Template - Date: Players Championships Ireland

SIMON WHITLOCK claimed his first title for over two years as he produced a comeback win over Ronny Huybrechts in the Players Championship 18 final in Dublin, after earlier ending Michael van Gerwen’s winning streak.

Australian star Whitlock had last tasted success in a ranking event in June 2014, but followed up last week’s nine-dart finish with an outstanding day at the Citywest Hotel to claim the £10,000 title. Early wins over Matthew Edgar, Yordi Meeuwisse and Brendan Dolan set up a last 16 clash with in-form world number one van Gerwen, who had won eight successive ranking events since mid-June, including Friday’s Players Championship.

However, the Dutchman’s run was ended as Whitlock claimed a 6-3 triumph, before he dropped only one leg in each of his quarter-final and semi-final wins, against Justin Pipe and Steve West respectively as he progressed to the decider. Belgian ace Huybrechts had won through to his first ProTour final since May 2013, overcoming Darren Johnson, Stuart Kellett, Cristo Reyes, Kyle Anderson, Jelle Klaasen and Daryl Gurney.

He then opened the decider in style by taking a 3-0 lead as Whitlock paid for early missed doubles in two of the opening three legs. Whitlock hit back to 3-2 before Huybrechts edged a high-quality sixth leg, with the Australian then missing double 18 for a nine-dart finish in the seventh, before returning to land double nine for a ten-dart finish.

Huybrechts posted double six to move to the brink of victory at 5-3, but Whitlock hit back before punishing two match darts from the Belgian to level and force a decider which the former European Champion took for glory. “It means so much to me,” said Whitlock, who has dropped to 20th on the PDC Order of Merit. “I feel like this has been coming and today was the day it all came good, but this is the start of me getting back to my best.

“I played fantastic darts all day but I got nervous towards the end of the final. I want to use this win as motivation to get back to where I was a few years ago. “It’s been a really tough couple of years but I’ve worked so hard and it is starting to pay off finally.”

Huybrechts picked up £6,000 as the runner-up as he enjoyed his best performance of 2016, while West followed up last week’s run to a Players Championship in Barnsley – which secured him qualification for the Unibet World Grand Prix – by reaching the semi-finals.

Northern Irish ace Gurney also won through to the last four, battling past Andy Boulton, Andy Hamilton, Joe Cullen, Mark Webster and Ian White in an encouraging display in only his second event after returning from a month sidelined with a broken bone in his throwing hand.

World number three Adrian Lewis won through to the quarter-finals alongside Klaasen, White and Pipe, while the last 16 included van Gerwen and his World Grand Prix rivals for this week’s forthcoming event, Mensur Suljovic and Kyle Anderson. Mark Webster, Ronnie Baxter, David Pallett, Jermaine Wattimena and Mike De Decker also reached the last 16, while World Champion Gary Anderson was ousted by namesake Kyle at the last 32 stage.

The Players Championship was the final event before the £400,000 Unibet World Grand Prix begins on Sunday at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin, live on Sky Sports. Both Players Championship events on Friday and Saturday were streamed through www.LIVEPDC.TV, with the further tournaments on October 21-22 also set to be broadcast online.


