Mighty Mike is World Champion
The Final: Michael van Gerwen 7-3 Gary Anderson
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN was crowned as William Hill World Darts Champion for the second time after winning a breathtaking final against Gary Anderson at London’s Alexandra Palace on Monday.
The pair shared 42 180s – a record for maximums hit in any match – in a sensational decider as Van Gerwen picked up his 26th, and most prestigious, title of the last 12 months with a stunning display, as he triumphed 7-3 to deny Anderson his third straight World Championship glory.
The Dutch star followed up his brilliant semi-final win against Raymond van Barneveld, in which he posted the highest ever average in a World Championship match, with another sublime performance, averaging 107.79 to clinch the Sid Waddell Trophy. Anderson fired in 22 of the game’s 180s to break the record for 180s hit by an individual player but it wasn’t enough to stop Van Gerwen’s claiming the £350,000 prize.
The Scottish ace missed two darts to take a 3-1 lead before a crucial 86 sparked a blistering run from Van Gerwen, which saw the number one seed take five sets in a row to take control before going on to seal a memorable success. “This feels absolutely phenomenal,” said Van Gerwen, who also hit five finishes of over 100 in winning a classic final.
“I think it was a special game of darts for everyone who saw it. I’m a really happy man. I’ve worked so hard for this all year. “Everyone wants this trophy and I’m really glad that it is may holding and to win it against Gary makes it even more special. He is a phenomenal player with a lot of class and I had to play like that to beat him.
“I’ve got great support from my wife, family and all the people around me and winning this means a lot to me. Everyone said that I would have to win a second World Championship to be one of the big boys. Well I’ve done it now and it means everything to me.”
The first four sets of the final were shared, with each of them going all five legs but Anderson’s two missed set darts in the fourth, followed by Van Gerwen’s 86 finish, proved to be a huge turning point in the contest. Van Gerwen took the fifth set 3-0 and the sixth 3-1 as he embarked upon a dominant spell, adding 3-0 and 3-1 wins of sets seven and eight to close in on the title.
Anderson edged the following set 3-2, sealing it with an 81 checkout as the pair overtook the record of 180s in a match – which was set in Anderson’s final victory over Adrian Lewis last year – but Van Gerwen refused to be denied and finished 85 on the bullseye in the deciding leg of the tenth set to seal glory.
William Hill World Darts Championship
Monday January 2nd 2017 (8pm)
Michael van Gerwen 7-3 Gary Anderson
(107.79) Michael van Gerwen 7-3 Gary Anderson (104.93)
1-0 (3-2) There was at least one 180 hit in every leg in the first set as Van Gerwen defied one from Anderson in the opener with a brilliant 122 finish on the bull. The Scotsman landed a second maximum as he took the second leg with an 11-darter on tops but Van Gerwen went back ahead by pinning double five. A third 180 helped Anderson level and the pair both hit maximums in the deciding leg, which the world number one took on double 18.
1-1 (2-3) All legs continued to go with the throw as Anderson double seven after Van Gerwen had added his third 180. The following leg was the first without a maximum score as the Dutchman tied up the set with a 116 finish. Anderson moved ahead with another 180 on his tally but van Gerwen pegged bull and double top to complete a 90 checkout. Anderson took the set though, winning a deciding leg in which both players hit 180s, by finishing 80.
1-2 (2-3) Anderson got the first break of throw by taking out 52 but Van Gerwen replied with an 11-darter and then pinned double four to edge ahead. Anderson fired in a 12-darter, after van Gerwen had fired in seven perfect darts without getting a shot at winning the leg, and then punished his opponent for two missed set-darts by landing double 12 for a 13-darter to take the set.
2-2 (3-2) A fourth consecutive set went all five legs as Anderson, who hit his eight 180, landed tops after Van Gerwen had missed the bullseye for a 170 finish. The Dutchman’s sixth maximum helped him level but his seventh 180 was in vain as Anderson pegged tops. Van Gerwen sank double eight to level and grabbed a crucial break by following his eighth 180 with an 86 finish on double seven.
3-2 (3-0) Anderson missed the bull to break and was severely punished as Van Gerwen took the next three legs to extend his winning run to five in a row, thanks to finishes of 94 and 65.
4-2 (3-1) Anderson took the first leg with a 74 finish but an 11th 180 helped Van Gerwen level. He then broke by bedding double eight after Anderson had missed two darts to take the third leg, in which both players hit 180s. The Dutch ace then finished 6-4 to move two sets clear for the first time.
5-2 (3-0) Van Gerwen hit his 13th 180 and landed double 16 before the pair had a maximum apiece in the second leg, as the number one seed produced an 11-darter to break. He then executed a brilliant 125 finish to move three sets clear and two from claiming the title.
6-2 (3-1) Anderson landed double two in a scrappy first leg before Van Gerwen took finishes of 76, 75 and 100 to move within a set of victory.
6-3 (2-3) Both players hit 180s in the first leg which Van Gerwen won on double three. Anderson nailed tops to level but missed a dart to break in the following leg as Van Gerwen pinned double two. The Scotsman hit his sixth 180 and landed double eight before grabbing a set-winning 81 finish.
7-3 (3-2) Anderson fired in a 19th 180 and took out 81 again but van Gerwen’s 18th maximum, followed by an 87 finish, saw him level. Anderson landed tops before Van Gerwen took out 100 and the final leg saw both players hit 180s, taking the match tally to an incredible record-breaking 42, as Van Gerwen finished 85 on the bullseye to become World Champion for the second time.
Third Round Losers £25,000
Second Round Losers £17,000
First Round Losers £10,000
Preliminary Round Losers £4,500
Nine-Dart Finish Bonus £25,000
Event Stats for both players:
1st Round Mark Frost 3-0 (96.16) ‘5’
2nd Round Andrew Gilding 4-0 (102.58) ‘6’
3rd Round Benito van de Pas 4-2 (107.68) ’11’
Quarter-Final Dave Chisnall 5-3 (105.90) ’12’
Semi-Final Peter Wright 6-3 (103.45) ’15’
Michael van Gerwen:
1st Round Kim Viljanen 3-0 (103.34) ‘5’
2nd Round Cristo Reyes 4-2 (105.24) ’11’
3rd Round Darren Webster 4-1 (104.44) ‘8’
1/4 Final Daryl Gurney 5-1 (103.08) ‘7’
Semi-Final Raymond van Barneveld 6-2 (114.05) ’15’