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Simon Whitlock and Michael van Gerwen both picked up Pro Tour victories in Wigan at the weekend.

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


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