4

Michael Smith 8-3 Gary Anderson
Peter Wright 8-3 Leonard Gates
Gerwyn Price 8-7 Jonny Clayton
Michael van Gerwen 8-3 James Wade

Michael Smith 8-6 Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen 8-4 Gerwyn Price

Michael Smith 8-4 Michael van Gerwen

Michael Smith seals back-to-back Players Championship titles in Wigan

Michael Smith made it back-to-back ProTour titles with victory at Players Championship 15 in Wigan on Wednesday, defeating Callan Rydz 8-3 in the final.

Having stormed to Tuesday’s title at the Robin Park Sports Centre, Smith completed a memorable double as he scooped a second £12,000 top prize in as many days.

The world number four fired in a nine-dart finish on his way to glory as he took his unbeaten run to 14 matches.

Smith’s title charge began with a 6-4 victory over Glen Durrant, before thrashing Greece’s John Michael 6-1 in the Second Round.

The World Championship and UK Open finalist then registered three consecutive ton-plus averages, starting with a 107 in his narrow 6-5 win over Ritchie Edhouse, before averaging 104 in denying Mario Vandenbogaerde by the same scoreline.

Smith’s Quarter-Final against Florian Hempel saw him produce perfection with a nine-darter in the fourth leg, eventually sealing victory with a sensational 115 average.

He then comfortably overcame Alan Soutar 7-3 in the Semi-Finals to set up a show-down with fellow power-scorer Rydz.

Rydz took the opening leg of the final but Smith responded with finishes of 70, 81 and 81 to move into a 3-1 lead.

Rydz hit back with a stunning 128 checkout, and after the pair had exchanged the next two legs, Smith turned on the style with a run of four consecutive legs to seal victory, landing a 161 checkout in the process.

Rydz’ run to the final saw him defeat Kevin Doets, Rusty-Jake Rodriguez, Chris Dobey, Dirk van Duijvenbode and Ryan Joyce, averaging above 100 in six of his seven matches on the day.

Elsewhere, Scottish youngster Nathan Girvan landed a nine-dart finish in the opening round but was beaten 6-3 by Adrian Lewis.

Soutar’s best run of the season so far saw him reach the Semi-Finals with wins over Ian White, Jose Justicia, Mickey Mansell, Steve West and Josh Rock.

Joyce’s run to the Last Four saw him knock out Krzysztof Kciuk, Ross Montgomery, Ryan Meikle, Stephen Bunting and Damon Heta.


Players Championship 15 Results

Wednesday May 11

First Round
Jose de Sousa 6-1 William Borland
Scott Waites 6-2 Keegan Brown
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-5 Jon Worsley
Steve West 6-0 Brian Raman
Matthew Edgar 6-5 Gabriel Clemens
Mickey Mansell 6-4 Steve Beaton
Jose Justicia 6-4 Kim Huybrechts
Alan Soutar 6-3 Ian White
William O’Connor 6-5 Krzysztof Ratajski
Darren Webster 6-3 Bradley Brooks
Mervyn King 6-5 Radek Szaganski
Martijn Kleermaker 6-5 Ted Evetts
Dave Chisnall 6-0 Adam Gawlas
James Wilson 6-0 Pete Burgoyne
Vincent van der Voort 6-1 Steve Haggerty
Josh Rock 6-4 Jules van Dongen
Michael Smith 6-4 Glen Durrant
John Michael 6-1 Nick Fullwell
Ritchie Edhouse 6-5 Scott Mitchell
Cameron Menzies 6-4 John Henderson
Danny Noppert 6-2 Devon Petersen
Mario Vandenbogaerde 6-0 Berry van Peer
Max Hopp 6-5 Ross Smith
Niels Zonneveld 6-4 Damian Mol
Nathan Rafferty 6-5 Nathan Aspinall
Florian Hempel 6-5 Joe Murnan
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Jeffrey De Zwaan
Jeff Smith 6-0 Stu Wilson
Andrew Gilding 6-5 Brendan Dolan
Jamie Hughes 6-3 Jason Lowe
Martin Lukeman 6-4 Stephen Burton
Jamie Clark 6-4 Jake Jones
Rob Cross 6-5 Connor Scutt
Ricardo Pietreczko 6-2 Lee Evans
John O’Shea 6-3 Simon Whitlock
Mike De Decker 6-4 Kevin Burness
Chris Dobey 6-3 George Killington
Gavin Carlin 6-2 Gordon Mathers
Callan Rydz 6-2 Kevin Doets
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 6-2 Adam Hunt
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-3 Vladimir Andersen
Jack Main 6-4 Jermaine Wattimena
Keane Barry 6-3 Boris Koltsov
Geert Nentjes 6-5 Luke Woodhouse
Martin Schindler 6-5 Luc Peters
Robert Owen 6-5 Jason Heaver
Ricky Evans 6-3 Eddie Lovely
Brett Claydon 6-2 Andy Jenkins
Damon Heta 6-4 Richie Burnett
Jim Williams 6-5 Geert De Vos
Raymond van Barneveld 6-1 Shaun Wilkinson
Darius Labanauskas 6-3 Jeremy van der Winkel
Karel Sedlacek 6-3 Daryl Gurney
Andy Boulton 6-2 Peter Hudson
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Nathan Girvan – *Girvan hits a nine-darter*
Lewy Williams 6-5 Danny van Trijp
Steve Lennon 6-2 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Ryan Meikle 6-2 Ron Meulenkamp
Ryan Joyce 6-2 Krzysztof Kciuk
Ross Montgomery 6-1 Danny Jansen
Stephen Bunting 6-2 David Evans
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-2 Boris Krcmar
Madars Razma 6-2 Jimmy Hendriks
Scott Williams 6-1 Tony Martinez

