Template - Date: PDC Players Championship 17
KYLE ANDERSON claimed his maiden PDC title at Players Championship 17, with both he and Jamie Lewis hitting nine-dart finishes on a fascinating day in Barnsley.
The Australian who had made semi-finals on six previous occasions on the PDC Tour finally got over the line defeating Kevin Painter, playing in his first final for almost four years, 6-2 in the final.
The decider began with Anderson in scintillating form, taking out 148 for an early break and setting the tone for the rest of the encounter.
Back-to-back two dart 64 finishes gave Anderson yet another break and a commanding 3-0 lead over his rival.
The gap was to widen further as the 29-year-old from Perth, Australia took out yet another ton-plus finish, this time 108 on tops for a 4-0 advantage.
The Australian followed that with another break of throw, first missing double 14 for a second 148 finish before eventually finding the same target on the next visit.
Anderson then looked set to complete an impressive whitewash win going off 180, 180 in the sixth leg before Painter took out 128 on the bull to get his first leg on the board.
The Englishman then followed that with a convincing hold of throw, checking out 52 on double ten to extend the contest further.
The eighth leg was to be the final one of the match though as Kyle Anderson wrapped up a 6-2 win and claimed his first PDC title.
“Today it all came together, I said to myself, I have to take the chances I make for myself and today I took my chance,” Said Anderson.
“I’ve never doubted myself, everybody on the tour can do what I did today and it’s the one’s who don’t get nervous who come through in the end.” Added the Australian number two.
The world number 29, who is based in Nottingham and has to spend the majority of the year without his wife and son also spoke of how having them around for the last five weeks has benefitted him.
“My boy is with me and I feel comfortable, It’s been so good to see him and I can’t wait to see him again. Having them around has made it so much easier recently.”
“This is not a one off, I have to win again, there has to be more!” Concluded Anderson.
The day began for the Australian with a commanding 6-3 victory over Tony Newell, before needing a last leg decider to overcome Nathan Aspinall.
The last 32 saw Anderson brush Ryan Meikle aside, coming through 6-1 before going on to achieve a perfect leg in his 6-3 win over Ronny Huybrechts.
The quarter-finals saw Anderson beat Stephen Bunting, a man desperately trying to rediscover so form 6-3 to progress in to the last four.
Michael Smith, a good friend of Anderson awaited in the semi-finals, where once again the Australian proved too strong, defeating his rival 6-3 to set up a decider with Kevin Painter.
The former World Championship finalist, who was looking to win his first PDC title since the 2011 Players Championship finals began his route to the final with a 6-2 win over Mike de Decker.
6-4 wins over Vincent van der Voort and another nine-dart hero, Jamie Lewis followed as Painter progressed in to the last 16.
Mervyn King was powerless to resist as Painter advanced yet again, this time with a 6-2 win.
Gerwyn Price provided ‘The Artist’ with his toughest pre-final test, taking the 50-year-old to a last leg decider, where he had to survive match darts from the Welshman.
A scrappy 6-3 win over Jermaine Wattimena meant Painter would face Anderson in the final but it was to be the Australian who would end his run as the highest ranked player without a PDC title.
Players Championship 18 takes place in Barnsley on Sunday with 128 players competing for the £10,000 prize.
PDCTV-HD subscribers will be able to watch all the action on the PDC website as well as a host of bookmakers websites.
Full results from Players Championship 17 can be seen at the ‘Match Centre’.
From the original field of entries, Adrian Lewis, Mensur Suljovic, Cristo Reyes and Ricky Williams have withdrawn, and been replaced by PDPA Associate Members Michael Barnard, Alan Tabern, Luke Woodhouse and Rusty-Jake Rodriguez.
PDCTV-HD Subscribers can watch live online from 12pm BST – login at this link.
Live coverage is also available through the following bookmakers’ websites:
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TAB NZ (New Zealand)
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Last 16 Losers £1500
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Last 64 Losers £500