Mighty Michael van Gerwen completed a near-perfect defence of his UK Open crown after he followed a last four triumph over Phil Taylor with a final defeat of Peter Wright to lift the trophy at Minehead.
The Dutch ace continued his dominant start to the 2016 season, hitting a nine-dart-finish to add a bonus £10k prize money to his £60k winner’s cheque.
van Gerwen, who sits top of the Premier League – in which he recently smashed the record for highest televised average (123.4) – and has already won the Masters, added to his ever-growing collection of major titles with a comfortable glory charge in the unique event, which is famous for its open and unseeded draw.
“I’m very happy to take this title again,” said van Gerwen, the world number one. “I’m doing pretty well at the moment. Peter (Wright) and Phil (Taylor) also played fantastic darts but I am managing to find my best darts when I really need them and punish any mistakes from my opponents.
“I really want to keep this going because I want to win everything I play in. I know that is not always possible because there are more good players around than ever before but I am hungry to keep winning trophies.
“It has been a fantastic start to the year after a disappointing World Championship and a special few days here. I’ve had four 170s and a nine-darter but the most important thing is that I am still the UK Open Champion.”
van Gerwen had seen off Ryan Harrington, Rob Cross and Kim Huybrechts to reach the quarter-finals, where he defeated amateur qualifier Barry Lynn to set-up a semi-final showdown with Taylor.
The Dutch ace prevailed 10-6 after trailing 4-1 before coasting to a 10-3 victory in the decider against Wright, who he had also beat in the Premier League on Thursday and in last year’s UK Open final when van Gerwen won the event for the first time.