Second Round
Scott Waites 6-4 Jose de Sousa
Steve West 6-3 Maik Kuivenhoven
Mickey Mansell 6-3 Matthew Edgar
Alan Soutar 6-2 Jose Justicia
Darren Webster 6-4 William O’Connor
Martijn Kleermaker 6-4 Mervyn King
James Wilson 6-4 Dave Chisnall
Josh Rock 6-3 Vincent van der Voort
Michael Smith 6-1 John Michael
Ritchie Edhouse 6-4 Cameron Menzies
Mario Vandenbogaerde 6-2 Danny Noppert
Max Hopp 6-5 Niels Zonneveld
Florian Hempel 6-2 Nathan Rafferty
Jeff Smith 6-4 Mensur Suljovic
Jamie Hughes 6-5 Andrew Gilding
Jamie Clark 6-5 Martin Lukeman
Rob Cross 6-2 Ricardo Pietreczko
Mike De Decker 6-5 John O’Shea
Chris Dobey 6-2 Gavin Carlin
Callan Rydz 6-2 Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-3 Jack Main
Keane Barry 6-3 Geert Nentjes
Robert Owen 6-1 Martin Schindler
Ricky Evans 6-2 Brett Claydon
Damon Heta 6-1 Jim Williams
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Darius Labanauskas
Karel Sedlacek 6-4 Andy Boulton
Adrian Lewis 6-1 Lewy Williams
Ryan Meikle 6-3 Steve Lennon
Ryan Joyce 6-1 Ross Montgomery
Stephen Bunting 6-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Madars Razma 6-4 Scott Williams
Losers: £750

Last 32
Steve West 6-4 Scott Waites
Alan Soutar 6-3 Mickey Mansell
Martijn Kleermaker 6-3 Darren Webster
Josh Rock 6-3 James Wilson
Michael Smith 6-5 Ritchie Edhouse
Mario Vandenbogaerde 6-3 Max Hopp
Florian Hempel 6-4 Jeff Smith
Jamie Hughes 6-1 Jamie Clark
Rob Cross 6-1 Mike De Decker
Callan Rydz 6-2 Chris Dobey
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-3 Keane Barry
Robert Owen 6-3 Ricky Evans
Damon Heta 6-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Adrian Lewis 6-1 Karel Sedlacek
Ryan Joyce 6-5 Ryan Meikle
Stephen Bunting 6-5 Madars Razma
Losers: £1,250

Last 16
Alan Soutar 6-4 Steve West
Josh Rock 6-4 Martijn Kleermaker
Michael Smith 6-5 Mario Vandenbogaerde
Florian Hempel 6-1 Jamie Hughes
Callan Rydz 6-1 Rob Cross
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-1 Robert Owen
Damon Heta 6-2 Adrian Lewis
Ryan Joyce 6-5 Stephen Bunting
Losers: £2,000

Alan Soutar 6-4 Josh Rock
Michael Smith 6-2 Florian Hempel *Smith hits a nine-darter*
Callan Rydz 6-4 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Ryan Joyce 6-4 Damon Heta
Losers: £3,000

Michael Smith 7-3 Alan Soutar
Callan Rydz 7-1 Ryan Joyce
Losers: £4,000

Michael Smith 8-3 Callan Rydz
Winner: £12,000
Runner-up: £8,000

Michael Smith secures first title of 2022 at Players Championship 14

Michael Smith secured his first title of season at Players Championship 14 in Wigan on Tuesday, seeing off surprise package John O’Shea 8-5 in the final.

