The young Dutchman followed up February’s triumph in a Speedy Services UK Open Qualifier in Crawley by taking the £6,000 first prize at the NIA Community Hall.
Having been pushed all the way to an 11th leg in his first round game with John Bowles, van Gerwen then saw off Welsh youngster Jamie Lewis and Mark Walsh before enjoying a 6-3 win over double World Champion Dennis Priestley to reach the quarter-finals.
Van Gerwen then powered past in-form Justin Pipe 6-1 with a near-109 average and defeated last weekend’s UK Open champion Robert Thornton 6-2 with another fine display in the semis.He continued the form in the final against Whitlock, winning the first five legs without reply to leave the Australian reeling, including a 78 finish and an 11-darter to break throw twice, along with a 96 finish for a 14-darter which featured his second 180 of the game. Whitlock landed his second maximum in leg six before taking out 73 to keep the game alive, but a missed bullseye in the next leg allowed van Gerwen to step in and seal the triumph on double 16.
Players Championship 8 Sunday June 17, NIA Community Hall, Birmingham
Justin Pipe (1) Bye Kevin McDine 6-3 Ted Hankey Adrian Lewis 6-3 Mark Hylton (32) Joe Cullen 6-5 Andrew Gilding Vincent van der Voort (16) 6-2 John Scott Matt Clark 6-4 Ian Jopling Kevin Painter (17) 6-5 Johnny Haines Ian Moss 6-4 Andy Relf Mark Webster (8) 6-1 Paul Barham Dennis Priestley 6-3 Barrie Bates Ian White (25) 6-0 Michael Mansell Alex Roy 6-4 Stuart Kellett Michael van Gerwen (9) 6-5 John Bowles Jamie Lewis 6-3 Jeff Smith Mark Walsh (24) 6-5 Les Wallace James Hubbard 6-4 Dave Ladley Gary Anderson (5) Bye Adrian Gray 6-5 Paul Rowley Ross Smith 6-5 Co Stompe (28) Robert Thornton 6-3 Mick Todd Colin Lloyd (12) 6-2 Arron Monk Steve Brown 6-4 Joe Murnan Richie Burnett (21) 6-5 Nigel Heydon Mark Frost 6-2 Matt Padgett Raymond van Barneveld (4) Bye Matthew Edgar 6-2 Mareno Michels Denis Ovens (29) 6-1 Mark Jones Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Daniel Starkey Steve Beaton (13) 6-2 Antonio Alcinas Devon Petersen 6-5 Keith Stephen Terry Temple 6-1 Peter Wright (20) Scott Coleman 6-2 Ryan Harrington Dave Chisnall (2) Bye Alan Tabern 6-1 Gareth Cousins Dennis Smith 6-5 James Richardson (31) Steve Grubb 6-3 Liam Kelly Mervyn King (15) 6-0 Paddy Meaney Darren Whittingham 6-3 Tony Littleton Michael Smith (18) 6-4 William O’Connor Kevin Dowling 6-2 Darren Johnson Simon Whitlock (7) 6-1 Roland Scholten Mark Dudbridge 6-4 Gino Vos Andy Hamilton (26) 6-4 Tony West Shaun Griffiths 6-4 Steve Maish John Part (10) 6-3 Wayne Jones Kurt Van De Rijck 6-4 Magnus Caris Andy Smith (23) 6-5 Gareth Pass Sam Hill 6-3 Mike Veitch Ronnie Baxter (6) 6-4 Prakash Jiwa Gary Butcher 6-5 Peter Hudson Richie Howson 6-2 Brendan Dolan (27) Nick Fullwell 6-3 Chris Thompson Colin Osborne (11) 6-4 Steve Evans Dean Winstanley 6-5 Steve Farmer Andy Jenkins 6-5 Kim Huybrechts (22) Darren Webster 6-0 Chris Aubrey Wes Newton (3) Bye Stephen Hardy 6-2 Adam Smith-Neale Scott Rand (30) 6-4 Keegan Brown Michael Barnard 6-5 Jim Walker Terry Jenkins (14) 6-3 Steve Hine John Henderson 6-2 Reece Robinson Brian Woods 6-4 Jamie Caven (19) Jerry Hendriks 6-5 Damien Sherwood
Justin Pipe 6-2 Kevin McDine Adrian Lewis 6-5 Joe Cullen Matt Clark 6-1 Vincent van der Voort Kevin Painter 6-4 Ian Moss Dennis Priestley 6-5 Mark Webster Ian White 6-2 Alex Roy Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Jamie Lewis Mark Walsh 6-4 James Hubbard Gary Anderson 6-2 Adrian Gray Robert Thornton 6-3 Ross Smith Steve Brown 6-2 Colin Lloyd Richie Burnett 6-1 Mark Frost Raymond van Barneveld 6-3 Matthew Edgar Denis Ovens 6-1 Jelle Klaasen Steve Beaton 6-4 Devon Petersen Terry Temple 6-0 Scott Coleman Dave Chisnall 6-2 Alan Tabern Dennis Smith 6-3 Steve Grubb Mervyn King 6-2 Darren Whittingham Michael Smith 6-3 Kevin Dowling Simon Whitlock 6-2 Mark Dudbridge Andy Hamilton 6-1 Shaun Griffiths John Part 6-2 Kurt Van De Rijck Andy Smith 6-3 Sam Hill Ronnie Baxter 6-1 Gary Butcher Richie Howson 6-2 Nick Fullwell Dean Winstanley 6-3 Colin Osborne Darren Webster 6-2 Andy Jenkins Wes Newton 6-3 Stephen Hardy Michael Barnard 6-5 Scott Rand John Henderson 6-3 Terry Jenkins Brian Woods 6-2 Jerry Hendriks
Justin Pipe 6-2 Adrian Lewis Kevin Painter 6-5 Matt Clark Dennis Priestley 6-5 Ian White Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Mark Walsh Robert Thornton 6-4 Gary Anderson Richie Burnett 6-1 Steve Brown Raymond van Barneveld 6-3 Denis Ovens Steve Beaton 6-5 Terry Temple Dave Chisnall 6-2 Dennis Smith Mervyn King 6-2 Michael Smith Simon Whitlock 6-3 Andy Hamilton John Part v Andy Smith Richie Howson 6-3 Ronnie Baxter Darren Webster 6-2 Dean Winstanley Wes Newton 6-1 Michael Barnard John Henderson 6-2 Brian Woods
Justin Pipe 6-3 Kevin Painter Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Dennis Priestley Robert Thornton 6-0 Richie Burnett Steve Beaton 6-4 Raymond van Barneveld Mervyn King 6-4 Dave Chisnall Simon Whitlock 6-5 Andy Smith Darren Webster 6-2 Richie Howson Wes Newton 6-1 John Henderson
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Justin Pipe
Robert Thornton 6-2 Steve Beaton
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Mervyn King
Wes Newton 6-5 Darren Webster
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Robert Thornton
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Wes Newton
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Simon Whitlock
Winner £6,000 Runner-Up £3,000
Final – Leg-By-Leg Michael van Gerwen v Simon Whitlock
0-0 – Michael van Gerwen wins the bull and will throw first. 1-0 – van Gerwen wins the opening leg by landing tops for a 15-darter. 2-0 - Whitlock hits a 180 but fails to take out 120 and van Gerwen finishes 78 on double six to break. 3-0 - Whitlock misses two darts at tops to break, and van Gerwen finishes 64 on the same bed to lead by three legs. 4-0 - van Gerwen opens with a 180 and follows that with two 140s before landing double 16 for an 11-darter to break throw again. 5-0 – van Gerwen lands another maximum and takes out 96 for a 14-darter to move to the brink of victory. 5-1 – Whitlock replies with a 180 and finishes 73 in two darts to reply in kind as he wins his first leg of the game in 14 darts. 6-1 – van Gerwen hits two 140s before punishing a missed bullseye from Whitlock by sealing victory on double 16.