TREBLE FOR VAN GERWEN IN HAPPYBET GERMAN DARTS MASTERS
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN won the HappyBet German Darts Masters for a third successive year as he defeated Jelle Klaasen 6-2 in Easter Monday's final in Jena.
The World Champion had been in scintillating form throughout the Easter tournament, averaging over 100 in each of his four games as he won through to the final, which culminated in a demolition job of his Dutch rival in the final.
Van Gerwen kicked things off with an 11-dart leg as he took out 93 for the lead, before punishing three misses from Klaasen to double his lead with a break of throw before tops moved him halfway to further European Tour glory.
Klaasen got off the mark in leg four as he capitalised on two missed darts at double 12 from Van Gerwen to take out 80 and get his first leg on the board.
The pair then traded legs before Van Gerwen took out 100 to complete an 11-darter which moved him on the brink of victory.
The 27-year-old landed his third 180 of the match to open leg eight, before landing tops to scoop the 25,000 pound top prize with his 15th European Tour win.
"It's lovely," said Van Gerwen. "I think I played phenomenally here in Jena - I had two games of 110 average and one game of 108, you can't really as for any more.
"When you play this well it feels great, but I've worked really hard for this and I make a lot of sacrifices, so I'm really glad it paid off.
"I love what I do and I love to perform for the great crowds like we have here in Germany."
After a 110 average in his second round destruction of John Michael on Sunday, the world number one improved on this with a 110.78 average and some clinical finishing as he beat Cristo Reyes to reach the quarter-finals.
Next he faced old nemesis Raymond van Barneveld, but showed no signs of nerves as he stormed into the last four with another impressive 105.23 average, and a clinical 75% checkout rate - including two huge checkouts of 114 and 164
Standing in his way of a place in the final was the in-form Simon Whitlock, but the Australian could do little more than watch as he struggled to contain the Dutchman in a 6-2 defeat.
And Van Gerwen was again at his best as he fired three 180s and another 107.33 average against Klaasen to take his tournament average up to 106 as he secured his 15th European Tour title, bouncing back from his loss to Peter Wright in the recent HappyBet German Darts Championship final in perfect fashion.
It was a good weekend for Klaasen as he picked up the 10,000 pound runner-up prize with a run to his second European Tour final.
Having struggled throughout his Betway Premier League campaign with a wrist injury, he posted some impressive results - coming from 5-2 down to beat Jeffrey de Graaf 6-5 in his third round clash to reach the final session.
In the quarter-finals, he saw off a resilient Kyle Anderson 6-4 before overcoming world number five James Wade 6-3 in the semi-finals.
Wade - a European Tour winner in Hamburg last year - will be disappointed not to have reached the final, having overcome the in-form Peter Wright 6-3 in the quarter-finals.
Michael Smith and Kim Huybrechts were the other two players to reach the last eight, before falling to Whitlock and Van Barneveld respectively.