Kyle Anderson claimed his maiden PDC title at Players Championship 17, with both the Australian and Jamie Lewis hitting nine-dart finishes on a fascinating day in Barnsley.
The Australian, who had made semi-finals on six previous occasions on the PDC ProTour, finally got over the line defeating Kevin Painter – playing in his first final for almost four years – 6-2 in the final.
The decider began with Anderson in scintillating form, taking out 148 for an early break and setting the tone for the rest of the encounter, with back-to-back two-dart 64 finishes giving him another break and a commanding 3-0 lead.
The gap was to widen further as the 29-year-old from Perth took out another ton-plus finish, this time 108 on tops, for a 4-0 advantage.
The Australian followed that with another break of throw, first missing double 14 for a second 148 finish before eventually finding the same target on the next visit.
Anderson then looked set to complete an impressive whitewash win by opening with two 180s in the sixth leg before Painter took out 128 on the bull to get his first leg on the board.
The Englishman then followed that with a convincing hold of throw, checking out 52 on double ten to extend the contest further.
The eighth leg was to be the final one of the match though as Anderson wrapped up a 6-2 win and claimed his first PDC title.
“Today it all came together. I said to myself, I have to take the chances I make for myself and today I took my chance,” said Anderson.
“I’ve never doubted myself – everybody on the tour can do what I did today and it’s the ones who don’t get nervous who come through in the end.
“This is not a one off, I have to win again, there has to be more!”
The world number 29, who is based in Nottingham and has to spend the majority of the year without his wife Tara and son Charles, also spoke of how having them around for the last five weeks has benefitted him.
“My boy was with me and I feel comfortable,” he added. “It’s been so good to see him and I can’t wait to see him again. Having them around has made it so much easier recently.”
The day began for the Australian with a commanding 6-3 victory over Tony Newell, before needing an 11th-leg decider to overcome Nathan Aspinall.
The last 32 saw Anderson brush Ryan Meikle aside, coming through 6-1 before going on to achieve a perfect leg in his 6-3 win over Ronny Huybrechts.
The quarter-finals saw Anderson beat Stephen Bunting 6-3 to progress in to the last four, where he overcame Michael Smith 6-3 to set up the decider with Painter.
Painter, a former World Championship finalist, was looking to win his first PDC title since the 2011 Players Championship finals and began his route to the final with a 6-2 win over Mike De Decker.
A brace of 6-4 wins over Vincent van der Voort and another nine-dart hero, Jamie Lewis, followed as Painter progressed in to the last 16, where he saw off Mervyn King with a 6-2 win.
Gerwyn Price provided Painter with his toughest pre-final test, taking the 50-year-old to a decider, where he had to survive missed match darts from the Welshman.
A scrappy 6-3 win over Jermaine Wattimena meant Painter would face Anderson in the final, but it was to be the Australian who would end his run as the highest ranked player without a PDC title.
Painter’s progression to the final, earning him £6,000 in prize money, improves his chances of securing qualification for the William Hill World Darts Championship through the ProTour Order of Merit, having dropped to 45th in the world rankings.
Smith’s run to the semi-finals was a welcome return to form following his first round exit at the BetVictor World Matchplay, and boosts the former World Youth Champion ahead of his World Series of Darts debut in New Zealand and Australia over the coming weeks.
Wattimena enjoyed a run to his second Players Championship semi-final of the year, while Welsh ace Lewis landed a nine-darter in his second round win over John Part.