Michael van Gerwen defeated Phil Taylor to win the McCoy’s Premier League at London’s O2 Arena on Thursday, while James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld bowed out at the semi-final stage.
Dutch ace van Gerwen avenged January’s World Championship final defeat to ‘The Power’ with a thrilling victory over the world number one.
The 24-year-old prevailed by ten legs to eight and sealed the biggest win of his career with a spectacular 132 finish, completing the three-dart combination on the bull.
“I’m so happy to win this Premier League and it is a dream come true,” said ‘Mighty Mike’, who clinched his second PDC major title after winning October’s World Grand Prix.
“It was important for me to get this win after losing to Phil at the World Championships. I was a bit sick about that but this was my night, my tournament.
van Gerwen trailed six-time and defending champion Taylor 5-2 before putting together a brilliant run of five consecutive legs to take charge of the final.
The 16-time World Champion hit back though as he broke van Gerwen’s throw before the youngster declined a shot at the bull, only for Taylor to produce a stunning 160 checkout.
With parity restored at seven legs apiece, world number two van Gerwen responded with one of his nine 180s before pegging double top to edge back ahead.
He then broke Taylor’s throw to close in on victory but missed two match darts at double eight in the following leg, allowing his opponent to keep the match alive.
But van Gerwen ensured victory before the prospect of a deciding leg when he produced a sensational 132 finish to clinch the £150,00 first prize and title of 2013 Premier League Champion.
He added: “Phil started off really well but being 5-2 down probably took a little bit of pressure off me and I settled down after the break.
“I was gutted when I missed the two darts at double eight but that didn’t matter when I hit that bull to win.
“I’m so proud. I have loved every minute of this Premier League and to win it like that, by beating the greatest player ever in the final, is very special.”
van Gerwen had ended 2009 champion Wade’s chances of winning his eighth major title with an 8-4 semi-final success over ‘The Machine’.
Wade said after the defeat: “I wasn’t good enough and Michael was. That’s the story of it.
“I missed too many doubles and he punished me for being messy.”
By Chris Murphy
Images courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC