MICHAEL VAN GERWEN produced a breathtaking final performance against Michael Smith to retain the Unibet Premier League Darts title at London’s O2 on Thursday.
The world number one, who had seen off World Champion Rob Cross 10-6 in the semi-final, turned on the style in the decider to triumph 11-4.
The Dutchman produced the highest average of the season – a stunning 112.37 – as he picked up the trophy for the third consecutive year and fourth time in total.
“I think I played a phenomenal game,” said Van Gerwen, who hit seven 180s in the final.
“I know I had a big job to do to win the game but I was focused on doing something extra – I wanted to break the world record average but I fell just short.
“There was a lot of pressure on me to perform but I think I coped with it well and ran out a deserved winner.
“I had to be at my best to beat Michael, he is one of the big boys now.
“It means a lot to me to win this tournament, I had to work hard for this over the last 16 weeks and to win it again is amazing.”
Van Gerwen’s victory saw him continue his remarkable record in the tournament, with four triumphs in his six attempts – having reached the final and topped the table in all six of those campaigns.
The title is his 12th tournament victory of 2018 from the 16 events he has played in.