Whitlock won Saturday’s UK Open Qualifier Five with an excellent final victory over van Gerwen, who went on to win Sunday’s event – his fourth success out of the six floor events played so far this year.
‘The Wizard’ produced some magic on Saturday to win through a tough field of players competing to gain entry for June’s UK Open.
He fought back from 5-1 down to defeat Ian White 6-5 in the quarter-finals before seeing off Peter Wright to reach the final, where he claimed an impressive 6-1 win against world number two van Gerwen.
“This is one of the best wins I’ve ever had. I’m absolutely thrilled to bits,” Whitlock told the PDC’s official website.
“I had a bit of luck earlier on but I played really well in the final and I’m over the moon.
“At 5-1 down against Ian White you don’t expect to win, but I somehow pulled one out of the bag and got there. You need a little bit of luck sometimes and I got that today, and I just rode with it.”
van Gerwen, whose run to Saturday’s final included a second victory in three days against World Champion Phil Taylor, clinched Sunday’s £6,000 first prize by edging past Kim Huybrechts in the final.
His best performance en route to glory was a 6-1 semi-final success over Michael Smith, with the Dutchman averaging over 112.
“I’m very proud of myself but I can still do better than this,” van Gerwen told the PDC’s official website.
“It feels so good to get another win. I’m very confident at the moment and that has a lot to do with it because I’m even winning bad games and I’m doing very well.
“I’m playing well and I’m happy with my form – in the semi-final against Michael Smith I threw some great darts. It was a fabulous game and I enjoyed it – but I still had to win the final and it was a very important win for me.”
Whitlock and van Gerwen will now turn their attentions back to the McCoy’s Premier League, which continues in Dublin on Thursday evening.
By Chris Murphy