Gary Anderson won his first title of 2017 in brilliant fashion by defeating Peter Wright 6-1 in the final of Players Championship Two, where Adrian Lewis landed a nine-dart finish.
Two-time World Champion Anderson has enjoyed a strong start to the year, reaching the finals of the William Hill World Darts Championship, Unibet Masters and two Coral UK Open Qualifiers.
He ended his wait for a victory in emphatic fashion as he scooped the £10,000 first prize in Sunday’s 128-player event at the Barnsley Metrodome.
Anderson dropped just five legs in his opening three matches as he overcame Brendan Dolan, Berry van Peer and Steve West, before a 6-4 win over Benito van de Pas put the world number two into the quarter-finals.
There, he defeated former World Youth Champion Michael Smith 6-1 before then losing only two legs in a superb semi-final win over Jelle Klaasen.
Anderson saved another impressive display for world number three Wright in the final, racing into an early 4-0 lead as he punished his rival’s miss in the opener on double ten before taking out 90 on the bull and back-to-back 12-darters.
Wright hit back with a 76 finish – after Anderson missed double 14 for a 121 finish – but the Somerset-based ace would not be denied as he landed a third 180 in an 11-darter before adding another maximum as double six secured a 6-1 victory.
Top seed Wright was aiming to follow up his three victories in UK Open Qualifiers with a fourth tournament victory of the month, but had to settle for the £6,000 runner-up cheque.
The Scot enjoyed a see-saw ride throughout the day, whitewashing Ricky Williams in his opening game and losing only one leg against Jamie Caven and Daryl Gurney respectively, but also being taken to a deciding leg by Vincent van der Voort, Cristo Reyes and James Wade.
Gurney produced some excellent darts on his way to the semi-finals in his best run since he reached the last eight at the World Championship.
Klaasen, meanwhile, overcame Dutch compatriot Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 in the quarter-finals on his way to a second semi-final of February.
Wade, Smith and Van Barneveld were joined in the quarter-finals by Robert Owen, the Bridgend-based thrower who defeated Stephen Bunting, Saturday’s runner-up Peter Jacques, Rob Cross and Stuart Kellett in his best-ever run on the PDC circuit.
Austria’s Zoran Lerchbacher, youngsters Ted Evetts and David Pallett, Belgium’s Ronny Huybrechts, Terry Temple and Kellett all won through to the last 16, alongside Dutchman Van de Pas and Spain’s Reyes.
Saturday’s Players Championship One winner Alan Norris was a third round victim in his bid to complete a ProTour double, losing out to Temple 6-3 in the last 32.
Two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis landed a perfect nine-dart leg during his first round tie with John Henderson – the eighth on the PDC circuit this month – but lost out 6-3 as the Scot progressed.
The next Players Championship weekend will be held on March 11-12 at the Barnsley Metrodome.