Players Championship 18

Saturday October 1st, Citywest Hotel, Dublin
First Round
Michael van Gerwen (1) 6-4 Ron Meulenkamp
William O’Connor 6-5 Jamie Lewis
Vincent van der Voort (32) 6-5 Jim Walker
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-5 Darron Brown
Simon Whitlock (16) 6-3 Matthew Edgar
Yordi Meeuwisse 6-1 Prakash Jiwa
Mark Walsh 6-3 Terry Jenkins (17)
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Kevin Dowling
James Wade (8) 6-2 Jason Wilson
Andy Jenkins 6-1 Nigel Daniels
Justin Pipe (25) 6-3 Curtis Hammond
Ryan Meikle 6-5 Tony Newell
Gerwyn Price (9) 6-4 Kirk Shepherd
Steve Hine 6-3 Jan Dekker
Jamie Caven (24) 6-4 Mark Frost
Ronnie Baxter 6-4 Jonathan Worsley
Benito van de Pas (5) 6-5 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Robert Owen 6-4 Simon Preston
Steve West (28) 6-2 Mick McGowan
Andy Smith 6-5 Andrew Gilding
Dave Ladley 6-4 Michael Smith (12)
Wes Newton 6-4 Kevin Painter
James Wilson (21) 6-5 Ken MacNeil
David Pallett 6-1 Ryan Palmer
Alan Tabern 6-5 Kim Huybrechts (4)
Mike Zuydwijk 6-3 Ricky Williams
Jermaine Wattimena (29) 6-3 Steve Brown
Darren Webster 6-5 Devon Petersen
John Bowles 6-2 Alan Norris (13)
Keegan Brown 6-3 Ricky Evans
Adrian Lewis (20) 6-0 Stephen Willard
Simon Stevenson 6-2 Chris Quantock
Peter Wright (2) 6-1 Shaun Griffiths
Mickey Mansell 6-0 Jeffrey De Zwaan
Mark Webster (31) 6-4 Jonny Clayton
Matt Clark 6-2 Dean Winstanley
Joe Cullen (15) 6-1 Antonio Alcinas
James Richardson 6-1 Scott Dale
Daryl Gurney (18) 6-3 Andy Boulton
Andy Hamilton 6-3 Harry Robinson
Ian White (7) 6-1 Richie Corner
Johnny Haines 6-1 Wayne Jones
Robbie Green (26) 6-4 Christian Kist
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Steve McNally
Mike De Decker 6-5 Stephen Bunting (10)
Nigel Heydon 6-5 Matthew Dennant
Mervyn King (23) 6-2 Ray Campbell
Berry van Peer 6-4 Paul Nicholson
Stuart Kellett 6-5 Dave Chisnall (6)
Ronny Huybrechts 6-2 Darren Johnson
Cristo Reyes (27) 6-1 Terry Temple
Josh Payne 6-0 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Gary Anderson (11) 6-1 Brian Woods
Vincent Kamphuis 6-5 Nathan Aspinall
Kyle Anderson (22) 6-1 Jamie Robinson
Brettt Claydon 6-1 John Henderson
Mensur Suljovic (3) 6-3 Paul Milford
Chris Dobey 6-5 John Part
Robert Thornton (30) 6-1 Jason Marriott
Jeffrey De Graaf 6-5 Haruki Muramatsu
Jelle Klaasen (14) 6-0 Dennis Smith
Peter Hudson 6-1 Nathan Derry
Steve Beaton (19) 6-1 Mark Barilli
Joe Murnan 6-5 Ted Evetts

Second Round
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 William O’Connor
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-2 Vincent van der Voort
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Yordi Meeuwisse
Brendan Dolan 6-3 Mark Walsh
Andy Jenkins 6-5 James Wade
Justin Pipe 6-5 Ryan Meikle
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Steve Hine
Ronnie Baxter 6-2 Jamie Caven
Benito van de Pas 6-1 Robert Owen
Steve West 6-2 Andy Smith
Dave Ladley 6-4 Wes Newton
David Pallett 6-2 James Wilson
Alan Tabern 6-3 Mike Zuydwijk
Jermaine Wattimena 6-4 Darren Webster
Keegan Brown 6-2 John Bowles
Adrian Lewis 6-4 Simon Stevenson
Peter Wright 6-1 Mickey Mansell
Mark Webster 6-4 Matt Clark
Joe Cullen 6-5 James Richardson
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Andy Hamilton
Ian White 6-4 Johnny Haines
Robbie Green 6-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Mike De Decker 6-1 Nigel Heydon
Mervyn King 6-1 Berry van Peer
Ronny Huybrechts 6-3 Stuart Kellett
Cristo Reyes 6-4 Josh Payne
Gary Anderson 6-5 Vincent Kamphuis
Kyle Anderson 6-1 Brett Claydon
Mensur Suljovic 6-4 Chris Dobey
Robert Thornton 6-4 Jeffrey de Graaf
Jelle Klaasen 6-5 Petter Hudson
Joe Murnan 6-4 Steve Beaton
Losers £500

