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
The stars, including five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld, will compete at the Nissan Sports and Leisure complex on 15 June.
Dutch legend ‘Barney’ will be joined by Australian ace and European Champion Simon Whitlock, double World Champion Ted Hankey and James Wade, winner of seven major titles.
They will battle it out, alongside local qualifiers, in the type of thrilling tournament as seen on TV as high quality darts heads to Sunderland.
“This should be a great night,” said van Barneveld, who starred in the Premier League in Newcastle last week.
“I know that fans up there are very passionate about their darts. They were amazing on Thursday and I’m looking forward to meeting the guys in Sunderland.
“I’m sure there will be some good players from the local area, who will give us a run for our money.
“It is a brilliant line up and we will all be aiming to put on a show and, most importantly, win!”
Tickets for this exciting event are available online at www.dartshop.tv or by calling 08450 180 180.
The field for the PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix has been confirmed and includes nine MODUS associated players.
The line-up for the Dublin tournament, which takes place on October 8-14, has been finalised as current positions cannot be affected by the upcoming European Championships.
World number three James Wade, who has won the double-start tournament twice, qualifies as part of the top 16 in the PDC Order of Merit.
Simon Whitlock, Mark Webster, Raymond van Barneveld and Paul Nicholson all also gain entry through their ranking positions.
In-form Michael van Gerwen has booked his place at the Citywest Hotel as the highest ranked player in the ProTour order of merit, outside of the top 16.
Mervyn King, Vincent van der Voort and UK Open champion Robert Thornton will also compete for the £100,000 title, having qualified through the ProTour Order of Merit.
The top eight players from the PDC Order of Merit will be seeded for the first round draw, which is expected to be made on Sunday.
Webster and van Barneveld could move into top eight spots depending on results in Germany this weekend.
PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix Qualifiers – (MODUS associated players in bold)
Current PDC Top 16 from PDC Order of Merit
Phil Taylor (England)
Adrian Lewis (England)
James Wade (England)
Gary Anderson (Scotland)
Wes Newton (England)
Andy Hamilton (England)
Simon Whitlock (Australia)
Terry Jenkins (England)
Mark Webster (Wales)
Raymond van Barneveld (Netherlands)
Justin Pipe (England)
Kevin Painter (England)
Dave Chisnall (England)
Ronnie Baxter (England)
Mark Walsh (England)
Paul Nicholson (Australia)
Current Top 14 Non-Qualified Players from ProTour Order of Merit
Michael van Gerwen (Netherlands)
Ian White (England)
Kim Huybrechts (Belgium)
Colin Lloyd (England)
Richie Burnett (Wales)
Mervyn King (England)
Andy Smith (England)
Brendan Dolan (Northern Ireland)
Robert Thornton (Scotland)
Vincent van der Voort (Netherlands)
Michael Smith (England)
Colin Osborne (England)
Dean Winstanley (England)
Steve Beaton (England)
Top Two Non-Qualified Players from Ireland/Northern Ireland from ProTour Order of Merit
Michael Mansell (Northern Ireland)
William O’Connor (Ireland)
By Chris Murphy
Image courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC