Over the last few years, Peter Wright has been dubbed the nearly man in darts, reaching a string of major finals but always falling short. However, he now has his maiden title that he more than deserves after an 11-6 victory over Gerwyn Price in the final.
It was a fantastic weekend of darts, as early shocks and an open draw helped the drama at Minehead.
Michael Van Gerwen was ruled out through injury on Friday and with no Phil Taylor, Wright was installed as the second favourite. However, Gary Anderson was shocked in his opening match as Paul Hogan knocked him out on the main stage.
Friday also saw the exit of James Wade, as he felt the full force of open draws, as he was dispatched by fellow Premier League player Adrian Lewis.
However, Lewis fell to Hogan on Day 2, as the BDO player continued to shock the PDC stars.
Numerous players impressed, who often would not get the chance amongst the elite of the game. Finalist Price, was one of these, as he made by far his most impressive display in the PDC. Semi-finalists Daryl Gurney and Alan Norris both also weekends to remember. Gurney is a young player who has come a long way in the last few years and this will do him the world of good. Norris has done well in the non-TV events since moving to the PDC, but this was his first real deep run on the big stage.
However, the weekend was all about Wright. For the majority of the tournament, even in the final, he looked in complete control. He has come so far in the last three/four years and this was the highest point of his career. He hit the second highest TV average in history on Thursday in the Premier League and took this form into the weekend. The only moment where his first title ever looked in serious danger was in the quarter-finals against Raymond Van Barneveld. Barney broke to lead 8-7, but after a break in play Snakebite turned it round to win the match 10-8 and knock out his biggest threat.
The tournament as a whole was a brilliant advert for the game and some of the stars of the future in the sport. It had a different feel without MVG and the Power, as well as the other early shocks, but one where everyone felt they could win the tournament.
Van Gerwen will return to the sport as the favourite for the next event regardless of who won this weekend. However, this is Wright’s moment. His achievement shows that dedicating yourself to something means it is never too late to succeed. Will this be his first of many titles?
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