PETER WRIGHT won his first European Tour title after triumphing in the European Darts Open with a 6-2 victory in final against Simon Whitlock at the Maritim Hotel in Dusseldorf. The World Championship finalist won his second title of 2014, following his triumph in a Players Championship event in Crawley two months ago, taking away £20,000 for his effort over the weekend in Germany as he moves up to fifth in the PDC Order of Merit.
Wright had defeated highly-rated Michael Smith in his opening game of the weekend before overcoming Justin Pipe to reach Sunday’s final session, where he saw off Andy Hamilton in the quarter-finals by a 6-2 margin. The Scottish World Cup ace then showed great character in his semi-final clash against Kevin Painter as he came from 5-4 down to win the last two legs, hitting a 121 checkout to draw level followed by an 11-darter in the deciding leg.
Wright continued that form at the start of the final against Whitlock as he won the opening two legs in confident style to open up an early advantage. Whitlock hit back well by taking the next two legs to draw level at two-all before Wright put together legs of 14 and 13 darts to move 4-2 up. Wright hit a 117 checkout to win the seventh leg and move to the brink of the title, and he crossed the winning line in supreme style with a 14-dart finish to end Whitlock’s hopes of glory. Whitlock, who enjoyed a fine weekend in front of his vocal German supporters, defeated Premier League champion Raymond van Barneveld in his opening game on Friday evening before overcoming Brendan Dolan to get to last 8.
He saw off Dave Chisnall in the quarter-finals by a 6-3 scoreline before edging out Gary Anderson in a deciding leg to reach the final, where he found Wright too strong. Kevin Painter enjoyed his best performance so far this year with an excellent run to the semi-finals, dropping just six legs in his wins over Keegan Brown, Steve Beaton, Kim Huybrechts and Jamie Caven before suffering a heartbreaking 6-5 loss to Wright. Gary Anderson’s run to the last four included wins over Gerwyn Price, Wes Newton and a narrow quarter-final triumph over James Wade on Sunday before narrowly losing to Whitlock after missing a dart at double 16 to win the match.
Gibraltar Darts Trophy champion James Wade and Austrian Darts Open finalist Jamie Caven continued their good runs of form by reaching the quarter-finals ahead of the BetVictor World Matchplay in Blackpool, which begins next weekend. St Helens star Dave Chisnall reached the final session on Sunday before losing out to Whitlock, while Andy Hamilton reached the same stage, breaking a run of four successive first round losses in European Tour events.
The European Tour makes way for next week’s BetVictor World Matchplay and a trio of World Series events in August, held in Singapore, Perth and Sydney, before returning from September 5-7, when the seventh event of the year will be held in Sindelfingen, Germany.
European Darts Open
European Tour Event Six
Maritim Hotel, Dusseldorf
Sunday July 13
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Dave Chisnall
Gary Anderson 6-5 James Wade
Peter Wright 6-2 Andy Hamilton
Kevin Painter 6-2 Jamie Caven
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Gary Anderson
Peter Wright 6-5 Kevin Painter
Peter Wright 6-2 Simon Whitlock
All games are best of 11 legs
Final – Leg-by-Leg
Simon Whitlock v Peter Wright
0-1 – Wright is quickly into his stride as he hits scores of 140, 180 and 165 with his first three visits to the board, and he goes on to hit double two to hold throw.
0-2 – With the Australian struggling to find big scores, Wright capitalises to break throw on double 18, which included a 180 from the colourful Scot.
1-2 – Whitlock finds the double six bed with a pressure third dart to get his first leg on the board.
2-2 – The Australian hits a 180 and takes out a 51 finish on double 16 to level the contest.
2-3 – Whitlock hits a second 180 in as many legs before both players miss the bullseye for big finishes, and Wright returns to take the leg on double eight to complete a 14-darter as he regains the lead.
2-4 – Whitlock just misses double 16 for a 108 finish and Wright hits double top for a 13-darter to break throw.
2-5 – Wright lands a 117 checkout on double top after Whitlock was off-target on the same double for a 112 finish.
2-6 – Wright hits double 16 for a 14-dart finish to win his first European Tour title and claim the £20,000 first prize.
|Simon Whitlock||2-6||Peter Wright|
|1||Breaks of Throw||3|