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Michael van Gerwen powered to victory at Sunday’s Players Championship in Birmingham, as he hit form to claim his second Pro-Tour triumph of 2012.

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

The Dutchman, who won a UK Open qualifier in Crawley in February, produced brilliant darts to clinch the £6,000 prize, culminating in a 6-1 victory over Simon Whitlock in the final.

He had already beaten John Bowles, Jamie Lewis, Mark Walsh and Dennis Priestley before posting an enormous 108.94 average in his quarter-final against Justin Pipe, which the 23-year-old won 6-1.

van Gerwen saw off Speedy Services UK Open winner Robert Thornton 6-2 in the semi-final, before defeating ‘The Wizard’ in the final.

“It feels great,” said van Gerwen, who lost only four legs in his last three matches combined. “It’s the third Pro-Tour event I’ve won since I joined the PDC and I played some good darts today.

“I’m very happy to have won and it should help me qualify for the World Grand Prix as well as the World Matchplay, which is great.

“I showed that I can play against slower players like Justin Pipe, Mark Walsh and Dennis Priestley and that will give me a lot of confidence.”

Whitlock continued the form that has seen him reach two of the three televised finals since the World Championship, beating Roland Scholten, Mark Dudbridge, Andy Hamilton and Andy Smith to reach the quarter-finals.

The Australian ace then swept past Mervyn King and Wes Newton, as he reached the final and claimed £3,000 in prize money.

Thornton boosted his hopes of qualifying for the World Matchplay with a run to the semi-finals, which included wins over Gary Anderson, Steve Beaton and a 6-0 whitewash over Richie Burnett.

By Chris Murphy

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