Smith is the only player in this year’s Premier League yet to have claimed a weekly title, but sealed his first ranking success of the season to take his Players Championship tally to seven.

The World Championship and UK Open finalist averaged above 97 in each of his matches from Round Two onwards in a superb display at the Robin Park Sports Centre.

He began the day with a 6-3 win over Spain’s Tony Martinez, before overcoming Germany’s Ricardo Pietreczko 6-2.

Smith then saw off Ricky Evans 6-3 with a 103.5 average – his highest of the day – before going on to defeat Martin Lukeman 6-4 with a 102 average.

The St Helens ace dispatched a resurgent James Wilson 6-4 in the Quarter-Finals before reeling off seven straight legs from 2-0 down to defeat Damon Heta in the Semis.

World number 104 O’Shea had enjoyed a sensational run to his first PDC ranking final and made a bright start by landing checkouts of 105 and 120 en route to a 3-2 lead.

Smith, however, hit back with five of the next six legs to take command at 7-4, but O’Shea kept his hopes alive by taking leg 12.

The Irishman had the opportunity to further narrow the gap but squandered six darts at doubles, allowing Smith to get over the line and clinch the £12,000 top prize.

Former World Master O’Shea had defeated Nick Fullwell, Nathan Aspinall, Damian Mol, Ross Smith, Maik Kuivenhoven and Dave Chisnall on his way to the final and moves into the provisional qualification places for the World Championship.

Heta was one of two players to achieve a nine-darter on the day, striking perfection in his First Round win over Keegan Brown, while Ross Smith also produced the fear in his First Round win over Geert de Vos.

Notable First Round casualties included German Darts Grand Prix winner Luke Humphries, Dirk van Duijvenbode, Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld.

The 128 players will return to action for Players Championship 15 from midday on Wednesday.


Players Championship 14 Results

Tuesday May 10

First Round
Max Hopp 6-0 Luke Humphries
Danny van Trijp 6-5 Mario Vandenbogaerde
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Scott Waites
Richie Burnett 6-5 Luke Woodhouse
Chris Dobey 6-2 Jeffrey De Zwaan
James Wilson 6-0 Niels Zonneveld
Daryl Gurney 6-3 Jason Heaver
Nathan Rafferty 6-5 Jeff Smith
Michael Smith 6-3 Tony Martinez
Ricardo Pietreczko 6-4 Brett Claydon
Ricky Evans 6-4 Danny Jansen
Mike De Decker 6-5 Boris Koltsov
Radek Szaganski 6-5 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Matthew Edgar 6-4 Eddie Lovely
Martin Lukeman 6-2 Florian Hempel
Ron Meulenkamp 6-5 Darren Webster
Matt Campbell 6-5 Rob Cross
Ritchie Edhouse 6-2 Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
Adam Gawlas 6-5 Mensur Suljovic
Alan Soutar 6-0 Josh Rock
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Glen Durrant
Robert Owen 6-4 Lee Evans
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Jules van Dongen
Jose Justicia 6-2 Darius Labanauskas
Damon Heta 6-4 Keegan Brown – *Heta hits a nine-darter*
Kevin Doets 6-5 Boris Krcmar
Mervyn King 6-2 Jim Williams
Jamie Clark 6-2 Jimmy Hendriks
Martin Schindler 6-5 Steve Beaton
Andrew Gilding 6-0 Mickey Mansell
Devon Petersen 6-3 Adrian Lewis
Krzysztof Kciuk 6-4 Kevin Burness
Jose de Sousa 6-1 Stu Wilson
Stephen Burton 6-3 Berry van Peer
Ryan Meikle 6-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Ian White 6-4 Lewy Williams
Dave Chisnall 6-2 David Evans
Joe Murnan 6-1 Brian Raman
Gabriel Clemens 6-5 Ross Montgomery
Jon Worsley 6-5 Andy Jenkins
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-5 Ted Evetts
Shaun Wilkinson 6-5 William Borland
Bradley Brooks 6-2 Vincent van der Voort
Pete Burgoyne 6-3 Karel Sedlacek
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Jamie Hughes
Cameron Menzies 6-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Steve West 6-3 Madars Razma
Jack Main 6-5 Steve Haggerty
Joe Cullen 6-2 Vladimir Andersen
George Killington 6-2 Adam Hunt
Ryan Joyce 6-4 Jake Jones
John Henderson 6-5 Jason Lowe
Danny Noppert 6-4 Scott Williams
Peter Hudson 6-5 Connor Scutt
William O’Connor 6-4 Callan Rydz
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-3 Luc Peters
Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Martijn Kleermaker
John O’Shea 6-4 Nick Fullwell
Geert Nentjes 6-1 Keane Barry
Damian Mol 6-3 Steve Lennon
John Michael 6-5 Stephen Bunting
Andy Boulton 6-4 Scott Mitchell
Ross Smith 6-5 Geert De Vos – *Smith hits a nine-darter*
Gordon Mathers 6-4 Jermaine Wattimena

