Cool Hand Luke Claims Pro Tour Double
World Number 6 Luke Humphries made it 2 wins on the 2023 PDC Pro Tour, after beating Dutch international Kevin Doets 8-6 in the Final of Players Championship 20 at the Barnsley Metrodome.
The Red Dragon player included a perfect 9 dart finish en route to his second Players Championship victory of the year, in beating Andy Boulton in his opening match of the day, putting a statement out to the rest of the PDC field. The Newbury born player has also claimed 2 victories on the PDC European Tour whilst also reaching the Semi Finals at the Winter Gardens in 2023.
Cool Hand Luke won Players Championship 15 in Leicester back in July, where he defeated Dave Chisnall in the Final in a last leg decider. The Englishman moves £38,000 of recent World Matchplay champion Nathan Aspinall in 5th in the current PDC Rankings, with another Players Championship coming up live on PDC TV on Tuesday to complete the triple header.
Humphries opened his Players Championship 20 campaign with a 6-3 victory over non-Tour Card holder Andy Boulton, before finding his second 99+ average of the day in his Second-Round win over former Red Dragon Champion of Champions winner Jim Williams, defeating the Welshman 6-4.
The 28-year-old continued into the Last 32 at the Barnsley Metrodome, scoring 99+ again in his 6-4 victory over 2022 Challenge Tour Number 1 Scott Williams.
The Red Dragon player hit his first ton plus score of the day in the Last 16, averaging 102.70 in a 6-4 win over Players Championship 1 winner Ryan Searle.
A difficult test awaited in the Quarter Finals as Luke would face reigning World Champion Michael Smith, who came through a high quality Fourth Round battle with Josh Rock as both players averaged over 106 in a 6-3 victory for Bully Boy.
Humphries came out a 6-2 winner over the World Number 1, scoring 99.79 before producing his best performance of the day to heavily defeat Players Championship 19 winner Callan Rydz 7-1 in Barnsley, averaging an impressive 107.14.
The World Number 6 was pushed all the way in the Final against Dutch international Kevin Doets, finding double tops first dart, to claim an 8-6 victory in the Final. Doets impressed on Monday at Pro Tour Event 20, including a 170 checkout in his Semi Final victory over Mike de Decker whilst beating Mervyn King, Ross Smith, and Gabriel Clemens earlier in the day.
Elsewhere there were impressive runs from Winmau duo Florian Hempel and former UK Open Champion Danny Noppert, as both players reached the Last 16 of Players Championship 20.
The Final Pro Tour starts from midday on Tuesday live on PDC TV, for the final instalment of the Players Championship triple header in Barnsley, with Luke Humphries and Callan Rydz so far claiming Event wins.
By Harry Masterson
Players Championship 20: Results
Kevin Doets 6-5 Ross Smith
Gabriel Clemens 6-5 Cameron Menzies
Jermaine Wattimena 6-0 Jules van Dongen
Mike de Decker 6-4 Danny Noppert
Callan Rydz 6-3 Florian Hempel
Rob Cross 6-5 Stephen Bunting
Luke Humphries 6-4 Ryan Searle
Michael Smith 6-3 Josh Rock
Kevin Doets 6-1 Gabriel Clemens
Mike de Decker 6-3 Jermaine Wattimena
Callan Rydz 6-5 Rob Cross
Luke Humphries 6-2 Michael Smith
Kevin Doets 7-5 Mike de Decker
Luke Humphries 7-1 Callan Rydz
Luke Humphries 8-6 Kevin Doets
Image courtesy of the PDC