The top 16 players in the world produced some outstanding darts at the MK Arena. The competition was fierce in the first major tournament since the world championships. The standard was at times staggering. Michael Van Gerwen lifted the trophy for the second time in succession. While other players will look back at the weekend with a mixture of pride, and regret.
Van Gerwen put in the best display of the whole competition in the opening round. Averaging 112, in a 10-1 victory over former Lakeside world champion Stephen Bunting. The World number one had set the bar for the rest of the players. Michael Smith faced Raymond Van Barneveld in the opening round. Barney defeated Smith at the world championships just last month. Smith would gain his revenge in Milton Keynes. He came out a 10-7 winner.
In another rematch from the worlds, Phil Taylor was up against Jelle Klaasen. Taylor was desperate to avenge his loss at the worlds and challenge for this title. Taylor was the victor on this occasion, winning 10-6 with a 102 average. Peter Wright looked good in his 10-7 victory over Ian White. Wright has threatened to win a major for a long time. Many people believed that this could be his time at the masters.
There was a big upset when world champion Gary Anderson was sent packing by Vincent Van Der Voort. The Dutchman was superb, finishing with a ton average in a 10-7 victory. Anderson will have to wait until next year to claim his first masters title. Dave Chisnall somehow came back from 8-0 down against Robert Thornton. Neither man were at their best. Chisnall won a last leg decider to book his place in the quarter-finals. Thornton will still be kicking himself!
Kim Huybrechts produced another shock, by defeating world number three Adrian Lewis. Lewis looked out of sorts, and Huybrechts took full advantage. It is a big year for Huybrechts, if he is to push on and join the elite of the game. James Wade produced a steady performance in defeating Terry Jenkins, 10-8. The elimination of Gary Anderson had opened up the draw, and given Wade a great chance to progress further in the competition.
Michael Van Gerwen was sublime once again. This time averaging 105 in defeating Michael Smith, 10-3. Smith wasn’t at his best, he was given few chances by MVG. Van Gerwen was at the top of his game, which was ominous for all the other players. Phil Taylor and Peter Wright produced a thriller. Both men averaged 104. It went down to the last leg, and it would be Taylor who went through to the next round. He produced moments of brilliance when he needed it.
Vincent Van Der Voort couldn’t produce the goods for the second game running as he was knocked out of the competition by Dave Chisnall. Chisnall was superb, averaging 104 in a 10-4 win. Chisnall would face James Wade in the semi-final. Wade booked his place there with a 10-5 victory over Kim Huybrechts. Neither man played anywhere near their best. Wade has made a living out of taking advantage of his opponents mistakes, and he did so again to reach yet another major semi-final.
Taylor against Van Gerwen, The master against the apprentice. The two most successful players ever in the PDC. This had all the makings of a great game, and it didn’t disappoint. Taylor led for most of the game, only for MVG to come back and snatch it at the death. Taylor missed seven darts at a double to win, allowing Van Gerwen to secure the last leg, and book his place in the final. It was an unbelievable game, with both players averaging 103. There was very little to separate them in the end. Taylor will be disappointed, but this performance should give him confidence for the rest of the year.
Dave Chisnall was still on track to win his first major title. In his way was seven-times major winner James Wade. It was a fantastic chance for both players to reach the final. Wade was always playing catch up in this game. Chisnall’s power scoring was too much in the end (12 180’s in 17 legs), as he ran out the 11-6 winner. He was into his fourth major final, and looking to pick up his first major title. It had been a good weekend for James Wade, but if he is to once again win major titles, he will need to improve his game.
The final saw Van Gerwen, looking to add to his recent dominance of PDC majors. Against Dave Chisnall, looking to win his first major title. Neither man was at the very top of their game, which is understandable considering this was the third game each for both men, in the same day. Van Gerwen took control early on, racing to a 5-0 lead. There was no way back then on for Chisnall. It ended 11-6. Van Gerwen walked away with yet another title. Chisnall would have to wait a little longer for the chance to win his first major. Can anyone stop MVG dominating in the coming year?