Second Round
Max Hopp 6-5 Danny van Trijp
Richie Burnett 6-4 Simon Whitlock
James Wilson 6-5 Chris Dobey
Daryl Gurney 6-4 Nathan Rafferty
Michael Smith 6-2 Ricardo Pietreczko
Ricky Evans 6-5 Mike De Decker
Matthew Edgar 6-3 Radek Szaganski
Martin Lukeman 6- 4 Ron Meulenkamp
Ritchie Edhouse 6-2 Matt Campbell
Adam Gawlas 6-0 Alan Soutar
Robert Owen 6-4 Brendan Dolan
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Jose Justicia
Damon Heta 6-5 Kevin Doets
Mervyn King 6-3 Jamie Clark
Andrew Gilding 6-5 Martin Schindler
Krzysztof Kciuk 6-2 Devon Petersen
Stephen Burton 6-4 Jose de Sousa
Ryan Meikle 6-3 Ian White
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Joe Murnan
Gabriel Clemens 6-1 Jon Worsley
Shaun Wilkinson 6-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Pete Burgoyne 6-3 Bradley Brooks
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-1 Cameron Menzies
Jack Main 6-5 Steve West
Joe Cullen 6-3 George Killington
Ryan Joyce 6-5 John Henderson
Peter Hudson 6-4 Danny Noppert
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-5 William O’Connor
John O’Shea 6-4 Nathan Aspinall
Damian Mol 6-4 Geert Nentjes
John Michael 6-4 Andy Boulton
Ross Smith 6-3 Gordon Mathers
Losers: £750

Last 32
Max Hopp 6-3 Richie Burnett
James Wilson 6-2 Daryl Gurney
Michael Smith 6-3 Ricky Evans
Martin Lukeman 6-3 Matthew Edgar
Ritchie Edhouse 6-5 Adam Gawlas
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Robert Owen
Damon Heta 6-2 Mervyn King
Andrew Gilding 6-4 Krzysztof Kciuk
Ryan Meikle 6-2 Stephen Burton
Dave Chisnall 6-1 Gabriel Clemens
Shaun Wilkinson 6-4 Pete Burgoyne
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-1 Jack Main
Joe Cullen 6-3 Ryan Joyce
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-1 Peter Hudson
John O’Shea 6-3 Damian Mol
Ross Smith 6-0 John Michael
Losers: £1,250

Last 16
James Wilson 6-4 Max Hopp
Michael Smith 6-4 Martin Lukeman
Ritchie Edhouse 6-2 Kim Huybrechts
Damon Heta 6-2 Andrew Gilding
Dave Chisnall 6-5 Ryan Meikle
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-0 Shaun Wilkinson
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-2 Joe Cullen
John O’Shea 6-3 Ross Smith
Losers: £2,000

Michael Smith 6-4 James Wilson
Damon Heta 6-4 Ritchie Edhouse
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
John O’Shea 6-4 Maik Kuivenhoven
Losers: £3,000

Michael Smith 7-2 Damon Heta
John O’Shea 7-4 Dave Chisnall
Losers: £4,000

Michael Smith 8-5 John O’Shea
Winner: £12,000
Runner-up: £8,000

Michael Smith secures sensational title double at the PDC Winter Series

Michael Smith made it back-to-back Players Championship titles at the PDC Winter Series by overcoming Jose De Sousa 8-7 in the final in Coventry on Wednesday.

Smith, who had ended a two-and-a-half year wait for a PDC ranking title on Tuesday, continued his inspired burst of form to secure a second £10,000 title in as many days at the Ricoh Arena.

