Peter Wright produced a breathtaking display to whitewash Michael van Gerwen and win the HappyBet European Darts Grand Prix at the Glaspalast in Sindelfingen, completing a European Tour treble.
In a re-run of the 2016 European Darts Grand Prix final, Wright proved too hot to handle as averaged just under 105 and landed 75% of his doubles as he reversed the result on his way to a third European Tour title in just four events this year.
A brilliant 11-dart-leg kicked things off for Wright, as he broke the Dutchman’s throw to gain a crucial early advantage.
The Scot then capitalised on the first Van Gerwen mistake as he went inside on double 16, allowing Wright to land 52 for a 2-0 lead, and despite landing two maximums in the third leg, the world number one’s trouble on double 16 continued as he missed twice more.
Nevertheless, he wasn’t expecting what came next – a truly incredible 161 checkout from Wright to break once more and raise the roof of the 3,000 seater arena!
That hurt Van Gerwen, and Wright quickly moved 4-0 ahead before seizing on another missed dart to break for a third time and step into a 5-0 lead.
The world number three then landed a beautiful 170 score to set up a 31 checkout in leg six, before taking out the finish to scoop the £25,000 first prize.
“You have got to be lucky sometimes,” joked Wright. “It has taken a long time to learn how to save your best game to last, as Michael has done in the past. Luckily I am now able to do that.
“Beating Michael is always special. He wasn’t up to his normal game and missed a few doubles but I punished him. I want to be the world number one and that is what you have to do, punish mistakes.”
Wright had played stunning darts throughout the tournament, and started the final day by brushing aside Daryl Gurney 6-4 in the third round.
In the quarter-finals he faced Jan Dekker, who was enjoying his best run on the European Tour and had displayed expert finishing throughout – but Wright’s scoring power was too strong in a 6-2 victory.
Standing in his way of the final was Jelle Klaasen, with the Dutchman having maintained his record of reaching the final four in every European Tour event so far this year.
Again Wright was clinical on his doubles, and raced into a 4-1 lead with two early breaks, before closing out victory to maintain his nine-game unbeaten run against the Dutchman.
Van Gerwen’s route to the final on Sunday started with a comfortable 6-2 third round victory over Finnish debutant Ulf Ceder, before beating compatriot Benito van de Pas 6-1 in the quarter-finals.
In a breathtaking semi-final, the Dutchman was staring defeat in the face against the in-form Dave Chisnall.
After Van Gerwen stretched into a 4-2 lead with a beautiful 146 checkout, Chisnall found his groove and clinched three legs in a row to turn the tie in his favour at 5-4.
But the world number one dug deep in the deciding leg to capitalise on some slack darts from Chisnall – who hit a single one with his first dart when needing 100 for the match – to break and reach a 20th European Tour final.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Chisnall, who had seen off Adrian Lewis in the third round before blowing away Rob Cross in the quarter-finals, a game where he missed double 12 for a nine-dart finish.
Arugably the checkout of the tournament came in at the quarter-final stage as Klaasen showed nerves of steel against Joe Cullen.
With Cullen leading 4-3 and missing double 16 to open up a two-leg advantage, Klaasen landed a stunning 170 checkout to break throw and level the game in a huge moment, before taking victory in a decider.
Dekker won through to his first European Tour quarter-final with a 6-4 third round win over Kim Huybrechts, while Cross impressed with a 103 average in his 6-1 third round win over Steve West as he continued his strong start to life as a full-time professional.
Austria’s Mensur Suljovic was defeated by Cullen in the deciding leg of their third round tie, while Welsh pair Gerwyn Price and Mark Webster reached the last 16.