The defending champion had trailed the Scotsman, who missed double twelve for a nine-darter, 3-2 at one stage but hit back to claim a 7-5 success, kicking off the decisive leg with back-to-back 180s before going out in eleven darts.
The triumph moved the world number one a point ahead of Raymond van Barneveld but van Gerwen has played a game less than his Dutch compatriot.
Michael van Gerwen 7 – 5 Robert Thornton: Match Report
By Chris Murphy
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