The world number four produced four ton-plus averages on his way to victory as he stretched his unbeaten run to 14 games after defeat in Sunday’s World Cup of Darts final with England.

“I’m overjoyed and over the moon,” said Smith. “This is all about confidence and belief.

“Finally getting that title yesterday meant the pressure was off.

“I didn’t do much wrong today, I was checking out finishes when I needed to.

“I managed to pull out a 180 in that last leg, I don’t know where from.

“Last night I got to sleep at 2am because I forgot what it’s like winning and what happens to your phone.

“My phone went stupid until 2 in the morning and it’s going to go even worse now!”

Smith kick-started his path to glory with a solid 6-3 victory over Dutchman Derk Telnekes before averaging 106.1 and 106.8 in 6-1 and 6-3 wins over Matthew Dennant and Damon Heta respectively.

He then saw off World Grand Prix finalist Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-2 before thrashing in-form Gabriel Clemens 6-1 with a blistering 109.9 average in the Quarter-Finals.

The Premier League star clinched his place in the final with a commanding 7-3 triumph over Vincent van der Voort with a 101 average.

It was De Sousa, however, who took control of the final, storming into a 4-1 lead with two 11-darters along the way.

A crucial moment then saw the Portuguese star squander five darts at doubles as Smith finished 65 to stop the rot in leg six.

That was the first of four consecutive legs for Smith as he took out 82 to turn the match on its head and move 5-4 in front.

De Sousa, responded strongly with back-to-back checkouts of 82 and 116 to regain the upper-hand, but only for Smith to claim the next two legs for a 7-6 lead.

De Sousa dug deep and broke throw with double 12 to force a decider, but a timely 180 from Smith saw him seize control before finishing the job on double ten.

De Sousa went one better than Tuesday’s run to the Semi-Finals as he progressed to a sixth PDC ranking final, having notably claimed European Grand Prix glory last month.

The world number 37 started his run with wins over Jason Lowe and Adam Hunt before averaging 101 in a 6-1 rout of Bradley Brooks.

A 6-2 win over Danny Noppert followed in the Last 16 before he survived two match darts from Jeffrey de Zwaan to clinch a 6-5 success in the Last Eight.

His best performance came in the Semi-Finals against Joe Cullen, averaging a staggering 110.5 with seven 180s in a 7-2 demolition.

Day Two of the PDC Winter Series also witnessed two nine-darters, with Andy Hamilton firing in the first during his First Round win over Christian Bunse, before Rowby-John Rodriguez landed a perfect leg in his Second Round win over Boris Krcmar.

Germany’s Gabriel Clemens was one of the stand-out performers as he registered four averages in excess of 105 en route to the Quarter-Finals, including two 112s.

Vincent van der Voort reached enjoyed a run to his first Players Championship Semi-Final since April 2016, while 18-year-old Irish star Keane Barry reached the Last 16 on the ProTour for the first time.

Premier League champion Glen Durrant suffered a second successive First Round exit, going down in a deciding leg to Steve West, while World Champion Peter Wright averaged 107.6 in a 6-5 defeat to Kai Fan Leung – who averaged 106 in a memorable First Round scalp.


