SUPERB VAN GERWEN'S DUTCH DARTS MASTERS TREBLE
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN won his third successive Dutch Darts Masters title with a brilliant 6-2 defeat of Daryl Gurney in Sunday's European Tour decider in Venray as the Northern Irish ace reached his first PDC final.
World number one van Gerwen, who won five European Tour events in 2015, took the 25,000 pound first prize to open this year's ten-tournament season in style in front of over 4,000 fans at the Evenementenhal.
The Dutch hero had defeated John Henderson in Saturday's second round before seeing off Justin Pipe, Dave Chisnall and Mervyn King on his way to the final, landing a 170 checkout in his semi-final defeat of King.
However, he saved his best display of the weekend for the final as he stormed past Gurney 6-2 with a 112.26 average.
Van Gerwen kicked off the final with a stunning 152 checkout, with Gurney levelling with a 180 and a 116 finish only to see the Dutchman reel off five 180s in three legs as he fired in legs of 13, 11 and 12 darts to move 4-1 up.
Tops for a 14-darter saw van Gerwen move to the brink of victory, and though Gurney responded with double eight for a 14-dart finish, van Gerwen landed another maximum to set up tops for a 13-darter and the title.
"It feels incredible," said van Gerwen. "It's fantastic for myself and for the home crowd, and in the final I played good darts. I hope I can carry this on for the rest of the season but I'm playing well and I'm very pleased with this performance. I want to win as many tournaments as possible and I showed today that I was the best in this tournament."
Gurney's run to a first PDC final earned him 10,000 pound prize money as he moved into the world's top 32 for the first time, after he impressed with some superb displays throughout the Dutch Darts Masters.
The Northern Irish qualifier began Sunday's action with a 105 average as he knocked out Betway Premier League star Peter Wright, before he bettered that with nine 180s and a 106.84 average in a 6-4 quarter-final win over world number three Adrian Lewis.
He then dropped just one leg against Austrian ace Suljovic in the semi-finals, but found the world number one too strong in the decider.
"I'm happy just to get to the final and I lost to the best player in the world," said Gurney. "I take my hat off to him because he's the best day-in, day-out."
Suljovic's run to the last four saw him reach that stage for a second successive European Tour event, while King booked his semi-final spot in incredible style by coming from 5-0 down to defeat Dutch youngster Benito van de Pas.
Lewis, Chisnall and van de Pas were joined in the quarter-finals by resurgent Simon Whitlock, with the Australian returning to top form after opting to start wearing glasses whilst playing at the turn of the year.