MICHAEL VAN GERWEN began his defence of the Unibet Premier League Darts title with a comfortable victory over reigning World Champion Rob Cross in Dublin on Thursday.
Van Gerwen met Cross for the first time since the Hastings thrower defeated the world number one in the semi-finals of the World Championship in December – and the Dutchman gained some revenge with a dominant display.
Three 114 checkouts helped Van Gerwen to a 7-2 success on the opening night of the 2018 season – as he followed up last weekend’s Masters glory with another win.
He said: “It’s a phenomenal start to the season for me. I’ve got a lot of confidence at the moment and I can build on this.
“It doesn’t matter how you win a game as long as you win, and this is a good two points for me. It wasn’t my best performance but I did enough to win, and a 7-2 win over Rob Cross is a good start.
“Everything was new for Rob and this is totally different to any other tournament, but there’s a long way to go in the season yet.”
Van Gerwen is set to compete in this weekend’s UK Open Qualifiers in Wigan before the Premier League continues in Cardiff next Thursday, where he meets Peter Wright in a repeat of last year’s final.