PDC Winter Series 2020 Event Two Results

Wednesday November 11

First Round
Scott Mitchell 6-2 Jim Williams
Ryan Joyce 6-2 Keegan Brown
Ryan Murray 6-2 Niels Zonneveld
Gabriel Clemens 6-4 Matt Clark
Peter Jacques 6-5 Luke Humphries
Jamie Hughes 6-0 Matthew Edgar
William O’Connor 6-1 Harald Leitinger
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-3 Devon Petersen
Boris Krcmar 6-4 Scott Baker
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-1 David Evans
Kevin Doets 6-3 Ted Evetts
Michael Smith 6-3 Derk Telnekes
Matthew Dennant 6-5 Benito van de Pas
Damon Heta 6-0 Steve Brown
James Wilson 6-3 Martin Atkins
James Wade 6-1 Yordi Meeuwisse
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Marko Kantele
Vincent van der Voort 6-1 David Pallett
Jeff Smith 6-2 Josh Payne
Rob Cross 6-5 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Jan Dekker 6-5 Maikel Verberk
Justin Pipe 6-4 Ryan Searle
Max Hopp 6-4 Carl Wilkinson
John Michael 6-5 Krzysztof Ratajski
Krzysztof Kciuk 6-0 John Henderson
Martijn Kleermaker 6-5 Barrie Bates
Aaron Beeney 6-4 Michael Barnard
Steve West 6-5 Glen Durrant
Luke Woodhouse 6-5 Karel Sedlacek
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Conan Whitehead
Darius Labanauskas 6-5 Darren Penhall
Kai Fan Leung 6-5 Peter Wright
Ryan Meikle 6-2 Daniel Larsson
Scott Taylor 6-3 Chris Dobey
Steve Lennon 6-2 Jonathan Worsley
Brendan Dolan 6-3 Gary Blades
Darren Webster 6-0 Mark McGeeney
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Ritchie Edhouse
Jesus Noguera 6-3 Martin Schindler
Joe Cullen 6-5 Kirk Shepherd
Andy Boulton 6-3 Jelle Klaasen
Ross Smith 6-5 Joe Murnan
Gavin Carlin 6-2 Ciaran Teehan
Mickey Mansell 6-4 Ian White
Robert Collins 6-3 Simon Stevenson
Jermaine Wattimena 6-1 Reece Robinson
Ricky Evans 6-3 Nick Kenny
Jitse Van der Wal 6-0 Nathan Aspinall
Keane Barry 6-0 Adrian Gray
Mike De Decker 6-4 Maik Kuivenhoven
Richard North 6-5 William Borland
Jeffrey De Zwaan 6-4 Dave Chisnall
Ron Meulenkamp 6-4 Wayne Jones
Mervyn King 6-2 Alan Tabern
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Toni Alcinas
Jose De Sousa 6-2 Jason Lowe
Adam Hunt 6-0 Steve Beaton
Bradley Brooks 6-4 Madars Razma
Andy Hamilton 6-5 Christian Bunse – *Hamilton hits a nine-darter*
Danny Noppert 6-3 Richie Burnett
Robert Thornton 6-4 Lisa Ashton
Stephen Bunting 6-5 Simon Whitlock
Callan Rydz 6-2 Scott Waites

Second Round
Gerwyn Price 6-5 Scott Mitchell
Ryan Joyce 6-4 Ryan Murray
Gabriel Clemens 6-3 Peter Jacques
Jamie Hughes 6-4 William O’Connor
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-4 Boris Krcmar – *Rodriguez hits a nine-darter*
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-2 Kevin Doets
Michael Smith 6-1 Matthew Dennant
Damon Heta 6-1 James Wilson
James Wade 6-3 Adrian Lewis
Vincent van der Voort 6-3 Jeff Smith
Rob Cross 6-3 Jan Dekker
Justin Pipe 6-3 Max Hopp
Krzysztof Kciuk 6-0 John Michael
Martijn Kleermaker 6-5 Aaron Beeney
Luke Woodhouse 6-5 Steve West
Darius Labanauskas 6-3 Jonny Clayton
Ryan Meikle 6-3 Kai Fan Leung
Steve Lennon 6-2 Scott Taylor
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Darren Webster
Daryl Gurney 6-4 Jesus Noguera
Joe Cullen 6-0 Andy Boulton
Ross Smith 6-4 Gavin Carlin
Mickey Mansell 6-4 Robert Collins
Ricky Evans 6-4 Jermaine Wattimena
Keane Barry 6-1 Jitse Van der Wal
Mike De Decker 6-3 Richard North
Jeffrey De Zwaan 6-5 Ron Meulenkamp
Mervyn King 6-3 Kim Huybrechts
Jose De Sousa 6-5 Adam Hunt
Bradley Brooks 6-3 Andy Hamilton
Danny Noppert 6-3 Robert Thornton
Callan Rydz 6-1 Stephen Bunting
Losers: £500

Last 32
Ryan Joyce 6-1 Gerwyn Price
Gabriel Clemens 6-1 Jamie Hughes
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Michael Smith 6-3 Damon Heta
Vincent van der Voort 6-2 James Wade
Justin Pipe 6-5 Rob Cross
Krzysztof Kciuk 6-4 Martijn Kleermaker
Darius Labanauskas 6-1 Luke Woodhouse
Ryan Meikle 6-2 Steve Lennon
Brendan Dolan 6-5 Daryl Gurney
Joe Cullen 6-3 Ross Smith
Mickey Mansell 6-5 Ricky Evans
Keane Barry 6-2 Mike De Decker
Jeffrey De Zwaan 6-1 Mervyn King
Jose De Sousa 6-1 Bradley Brooks
Danny Noppert 6-5 Callan Rydz
Losers: £1,000

