Radek Szaganski secures maiden PDC title at Players Championship 27

Radek Szaganski sensationally sealed his first PDC ranking at Players Championship 27, defeating Connor Scutt in the final in Barnsley.

The world number 84 stunned the 128-player field at the Barnsley Metrodome on Thursday as he scooped the £12,000 top prize.

Szaganski defeated four PDC title winners on his way to glory, which saw him join his compatriot Krzysztof Ratajski in the winner’s circle for 2023.

The 43-year-old has now moved into the provisional qualification places for next month’s Players Championship Finals, and is all but assured of a debut in the World Championship in December.

However, it could have been a very different outcome for Szaganski, who survived four match darts in his opening round tie against French World Cup star Jacques Labre.

Szaganski capitalised on this reprieve to record wins over Premier League duo Dimitri Van den Bergh and Jonny Clayton, averaging 102 to see off Wales’ World Cup champion.

He then dumped out Thursday’s winner Ryan Joyce in the Last 16, before progressing to a maiden PDC final with comprehensive victories over Maik Kuivenhoven and Ricardo Pietreczko respectively.

This set up an unlikely showdown against Surrey star Scutt – who also claimed a host of high-profile scalps to secure the biggest payday of his career to date.

It was Scutt who enjoyed the stronger start as he opened up a 2-0 lead, before Szaganski opened his account with a 118 checkout in leg three.

Scutt consolidated his early advantage with convincing holds of throw to stretch his lead to 4-2, but the Polish ace hit back with a sublime 142 checkout in leg seven, sparking a purple patch which saw him reel off three consecutive legs to seize the initiative at 5-4.

Scutt responded with a 14-dart leveller in leg ten, but Szaganski powered to the title in sensational style, following up a brilliant 11-dart hold with back-to-back legs to wrap up a landmark success.

“To be the best player in that room today, it means a lot,” admitted Szaganski, who still faces a battle to retain his PDC Tour Card in January, having climbed to 76th on the provisional Order of Merit.

“When I won my Tour Card, I thought I might get one good run, but I never expected to win a title.

“To be honest, I shouldn’t be here because in my first game against Jacques, he missed four darts for the match, but this is darts. Sometimes you need luck, and that is what happened to me today.

“This means a lot. There are no words to explain how I feel right now, but I am really happy. This could be life-changing.”

Scutt also moved into the provisional World Championship qualification spots after pocketing the £8,000 runner-up prize, defeating two televised title winners during a terrific campaign.

The 27-year-old overcame Adam Gawlas, Kim Huybrechts and Jamie Clark to reach the Last 16, surviving a match dart in his comeback victory against the Belgian in Round Two.

Scutt then landed a ten-darter to topple European Champion Ross Smith with a 103 average to reach the Quarter-Finals – where he fended off a late revival from Gary Anderson to seal a 6-4 success.

In the Semi-Finals, Scutt clinched a hard-fought 7-5 win over World Youth finalist Gian van Veen to boost his own hopes of retaining his professional status next January.

Van Veen performed superbly in his run to the Semi-Finals, averaging 106 to edge out Rob Cross in a thrilling Third Round tussle, before denying Stephen Bunting and Ryan Searle in last-leg deciders.

The Dutch youngster succumbed in the semi-finals along with newly crowned German Darts Champion Ricardo Pietreczko – who was bidding to secure his second ranking title in the space of six days.

The German came through deciding-leg ties against veteran duo Mensur Suljovic and Raymond van Barneveld, having averaged 99 in an earlier victory over Nick Kenny.

Wednesday’s winner Anderson – appearing in his 100th Players Championship Quarter-Final – continued his sparkling form, averaging 108 in a Third Round rout of Gabriel Clemens.

The Scottish star was joined in the Last Eight by Dutch duo Zonneveld and Kuivenhoven, as well as his practice partner Searle – who averaged 105 to dispose of Daryl Gurney in the Last 32.

Gurney had earlier fired in a nine-dart finish to complete a deciding-leg win over Nick Fullwell in Round One, which he backed up with an incredible 117 average in a Second Round whitewash of Ian White.

