Heroic Humphries Wins Maiden Major Crown
Luke Humphries found his first PDC major title after beating Gerwyn Price 5-2 in the Final of the 2023 World Grand Prix at the Morningside Arena. Cool Hand Luke claims £120,000 in prize money, to move up to fourth in the PDC Order of Merit.
"I've imagined this moment for my whole career - it's very emotional. Regardless of anything else I've done in my career, that was the greatest game I've ever played in my life.â€_x009d_
This has been overdue for a player who has impressed massively in particular on the PDC European Tour, picking up 4 titles last year before retaining the European Darts Matchplay this year to make it 5, beating Dirk van Duijvenbode 8-7 in the Final.
The 28-year-old had laid down a marker coming into the Final, whitewashing Joe Cullen 4-0 on Saturday night in the Semi Finals, whilst staging a fantastic comeback to fight from a 2-0 deficit to beat Peter Wright 3-2 in the Quarters.
Gerwyn Price started the brighter in the Final, taking the opening set without reply from his opponent including a 76 finish on tops to break the throw in the second leg.
Humphries though responded well after the break, including consecutive 180s followed by a 109 finish on double 16 to earn his first leg of the Final. The Newbury born player went on to take the second set and level the match, breaking throw in the fourth leg at the Morningside Arena.
The Englishman kicked on in the third mini session in Leicester, setting up double 18 with a score of 134, before returning to pin the double first dart and lead 2-1 against the 2020 winner. Luke took the fourth set without reply including a 69 finish to break throw in the second leg, moving withing 2 sets of the title.
Cool Hand Luke went on to find the highest checkout of the 2023 World Grand Prix, pinning the bullseye for a 170 finish to break in the opening leg of the 5th set. Price instantly broke back with a ton plus checkout of his own, finding 117 to level at 1-1.
The Iceman proceeded to hold throw in both legs to reduce the deficit to just one set, going into the fourth break 3-2 behind.
Humphries started the 6th set with an impressive 96 finish on double 18, before clinching a last leg decider on throw to move 4-2 ahead in the Final.
The Red Dragon player wrapped up his first major televised success with 2 treble 19s and double 12, completing a 138 finish, a break of throw and a 5-2 victory over Gerwyn Price in the 2023 World Grand Prix Final.
"That 138 is probably one of the best shots I've ever seen in my career, let alone [to win] the title. If I didn't hit that, we go off to the break and Gezzy feels that he's back in the game.â€_x009d_
The Englishman averaged 99.86 in a very impressive display in the Final, including 8 180s and 3 ton plus checkouts on Sunday night.
"I couldn't have picked a better ending for my first major title. I think a lot of people wrote me off tonight, they thought Gezzy would steamroll me, but I've got a bit of bottle about me, I have got the ability to play well.â€_x009d_
"As much as I played well, that was a great final and I think Gezzy played his part there. He was a massive part of such a great game and credit goes to him."
Luke moves up to fourth on the PDC Order of Merit ahead of the Iceman and World Matchplay Champion Nathan Aspinall, with victory at the Morningside Arena.
A fantastic 7 days of action for Luke Humphries, becoming a PDC Major Champion after winning the 2023 World Grand Prix in Leicester, further indicating his massive talent to the rest of the PDC field.
By Harry Masterson
2023 Boylesports World Grand Prix: Final
Luke Humphries (6) 5-2 Gerwyn Price (4)