UNIBET World Grand Prix
Northern Irelands Daryl Gurney wins his first PDC Major, the UNIBET World Grand Prix with a nail biting 5-4 win over Australian Simon Whitlock
DARYL GURNEY claimed his first televised title with glory at the Unibet World Grand Prix as he produced a fine comeback to defeat Simon Whitlock 5-4 in a deciding set in Saturday’s final at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin.
The Northern Irish ace has broken into the world’s elite in the last 12 months, and wrote his name into the history books as he claimed the £100,000 top prize in the double-start tournament. Whitlock had come from 3-2 down to lead 4-3, but Gurney claimed the final two sets as he emotionally took the title.
The Australian edged the opening two sets before Gurney hit back with three in a row to move 3-2 up, landing five ton-plus checkouts as he hit the front. The Northern Irish ace – appearing in his first televised ranking final – crucially missed one dart at a double to win each of the next two sets as Whitlock regained the edge at 4-3.
Gurney claimed set eight 3-1 and led in the final set before the pair traded 112 checkouts, but the Northern Irish ace would not be denied as he landed double ten to claim the title before breaking down in tears as he celebrated the win.
Saturday 7th October
The Unibet World Grand Prix – The Final
88.50 Daryl Gurney 5-4 Simon Whitlock 83.53
SET ONE – 2-3 Gurney capitalised on a miss at tops from Whitlock to take out 72 for the opening leg and doubled his lead on double 16 before the Australian fired his challenge with a 180 in leg three. Double 16 got Whitlock off the mark, before he capitalised on four missed set darts from Gurney to force a decider, where the Northern Irish ace missed a further five darts for the set before his rival posted double one to lead.
SET TWO – 2-3 Whitlock opened set two with scores of 146, 140 and 140 but failed to kill off the leg as Gurney stepped in with a superb 156 checkout to move ahead. The Australian responded with two 180s and double six, with the pair trading the next two before Whitlock claimed the decider with the aid of another maximum and double nine to move two sets up.
SET THREE – 3-1 Gurney began set three with another ton-plus finish as he took out 110, with Whitlock levelling on double eight before missing tops for a 120 checkout as the Northern Irishman stepped back in on double 16. Gurney then sealed the set by taking out 126 on the bull to pull back to 2-1 in the contest.
SET FOUR – 3-1 Gurney squared the match by taking the fourth set 3-1, punishing misses from Whitlock in the opening two legs before responding to the Australian’s 70 finish by taking out 95 for the set.
SET FIVE – 3-2 Whitlock opened the fifth set with a 90 finish, only to see Gurney take out 110 and 104 – taking his tally of ton-plus checkouts to five for the game – to move 2-1 up. Whitlock landed a 180 and double 16 to take the set to a decider, but missed three darts – at double top and ten – to win the set as Gurney returned on double 16 to move 3-2 up by claiming his third successive set.
SET SIX – 2-3 Whitlock took the opening two legs of set six, but missed double 18 for the set in the third as Gurney took out 100 to respond and double ten to level, only to miss a set dart at double eight to allow his rival in to take out 98 to level the game.
SET SEVEN 2-3 The seventh set also went to a decider, with Gurney taking out 77 to lead and double ten to move 2-1 up only to miss the bull for the set as Whitlock landed double ten to level matters. The decisive fifth leg saw Whitlock power in his tenth 180 of the game to edge away before double eight put the Australian back ahead at 4-3 and a set away from glory.
SET EIGHT – 3-1 Gurney’s battling continued as he finished 68 to lead in set eight, and after Whitlock levelled he landed a third-dart double 16 to move 2-1 up the Derry man took out 96 for the set to send the match into a ninth set.
SET NINE – 3-1 Seven missed starting doubles from Whitlock were punished as Gurney took the opening leg on double eight, and the pair traded 112 finishes to leave the Northern Irish ace 2-1 up before double ten finally sealed the title.
The Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay Final
Jason Cullen 4-6 William O’Connor
WILLIAM O’CONNOR defeated Jason Cullen 6-4 to win the 2017 Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay final on Saturday, securing his William Hill World Darts Championship debut in the process.
Full Results Unibet World Grand Prix
Sunday October 1st (7pm)
First Round x8
81.72 Alan Norris 2-1 Justin Pipe 81.43
91.62 Joe Cullen 2-1 Darren Webster 87.16
89.59 Steve Beaton 2-0 Rob Cross 85.59
78.93 Robert Thornton 2-1 Kim Huybrechts 85.82
90.21 Raymond van Barneveld 2-0 Kyle Anderson 86.60
87.49 Adrian Lewis 1-2 Daryl Gurney 90.09
87.64 Michael van Gerwen 1-2 John Henderson 76.08
101.10 Dave Chisnall 2-0 Jelle Klaasen 84.05
Monday October 2nd (7pm)
First Round x8
83.59 Benito van de Pas 2-1 Cristo Reyes 84.47
85.36 Mervyn King 2-0 Ronny Huybrechts 81.83
85.08 Steve West 2-0 James Wade 85.67
89.31 Simon Whitlock 2-1 Christian Kist 81.65
85.89 Mensur Suljovic 2-1 Ian White 85.34
80.70 Michael Smith 1-2 Gerwyn Price 86.36
78.41 Mark Webster 0-2 Richard North 75.21
95.76 Peter Wright 2-1 Stephen Bunting 83.58
Tuesday October 3rd (7pm)
Second Round x4
90.98 Dave Chisnall 2-3 Robert Thornton 91.02
89.13 Daryl Gurney 3-1 Joe Cullen 85.39
87.10 John Henderson 3-1 Alan Norris 82.78
84.95 Raymond van Barneveld 3-0 Steve Beaton 78.79
Wednesday October 4th (7pm)
Second Round x4
91.14 Gerwyn Price 0-3 Benito van de Pas 95.13
87.83 Mensur Suljovic 3-0 Steve West 84.66
83.77 Richard North 0-3 Simon Whitlock 86.10
94.00 Peter Wright 3-1 Mervyn King 85.66
Thursday October 5th (7pm)
86.98 Simon Whitlock 3-0 Benito van de Pas 76.88
81.83 John Henderson 3-1 Raymond van Barneveld 83.33
90.89 Mensur Suljovic 3-1 Peter Wright 91.74
82.10 Robert Thornton 2-3 Daryl Gurney 86.47
Friday October 6th (7pm)
86.03 Simon Whitlock 4-3 Mensur Suljovic 92.92
83.42 Daryl Gurney 4-1 John Henderson 83.88