Players Championship 27 Results

Friday October 20

First Round
Jamie Clark 6-1 Dave Chisnall
Jurjen van der Velde 6-4 Scott Williams
Kim Huybrechts 6-1 Shaun Wilkinson
Connor Scutt 6-2 Adam Gawlas
James Wade 6-5 Darren Webster
Nathan Rafferty 6-4 Martijn Kleermaker
Ross Smith 6-4 Jimmy Hendriks
James Wilson 6-3 Simon Whitlock
Michael Smith 6-1 Graham Hall
Darryl Pilgrim 6-5 Jamie Hughes
Florian Hempel 6-5 Mike De Decker
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-1 Jose Justicia
Gary Anderson 6-1 Arron Monk
Boris Krcmar 6-4 Kevin Doets
Gabriel Clemens 6-4 Jim Williams
Pascal Rupprecht 6-2 Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
Josh Rock 6-5 Cam Crabtree
Damian Mol 6-3 Bradley Brooks
Luke Woodhouse 6-5 Daniel Klose
Andy Boulton 6-3 Scott Waites
Ryan Searle 6-5 Mickey Mansell
Devon Petersen 6-4 Geert Nentjes
Daryl Gurney 6-5 Nick Fullwell
Ian White 6-1 Adam Warner
Rob Cross 6-4 Jeffrey De Zwaan
Robbie Knops 6-5 Callum Goffin
Gian van Veen 6-4 Chris Landman
Berry van Peer 6-4 Owen Bates
Stephen Bunting 6-3 Stephen Burton
James Hurrell 6-4 Ross Montgomery
Martin Lukeman 6-4 Jose De Sousa
Tony Martinez 6-4 Ted Evetts
Luke Humphries 6-4 Josh Payne
Lee Evans 6-5 Ricky Evans
Raymond van Barneveld 6-1 Joe Murnan
Adam Smith-Neale 6-3 Owen Roelofs
Ricardo Pietreczko 6-5 Mensur Suljovic
Mario Vandenbogaerde 6-5 Richard Veenstra
Martin Schindler 6-2 Ritchie Edhouse
Nick Kenny 6-1 Graham Usher
Danny Noppert 6-5 Dylan Slevin
Niels Zonneveld 6-1 Steve Lennon
Chris Dobey 6-4 Karel Sedlacek
Darius Labanauskas 6-3 Keane Barry
Vincent van der Voort 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
Alan Soutar 6-2 Danny Jansen
George Killington 6-2 Brendan Dolan
Danny van Trijp 6-4 Vladimir Andersen
Damon Heta 6-3 Cameron Menzies
Ryan Meikle 6-5 Jeffrey Sparidaans
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-5 Callan Rydz
Brian Raman 6-2 Matt Campbell
Madars Razma 6-1 Joe Cullen
William O’Connor 6-4 Ronny Huybrechts
Andrew Gilding 6-3 Robert Owen
Christian Kist 6-3 Keegan Brown
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Kevin Burness
Jules van Dongen 6-5 Mervyn King
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Richie Burnett
Radek Szaganski 6-5 Jacques Labre
Peter Wright 6-1 John O’Shea
Steve Beaton 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena
Ryan Joyce 6-2 Jeff Smith
Wesley Plaisier 6-1 Robert Grundy

Second Round
Jamie Clark 6-4 Jurjen van der Velde
Connor Scutt 6-5 Kim Huybrechts
James Wade 6-4 Nathan Rafferty
Ross Smith 6-1 James Wilson
Darryl Pilgrim 6-4 Michael Smith
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-2 Florian Hempel
Gary Anderson 6-2 Boris Krcmar
Gabriel Clemens 6-5 Pascal Rupprecht
Josh Rock 6-3 Damian Mol
Andy Boulton 6-5 Luke Woodhouse
Ryan Searle 6-2 Devon Petersen
Daryl Gurney 6-0 Ian White
Rob Cross 6-3 Robbie Knops
Gian van Veen 6-1 Berry van Peer
Stephen Bunting 6-2 James Hurrell
Martin Lukeman 6-5 Tony Martinez
Luke Humphries 6-3 Lee Evans
Raymond van Barneveld 6-5 Adam Smith-Neale
Ricardo Pietreczko 6-3 Mario Vandenbogaerde
Nick Kenny 6-2 Martin Schindler
Niels Zonneveld 6-2 Danny Noppert
Darius Labanauskas 6-4 Chris Dobey
Alan Soutar 6-3 Vincent van der Voort
George Killington 6-3 Danny van Trijp
Damon Heta 6-4 Ryan Meikle
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-3 Brian Raman
William O’Connor 6-0 Madars Razma
Andrew Gilding 6-3 Christian Kist
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Jules van Dongen
Radek Szaganski 6-2 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Steve Beaton 6-3 Peter Wright
Ryan Joyce 6-1 Wesley Plaisier
Losers: £750

Last 32
Connor Scutt 6-3 Jamie Clark
Ross Smith 6-3 James Wade
Darryl Pilgrim 6-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Gary Anderson 6-1 Gabriel Clemens
Josh Rock 6-2 Andy Boulton
Ryan Searle 6-2 Daryl Gurney
Gian van Veen 6-5 Rob Cross
Stephen Bunting 6-4 Martin Lukeman
Raymond van Barneveld 6-3 Luke Humphries
Ricardo Pietreczko 6-4 Nick Kenny
Niels Zonneveld 6-5 Darius Labanauskas
George Killington 6-5 Alan Soutar
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-4 Damon Heta
Andrew Gilding 6-3 William O’Connor
Radek Szaganski 6-4 Jonny Clayton
Ryan Joyce 6-2 Steve Beaton
Losers: £1,250

Last 16
Connor Scutt 6-3 Ross Smith
Gary Anderson 6-1 Darryl Pilgrim
Ryan Searle 6-5 Josh Rock
Gian van Veen 6-5 Stephen Bunting
Ricardo Pietreczko 6-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Niels Zonneveld 6-1 George Killington
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-4 Andrew Gilding
Radek Szaganski 6-4 Ryan Joyce
Losers: £2,000

Quarter-Finals
Connor Scutt 6-4 Gary Anderson
Gian van Veen 6-5 Ryan Searle
Ricardo Pietreczko 6-4 Niels Zonneveld
Radek Szaganski 6-1 Maik Kuivenhoven
Losers: £3,000

Semi-Finals
Connor Scutt 7-5 Gian van Veen
Radek Szaganski 7-3 Ricardo Pietreczko
Losers: £4,000

Final
Radek Szaganski 8-5 Connor Scutt
Winner: £12,000
Runner-up: £8,000

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