FIVE IN A ROW AS VAN GERWEN CLAIMS BETVICTOR MASTERS TITLE
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN claimed an incredible fifth successive triumph at the BetVictor Masters with an 11-5 win over James Wade in Sunday's final in Milton Keynes.
The Dutchman is now unbeaten in 20 matches since the tournament's move to the Marshall Arena in 2015, having swept through the world's top 16 to take the 60,000 pound top prize.
On his return to action following victory in the World Championship final on New Year's Day, Van Gerwen had seen off Jonny Clayton to begin his challenge on Friday.
He then overcame Mensur Suljovic 10-5 in Sunday afternoon's quarter-finals and landed finishes of 170 and 141 in an 11-7 semi-final defeat of Dave Chisnall.
Van Gerwen fired in another maximum 170 checkout during the final as he denied 2014 champion Wade a second Masters title.
"I'm really pleased," said Van Gerwen. "It's a great venue for me and this is a tournament I love, so I'm delighted.
"I didn't play phenomenally in this tournament and there's more in the tank, but I'm hoping this is going to be the start of another good year.
"The tour gets more difficult every year and I'm trying to get better all the time. You want to be strong here to start the year well and give yourself confidence, and I've done that."
He added: "James did well to reach the final. He deserves a lot of credit because I think a lot of people underestimate him."
The pair shared the opening six legs, but Van Gerwen landed his second 124 finish of the game as he claimed four straight legs to move 7-3 up.
An 11-darter saw Wade hit back as he claimed two of the next three, but Van Gerwen pounced with a 70 finish to move 10-5 up before sealing glory on double eight.
Wade's run to the final saw him follow up Saturday's defeat of Gerwyn Price with a comeback from 4-0 down to defeat Joe Cullen in the quarter-finals.
He also battled back from 9-7 down in the semis against Peter Wright to claim an 11-9 victory, but was unable to claim a third TV title inside four months as Van Gerwen proved too strong in the decider.
"I take my hat off to Michael - he did the job and was quality," said Wade. "He gave me so many opportunities and I played really poorly in the final.
"There's still a lot more to come from me. I've got to the final and that shows what I've got to come."
Chisnall landed ten 180s in his superb 10-4 win over Stephen Bunting in the quarter-finals, while Wright was a 10-6 winner against World Championship finalist Michael Smith in the last eight.