Gerwyn Price – More Than Just the Muscle
Becoming a major winner in darts is a quest that many thousands of dart players have attempted in search of the holy grail in becoming crowned a major champion.
The overall talents needed for these extremely rare individuals are common across the board, yet put together in such varying ways that the mind boggles in to what truly makes a major winner.
Gezzy “The Iceman” Price is arguably the most successful dart player on the planet when taking into consideration his level of experience and speed of his success, especially during a period of darts that has seen standards rocket through the domination of Michael van Gerwen, who has set new benchmarks for the sport, much like Tiger Woods did in golf. It’s now players like Gezzy who are changing the face of the game in their own way and competing as true major contenders in every event.
Much has been said of Gezzy’s success being down to his rugby experience, but this is too easy an analogy to accept in its simplest form because darts has never had any cross discipline major champion before like Gerwyn.
Before securing his PDC Tour Card at his first attempt in 2014, Gezzy had barely started playing darts with friends in the pub, but it was Welsh darts legend Barrie Bates that spotted Gezzy’s early talent and said “Gezzy came out of nowhere and just started playing darts now and again in-between rugby training and matches, but his natural talent was breath-taking from day one and just got better and better the more he played”.
It was Barrie that encouraged Price to try Q-school and the rest is history, but it’s Gezzy’s tremendous success in such a short space of time that stands him out as potentially the best player on the planet.
Gezzy secured his first ever televised appearance in his debut year, which was the 2015 World Championships, where he lost a very tight game to Peter Wright 0-3. From this encounter Peter immediately saw the immense talent that Gezzy possessed, knowing that the 0-3 score line was not a true reflection of how the game played out.
Gezzy’s first televised win came against Michael Smith in the 2015 World Matchplay, soon after this win he scooped his first ever Players Championship title in 2016, rapidly following up with another Players Championship title 3 weeks later.
Already a TV regular by 2016, it took Gezzy until 2017 to reach a televised major final where again he came out second best to Peter Wright, who himself claimed his first ever major TV title at the 2017 UK Open.
Gezzy’s meteoric rise secured him the No.1 spot for Wales, where Gezzy headed to the PDC World Cup of Darts with Mark Webster, narrowly losing in the final against the Netherlands featuring a dominant Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld.
It was this stellar run that saw Gezzy nominated for the Premier League in 2018, which to most was a sign that the Iceman had finally made it. However, Gezzy was soon to learn that the Premier League was no place for the faint hearted, where he struggled throughout the event, eventually finishing in last place.
However, it was to be a vital learning experience for the passionate Welshman, who on later consideration learnt immensely about the mental attitude required to play the best in the business week-in week-out and not moaning about travelling and other factors every week, a dream for thousands of regular dart fans.
Gezzy’s ability to learn in the context of losing is what shaped him for the next stage of his career where in the same year as his Premier League disappointment, he bounced back to go on and pick up the 2018 Grand Slam of Darts title, his first ever TV major win. It was Gezzy’s self-belief that had changed where previously he thought he could compete in every game, he now knew he could beat anyone.
Gezzy’s tremendous will to win and passion to play has seen him in hot water several times, with fines racking up from the DRA and social media outbursts at some of his antics, but such is Gezzy’s ability to reflect after his competitive fire has dropped, it sees him always doing the right thing as both a man and out of respect for every player.
The ability to win a single major is never in doubt for any player, and enough to boast as a great career, so to defend a major shows ability at the very highest level. It is this ability matched with technique and desire that has seen the Iceman rock the establishment of the sport. Although much of this may be self-proclaimed from Gerwyn, many pundits, fans and experts throughout the sport also believe that when on form, Price is the very best dart player on the planet.
Among Gezzy’s most highlighted attributes are his physical prowess, compared to players in a sport that previously took scant notice of this ability but since Gezzy’s acceleration in the sport we now see a bigger wave of younger, fitter and hungry major seeking players.
Like the Iceman, the game of darts is in great shape and unlike many sports in the World a player can rise from obscurity to major champion in the space of four years with the right will, determination and talent to succeed.