Last 16
Gabriel Clemens 6-3 Ryan Joyce
Michael Smith 6-2 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Vincent van der Voort 6-4 Justin Pipe
Darius Labanauskas 6-5 Krzysztof Kciuk
Brendan Dolan 6-5 Ryan Meikle
Joe Cullen 6-4 Mickey Mansell
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-5 Keane Barry
Jose De Sousa 6-2 Danny Noppert
Losers: £1,500

Michael Smith 6-1 Gabriel Clemens
Vincent van der Voort 6-0 Darius Labanauskas
Joe Cullen 6-3 Brendan Dolan
Jose De Sousa 6-5 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Losers: £2,250

Michael Smith 7-3 Vincent van der Voort
Jose De Sousa 7-2 Joe Cullen
Losers: £3,000

Michael Smith 8-7 Jose De Sousa
Winner: £10,000
Runner-up: £6,000

Smith delights Dublin with Premier League nine-darter as Van Gerwen denies home hero O’Connor

Michael Smith produced a spectacular nine-darter on his way to victory over Daryl Gurney in Dublin, while Michael van Gerwen ensured their would be no fairy-tale upset for William O’Connor.

Smith ended the three-year wait for a perfect leg in the Unibet Premier League as he struck sensationally on his way to a 7-5 win over Northern Ireland’s Gurney at the 3Arena.

The world number five followed up back-to-back 180s with a quick-fire 141 checkout to land his first televised nine-darter and send the 9,000-strong crowd wild.

Smith went on to seal a hard-fought win to become one of four players sat on five points in a congested league table and leave Gurney rooted to the bottom.

“It’s a feeling you can’t explain – it’s amazing,” said Smith. “I’ve never hit a nine-darter on TV before and this was special. I’ve never felt my heart beat so fast in my life!

“It’s something on my list that I’ve ticked off my checklist now and I’m over the moon, but even more pleased to get the win too.

“I could have played better but I’m just chuffed to get the win.”

Smith has now put himself in contention to claim a £50,000 bonus from sponsors Unibet should a player achieve two nine-darters during the tournament.

Elsewere, Van Gerwen denied Challenger William O’Connor a victory in front of his home fans with a 7-4 success to return to the top of the league table on leg difference ahead of Aspinall.

Van Gerwen denied O’Connor a dream debut win (Photo by Stephen Lee/PDC)

Limerick’s O’Connor – who enjoyed a spine-tingling walk-on – pulled back from 3-1 down to level after six legs, only for Van Gerwen to pull clear in the final stages.

“It was a phenomenal atmosphere tonight and I think for William it was like my first time playing in Rotterdam,” said Van Gerwen.

“I’ve had a lot of good games against him in the past and he played okay tonight. It was tough for me and I had to fight for this win so I’m happy.

“There’s more in the tank but I feel good and it’s nice to be back on top of the table.”

O’Connor was the fourth of the nine Challengers to take to the Premier League stage, and the World Cup finalist admitted it was an unforgettable experience.

“Regardless of the result, it’s the best night of my life,” said O’Connor. “I’ve a lot to learn from tonight and it will definitely hold me in good stead for the future.

“I’ve had a fantastic night. It’s a pity the result went the way it did but I played the world number one in my home country. It was everything that I could have wished for.”

Nathan Aspinall moved above Glen Durrant in the table with a 7-5 win in a match dominated by missed doubles.

Durrant took out 144 on the way to a 3-1 advantage but the pivotal moment in the match saw him squander eight darts at doubles in leg five as Aspinall punished and clawed his way back to parity.

Durrant then led 4-3 before Aspinall finished 85 and a key 129 to move himself ahead for the first time.

Durrant punished three missed doubles from the UK Open champion to level in leg ten, but double seven secured Aspinall a minimum of a point before he followed a 177 with an 88 checkout to seal a third win of the season.

“I’m a happy guy,” said Aspinall. “The start wasn’t good but Glen let me off with some missed doubles. The 129 was a massive shot and I knew it, and in patches I played well.

“I’ve never played well against Glen but I had a bit of luck tonight at crucial times and I got the job done. I’m in a good position at the moment and I want to build on this.”

Gerwyn Price moved into third place in the table with a ruthless 7-1 demolition of an out of sorts Peter Wright – who shared the opening two legs before seeing the Welsh ace reel off six in a row, including a ten-darter.

