MICHAEL VAN GERWEN clinched his fourth successive Unibet Masters title with a thrilling comeback victory against Raymond Van Barneveld in Milton Keynes.
The world number one trailed his Dutch rival 8-5 but hit back to win 11-9 in Sunday’s final to continue his dominance in the battle of the PDC’s top 16.
Van Gerwen had seen off Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts on Saturday before impressive triumphs against James Wade and Gary Anderson on Sunday saw him reach the final.
The 28-year-old bounced back from his World Championship semi-final defeat by winning the first televised tournament of the 2018 season.
“I think this is the perfect start to the year,” said Van Gerwen. “I played a good tournament and hit some big averages against some great players.
“Everyone wants a good start to the year and I’ve started well.
“Raymond had a phenomenal tournament, he played well in the final and he didn’t give a lot away. When you give him a finger he takes your hand, but I’m glad that I fought back.
“I’m trying my best all the time and I want to win every tournament that I play in, so I’m really glad that I can take this trophy home.
“I had a big disappointment in the World Championship but you need to be strong,” he added. “I went on holiday and came back stronger and I’m really proud of myself. I’d like to have more days like this.”