Cazoo UK Open and Rileys Qualifiers
Danny Noppert defeated Michael Smith 11-10 in a dramatic Cazoo UK Open final to win his first televised title at Butlin’s Minehead Resort on Sunday.
A tense climax to the 158-player tournament saw both players bidding to claim a televised ranking title for the first time, having come through the quarter-finals and semi-finals earlier in a dramatic third day of action.
Smith looked set to claim the biggest title of his career when – having earlier overcome world number one Gerwyn Price and youngster Keane Barry – he went 10-9 up in the final, only for Noppert to battle back in a captivating climax to the tournament.
The penultimate leg saw Smith miss a match dart at the bullseye for a 124 checkout, before Noppert pinned a crucial double four to hold throw and then fired in a 180 on his way to a 13-dart break to claim the title.
“I am over the moon, this is a special moment for me,” said Noppert, who defeated Damon Heta and William O’Connor in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.
“I can’t believe it; I have said before that I want to lift a trophy but I never thought it would be at such a big tournament like the UK Open.
“It was a hard game at the end of a long day, we both wanted to lift this trophy so much and neither of us played like we can.
“I think I can take big steps forward in my career now.”
Sunday March 6th
Keane Barry 10-4 James Wade
William O’Connor 10-9 Sebastian Bialecki
Danny Noppert 10-5 Damon Heta
Michael Smith 10-7 Gerwyn Price
Keane Barry 6-11 Michael Smith
William O’Connor 9-11 Danny Noppert
Michael Smith 10-11 Danny Noppert
2022 CAZOO UK OPEN PRIZE FUND: