MICHAEL VAN GERWEN stunned Phil Taylor with an amazing comeback from 6-3 down to win the Cash Converters Players Championship Finals title with an 11-7 triumph at the Butlins Minehead Resort on Sunday night.
The Dutch ace had entered the £250,000 event as the number one seed having topped the PDC ProTour Order of Merit with nine victories during 2013, and went on to claim his fourth major televised title in an incredible final. He trailed Taylor 6-3 before turning the game on its head in an incredible seven-leg burst which put him into a 10-6 advantage, hitting three 11-dart legs and a 110 finish to leave the World Champion rattled.
Taylor replied to win the 17th leg, but van Gerwen hit a 177 score to leave 24 in the next before hitting double 12 to complete a remarkable fightback. Van Gerwen had knocked out Jamie Lewis, Adrian Lewis, Wes Newton and Andy Hamilton on his way to the final, and ended six months without a tournament win as he repeated May’s Premier League triumph against
Taylor. It’s a great day in my life and an unbelievable night,” said van Gerwen. “To be ranked number one and to then win the tournament is fantastic, but to win like that against Phil is amazing. “You always need to play well against him because he’s won so many finals this year, but in the beginning of the game I struggled a bit and he was strong.
“If you want to beat Phil, you can’t afford to miss and I hit some important finishes. To beat Phil, Adrian, Wes and Andy – all top ten players – in one tournament and win the trophy says I’m a true champion. “I’m very happy because I’d lost in a couple of finals and people were talking about my performances, but I knew I had the game there so it’s great for me and for my confidence going into the World Championship – but first I’m going to enjoy this win because it means a lot to me.”
The final saw the opening four legs shared before Taylor hit double 16 to lead 3-2, broke with an 88 finish in the sixth leg and then landed double 16 again to move 5-2 up. Van Gerwen hit back in the eighth leg, but missed two darts to break throw in the next as Taylor posted double eight for a 6-3 lead. The Dutchman began his comeback by winning the tenth leg on double 16, and returned from the break to win the next five legs in a stunning session to put himself ahead, hitting legs of 12, 14 and 11 darts to lead 7-6, before taking out a 110 checkout and another 11-darter.
Taylor opened the 16th leg with a 180, only to see his opponent land four 140s and an 81 finish for another 11-dart finish as he moved 10-6 up, and though the Stoke ace landed another 177 and double 16 to take the next, a 177 from van Gerwen set up double 12 for the title.
Cash Converters Players Championship Finals ‘RESULTS’
Friday November 29
Afternoon Session (12.45pm)
Ian White 6-3 Ronnie Baxter
Kim Huybrechts 2-6 Terry Jenkins
Wes Newton 6-2 Andy Smith
Gary Anderson 6-5 Stuart Kellett
Brendan Dolan 6-5 Wayne Jones
Jamie Caven 6-3 Colin Lloyd
Peter Wright 6-2 Michael Smith
Steve Beaton 6-5 James Wade
John Part 5-6 Andy Hamilton
Simon Whitlock 4-6 Justin Pipe
Robert Thornton 6-4 Richie Burnett
Mervyn King 5-6 Raymond van Barneveld
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Kevin Painter
Paul Nicholson 2-6 Phil Taylor
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Jamie Lewis
Dave Chisnall 4-6 Jelle Klaasen
Saturday November 30
Afternoon Session (12.45pm)
Brendan Dolan 3-9 Andy Hamilton
Terry Jenkins2-9 Ian White
Jamie Caven 4-9 Justin Pipe
Steve Beaton 3-9 Wes Newton
Evening Session (7pm)
Jelle Klaasen 5-9 Gary Anderson
Robert Thornton 8-9 Raymond van Barneveld
Peter Wright 3-9 Phil Taylor
Michael van Gerwen 9-6 Adrian Lewis
Sunday December 1
Afternoon Session (12.45pm) Quarter-Finals
Michael van Gerwen 9-4 Wes Newton
Ian White 6-9 Andy Hamilton
Gary Anderson 7-9 Justin Pipe
Raymond van Barneveld 2-9 Phil Taylor
Evening Session (7pm)
Michael van Gerwen 10-5 Andy Hamilton
Justin Pipe 4-10 Phil TaylorSemi-Finals
Final Michael van Gerwen 11-7 Phil Taylor
Final – Michael van Gerwen v Phil Taylor
0-1 – Taylor finishes double 16 for a 14-darter to open the game.
1-1 – Both players open with 180s before van Gerwen holds throw to win the leg.
1-2 – Taylor finishes tops to move back in front.
2-2 – Taylor scores 121 and 180 but is waiting on 40 as van Gerwen takes out 84 to level.
2-3 – Taylor opens with 140 and 180, with van Gerwen hitting a 177 but unable to take out 148 as the reigning champion hits double 16.
2-4 – Taylor kicks off the leg with a 171 score – hitting treble 20, treble 19 and treble 18 – before finishing 88 on double seven to break for the first time.
2-5 – Double 16 gives Taylor a three-leg advantage.
3-5 – van Gerwen hits a 180 and lands double four to hit back.
3-6 – Taylor hits a 174 score, but initially misses two darts at double 16, only for van Gerwen to miss double 12 and double six to break throw as the Stoke ace returns to pin double eight.
4-6 – van Gerwen replies to cut the gap to two legs on double 16.
5-6 – Taylor opens with a 180, but van Gerwen replies with a maximum and then scores 140 and 165 before completing a 12-darter on double four to break for the first time.
6-6 – van Gerwen hits a 174 score to leave 71, and takes out the finish in two darts on double 16 to level.
7-6 – Taylor lands a 180 to leave 100 and van Gerwen matches his maximum to leave 42, and when the reigning champion is unable to take out the finish, the Dutch ace takes a fourth successive leg on double 16.
8-6 – van Gerwen leaves Taylor visibly rattled, winning another leg by taking out 110.
9-6 – van Gerwen hits a 180 and takes out 81 on double 12 to claim a sixth straight leg.
10-6 – Taylor lands a 177, but van Gerwen lands three 140s before finishing 81 again for back-to-back 11-dart finishes.
10-7 – Taylor opens with another 177 score, and hits double 16 to win his first leg in eight.
11-7 – van Gerwen lands a 177 of his own to leave 24, and takes out double 12 to win the title with a 14-darter.
|Michael van Gerwen||11-7||Phil Taylor|
|3||Breaks of Throw||1|
|11/20 – 55%||Checkout %||7/12 – 58%|