Third Round
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Brendan Dolan
Justin Pipe 6-5 Andy Jenkins
Ronnie Baxter 6-4 Gerwyn Price
Steve West 6-4 Benito van de Pas
David Pallett 6-0 Dave Ladley
Jermaine Wattimena 6-3 Alan Tabern
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Keegan Brown
Mark Webster 6-4 Peter Wright
Daryl Gurney 6-5 Joe Cullen
Ian White 6-4 Robbie Green
Mike De Decker 6-3 Mervyn King
Ronny Huybrechts 6-4 Cristo Reyes
Kyle Anderson 6-4 Gary Anderson
Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Robert Thornton
Jelle Klaasen 6-3 Joe Murnan
Losers £1,000

Fourth Round
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Michael van Gerwen
Justin Pipe 6-2 Ronnie Baxter
Steve West 6-3 David Pallett
Adrian Lewis 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena
Daryl Gurney 6-5 Mark Webster
Ian White 6-4 Mike De Decker
Ronny Huybrechts 6-4 Kyle Anderson
Jelle Klaasen 6-5 Mensur Suljovic
Losers £1,500

Simon Whitlock 6-1 Justin Pipe
Steve West 6-3 Adrian Lewis
Daryl Gurney 6-3 Ian White
Ronny Huybrechts 6-2 Jelle Klaasen
Losers £2,250

Simon Whitlock 6-1 Steve West
Ronny Huybrechts 6 -5 Daryl Gurney
Losers £3,000

Simon Whitlock 6-5 Ronny Huybrechts
Winner £10,000
Runner-Up £6,000


Players Championship 17

Friday September 30, Citywest Hotel, Dublin
First Round
Michael van Gerwen (1) 6-2 Terry Temple
Robert Owen 6-4 Nathan Derry
Robert Thornton (32) 6-5 Mike Zuydwijk
Mick McGowan 6-4 Wes Newton
Simon Whitlock (16) 6-3 Shaun Griffiths
Ron Meulenkamp 6-4 Andy Jenkins
Mike De Decker 6-4 Terry Jenkins (17)
Berry van Peer 6-3 Raymond van Barneveld
James Wade (8) 6-0 Nigel Daniels
Ray Campbell 6-5 Kevin Dowling
Steve West (25) 6-2 Ken MacNeil
Tony Newell 6-4 Matt Clark
Gerwyn Price (9) 6-1 Ronnie Baxter
Ricky Evans 6-4 Brett Claydon
Jamie Caven (24) 6-4 Paul Nicholson
Simon Stevenson 6-4 Mark Barilli
Andy Boulton 6-3 Ian White (5)
Matthew Dennant 6-2 Paul Milford
Dennis Smith 6-5 Vincent van der Voort (28)
Jonny Clayton 6-2 Dean Winstanley
Michael Smith (12) 6-5 Ted Evetts
Darren Webster 6-4 Antonio Alcinas
Nigel Heydon 6-3 James Wilson (21)
Jason Wilson 6-4 Scott Dale
John Henderson 6-3 Kim Huybrechts (4)
Steve Brown 6-4 Chris Quantock
Josh Payne (29) 6-5 John Bowles
Jeffrey De Graaf 6-5 Ryan Meikle
Vincent Kamphuis 6-4 Alan Norris (13)
James Richardson 6-5 Devon Petersen
Steve Beaton (20) 6-1 Steve Hine
Jason Marriott 6-3 Haruki Muramatsu
Peter Wright (2) 6-4 Peter Hudson
Yordi Meeuwisse 6-4 Jeffrey De Zwaan
Justin Pipe (31) 6-3 Harry Robinson
Joe Murnan 6-1 Curtis Hammond
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-4 Joe Cullen (15)
Matthew Edgar 6-5 Johnny Haines
Daryl Gurney (18) 6-3 Darren Johnson
Andrew Gilding 6-3 John Part
Dave Chisnall (7) 6-4 Mark Webster
Ryan Palmer 6-4 Mark Walsh
Richie Corner 6-4 Cristo Reyes (26)
Chris Dobey  6-4 David Pallett
Christian Kist 6-5 Gary Anderson (10)
Prakash Jiwa 6-3 Dave Ladley
Kyle Anderson (23) 6-2 William O’Connor
Stuart Kellett 6-5 Andy Hamilton
Benito van de Pas (16) 6-1 Mark Frost
Kevin Painter 6-4 Brian Woods
Robbie Green (27) 6-4 Ronny Huybrechts
Andy Smith 6-2 Stephen Willard
Stephen Bunting (11) 6-2 Nathan Aspinall
Jim Walker 6-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Mervyn King (22) 6-3 Darron Brown
Jamie Robinson 6-5 Steve McNally
Mensur Suljovic (3) 6-2 Simon Preston
Jan Dekker 6-3 Ricky Williams
Keegan Brown 6-2 Jermaine Wattimena (30)
Jonathan Worsley 6-2 Jamie Lewis
Jelle Klaasen (14) 6-2 Wayne Jones
Mickey Mansell 6-4 Kirk Shepherd
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Adrian Lewis (19)
Brendan Dolan 6-1 Alan Tabern