“It’s a very good win for me,” said Price. “I’ve had three draws so it’s nice to get the win and get my campaign underway, and I feel like I’m in the tournament now.

“I was a bit edgy and I wasn’t at my best, but I’ll take a 7-1 win over Peter any day of the week. Peter wasn’t scoring well and he didn’t perform tonight, but he will come back from this.”

Gary Anderson picked up his second victory of the season by seeing off Rob Cross 7-5, jumping above the 2019 Premier League finalist in the process.

Anderson took out finishes of 109 and 106 as he shared the opening eight legs before taking out 85 to move ahead, while a 14-darter secured at least a draw.

Cross took out a superb 128 bull finish to hit back, but was unable to check out 124 in the decider as Anderson returned to land double ten for the triumph.

“Some of it was pretty and some of it was awful, but it’s nice to scrape a win there,” said Anderson.

“I’m still making mistakes but there’s times that the throw is working and it will come good.

“It’s going well on the practice board and I want to take it up on stage. My darts are getting a bit better week by week – tonight wasn’t quite as good but that was down to the person throwing them!”


Premier League Darts 2020 Results

Night Four – Thursday February 27

Glen Durrant 5-7 Nathan Aspinall
Rob Cross 5-7 Gary Anderson
Daryl Gurney 5-7 Michael Smith – *Smith hits a nine-darter*
William O’Connor 4-7 Michael van Gerwen
Gerwyn Price 7-1 Peter Wright

Michael Smith “hurt” by World Series of Darts omission

Michael Smith admits his omission from multiple World Series events “hurts” and has vowed to use it as motivation for the remainder of the season.

Smith, the world number five, has been left out of the line-ups for both the U.S Darts Masters and Nordic Darts Masters in June.

World Championship and World Matchplay runner-up in 2019, Smith was also a beaten finalist in January’s Masters, but is not among the field of PDC representatives heading to New York and Copenhagen.

The first two World Series events of the season feature eight PDC stars and eight regional hopefuls battling it out in the two-day non-ranked tournaments.

Smith was runner-up in last year’s U.S Masters in Las Vegas, though that proved his only World Series appearance prior to the World Series Finals in November.

The St Helens ace admits he is perplexed at being left out of the first two events and does not expect to be selected for the tour of Australia and New Zealand in August.

“Me and the Mrs had things planned for where we could go in New York,” Smith told Live Darts.

“I didn’t get picked for that so that was a big kick in the you know what.

“Denmark was the same thing. I’ve been there a few times, it’s a nice place but it’s not for me.

“Germany [German Masters], I know it hasn’t been released, but I know I’m not getting in because [Gabriel] Clemens got to the final last year, he’s got to be in it so I know I’m not getting in.

“The only thing I’ve got to look forward to is Australia, but if I got in to the Australian events I’d have to take my kids and my Mrs for the three weeks, that’s going to be a pain in the backside!”

The PDC announced on Monday that it will head to Wollongong and Townsville in Australia for the first time in August, with the New Zealand Masters sandwiched between the two events.

The PDC representatives for the triple-header Down Under are yet to be confirmed, but after missing out last year, ‘Bully Boy’ says he does not hold much hope of selection but has vowed to ensure his ranking is high enough that he cannot be overlooked in future.

“I’m not fussed if I don’t get in them, it does hurt because I’ve been overlooked by people that, in my mind, are not even better than me,” he added.

“I knew when I play in TV events that I can turn up whenever I want.

“I do play sloppy games but I do still win them and then I’ll turn up the game after.

“Barry [Hearn] always says it’s going to earn people money but it’s not, it’s costing me a lot of money not playing in them.

“Things happen for a reason and I’ve got to step up now and make sure I start this year and finish this year strongly and make sure I’m in the top four and guaranteed to be in everything for next year.”

Michael Smith denies “bottling it” in 2020 Masters final defeat

Michael Smith insists he is not “bottling” his chances in major finals despite letting The Masters title slip through his grasp.

Smith squandered three match darts in the deciding leg of a dramatic final against Peter Wright as he allowed the Scot to clinch the title.

Smith has now lost in his last six televised finals since winning the Shanghai Masters in 2018.

He admitted: “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 I’ll be back on the board practicing double top.

“It is a positive start to 2020, even though I’m feeling so disappointed but I’ve got the Premier League and UK Open to look forward to around the corner.”

Smith defeated Adrian Lewis 10-6 in the Last Eight before coming through a tense last-leg decider with Nathan Aspinall.