Dutch Darts Masters - Final Day

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN delighted his home crowd with a brilliant performance to win the Dutch Darts Masters title with a 6-4 victory over Mervyn King as the European Tour event in Veldhoven concluded on Sunday evening.

The World Champion produced four ton-plus averages on the final day of the 100,000 pound tournament as he left Kevin Painter, Wes Newton, Brendan Dolan and Mervyn King defeated to claim the win.
His triumph, earning the 24-year-old a 20,000 first prize in the process, saw van Gerwen overcome King in yet another big final after defeating the same opponent in the 2012 World Grand Prix decider and in last year's Austrian Darts Open, as he picked up his first title since winning the World Championship on New Year's Day.
Van Gerwen had struggled with his finishing in the second round against Steve Maish on Saturday, but proved a different animal 24 hours later as he defeated Painter 6-2 in the last 16 and then overcame Newton 6-3 in the quarter-finals. A 6-4 semi-final win over Dolan, who led 2-1 early on but fell victim to a burst of four 180s in three legs from the Dutchman, put him into the decider against King, who had defied a back problem to battle into the final.

King had whitewashed young Belgian Dimitri van den Bergh in the last 32, and saw off Welshman Kevin Thomas in the third round on Sunday afternoon before edging past both Dave Chisnall and Ian White in 11-leg thrillers to reach the decider.

A high-quality final saw van Gerwen open with a 14-darter and then take out 144 - with King waiting on 40 - for a 12-dart leg to double his lead. Another 14-dart finish put van Gerwen 3-0 up before King traded 180s with the World Champion and took out 106 to get off the mark. The pair again swapped maximums in the fifth leg as double 16, for a 13-dart finish, gave van Gerwen a 4-1 cushion - but King roared back by winning the next three legs, including back-to-back 13-darters, to level the game. The ninth leg proved crucial as both players left two-dart finishes after only nine darts, with van Gerwen finishing a 12-dart leg to move 5-4 up before sealing victory in the next on double eight to complete a 64 finish.
Van Gerwen ended the final with a 108.80 average to King's 107.40, and added the Dutch Darts Masters title to two European Tour victories he picked up during 2013.

"This feels great," said van Gerwen, who lives only half an hour away from the NH Hotel Koningshof in Veldhoven which staged the event. "I've played so many tournaments in Holland over the last ten years but this is the biggest I've won here. The crowd were awesome and I loved the tournament, and it was a great final too. We both had to push ourselves to the limit and both Mervyn and myself were very good in the final, but that's what we had to do to win this tournament."
The Dutchman has won his opening two matches of the Betway Premier League Darts and now plays Dave Chisnall in Belfast on Thursday as he seeks to continue his winning run.
"I'll enjoy this win and have a couple of days of rest before I go to the Premier League in Belfast, and I'm really looking forward to it now," added van Gerwen. This win has given me even more confidence and I want to keep my good start to the Premier League going now."

King was forced to settle for the 8,000 runner-up prize as he lost in a third European Tour final inside 12 months, but was full of praise for his rival afterwards.

"Michael's a phenomenal player and he showed today why he deserves to be the World Champion and world number one," said King. "He's a great champion. I gave it everything I've got but he still made me look silly! He was too good today and he deserved to win."

Dolan had lost in last year's Dutch Darts Masters final to Kim Huybrechts in Veldhoven but was eliminated in the semi-finals this time around. The Northern Irish ace saw off Jarkko Komula in Sunday afternoon's third round before then having to come from 3-1 down to win 6-3 against Michael Mansell, his PDC World Cup team-mate, in what he described as, emotionally, his hardest ever game.
Stoke star White also reached the last four in another strong run of form, which included wins over Darren Webster and resurgent Dutchman Vincent van der Voort on the final day.
Mansell and van der Voort were joined in the last eight by Premier League Darts stars Newton and Chisnall, who had knocked out world number four Adrian Lewis in the third round.

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