Second Round
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Robert Owen
Mick McGowan 6-4 Robert Thornton
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Ron Meulenkamp
Berry van Peer 6-4 Mike De Decker
James Wade 6-1 Ray Campbell
Steve West 6-1 Tony Newell
Ricky Evans 6-2 Gerwyn Price
Simon Stevenson 6-2 Jamie Caven
Andy Boulton 6-5 Matthew Dennant
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Dennis Smith
Darren Webster 6-2 Michael Smith
Nigel Heydon 6-4 Jason Wilson
John Henderson 6-2 Steve Brown
Jeffrey De Graaf 6-3 Josh Payne
Vincent Kamphuis 6-2 James Richardson
Steve Beaton 6-0 Jason Marriott
Peter Wright 6-5 Yordi Meeuwisse
Justin Pipe 6-4 Joe Murnan
Matthew Edgar 6-1 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Andrew Gilding 6-5 Daryl Gurney
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Ryan Palmer
Chris Dobey 6-5 Richie Corner
Christian Kist 6-5 Prakash Jiwa
Kyle Anderson 6-4 Stuart Kellett
Kevin Painter 6-5 Benito van de Pas
Andy Smith 6-1 Robbie Green
Stephen Bunting 6-3 Jim Walker
Jamie Robinson 6-3 Mervyn King
Mensur Suljovic 6-1 Jan Dekker
Keegan Brown 6-2 Jonathan Worsley
Mickey Mansell 6-5 Jelle Klaasen
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Brendan Dolan
Losers £500

Third Round
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Mick McGowan
Berry van Peer 6-4 Simon Whitlock
James Wade 6-5 Steve West
Simon Stevenson 6-2 Ricky Evans
Jonny Clayton 6-1 Andy Boulton
Darren Webster 6-4 Nigel Heydon
John Henderson 6-5 Jeffrey De Graaf
Steve Beaton 6-4 Vincent Kamphuis
Justin Pipe 6-3 Peter Wright
Matthew Edgar 6-5 Andrew Gilding
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Chris Dobey
Christian Kist 6-3 Kyle Anderson
Kevin Painter 6-4 Andy Smith
Stephen Bunting 6-2 Jamie Robinson
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Keegan Brown
Mickey Mansell 6-5 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Losers £1,000

Last 16
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Berry van Peer
James Wade 6-5 Simon Stevenson
Darren Webster 6-5 Jonny Clayton
Steve Beaton 6-4 John Henderson
Justin Pipe 6-3 Matthew Edgar
Christian Kist 6-4 Dave Chisnall
Stephen Bunting 6-2 Kevin Painter
Mensur Suljovic 6-0 Mickey Mansell
Losers £1,500

Michael van Gerwen 6-3 James Wade
Darren Webster 6-5 Steve Beaton
Christian Kist 6-1 Justin Pipe
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Stephen Bunting
Losers £2,250

Semi Finals
Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Darren Webster
Christian Kist 6-5 Mensur Suljovic
Losers £3,000

Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Christian Kist
Winner £10,000
Runner-Uo £6,000