Impressive Price powers to PC29 title
Gerwyn Price stormed to an emphatic 8-3 victory over Dave Chisnall in Wednesday's Players Championship 29 decider to secure his seventh PDC title of 2023.
Price produced a series of dominant displays to scoop the £12,000 top prize in Barnsley, dispatching top seed Chisnall to triumph in the year’s penultimate Players Championship event.
The Welshman came into Wednesday’s action fresh from a chastening quarter-final defeat to Danny Noppert at last weekend's European Championship, where he remarkably surrendered a 7-0 lead.
However, he returned to winning ways at the Barnsley Metrodome, clinching his fourth Players Championship title of 2023 to move top of the Order of Merit with just one event remaining on Thursday.
Chisnall punished a sluggish start from Price to establish an early lead in the final, only to spurn six darts for a 3-0 advantage, which ultimately proved decisive.
Price put in an inspired mid-match burst to turn the contest on its head, following up a magical 170 checkout with back-to-back 11-dart legs to move 5-3 in front.
Chisnall was unable to respond and Price continued the procession to wrap up victory, firing in back-to-back 15-darters before converting a clinical 105 checkout on tops to cap off a fine performance.
“I gave myself a kick up the backside and it worked,” reflected Price, who produced three ton-topping averages throughout the afternoon.
“I was going to take these two days off, but I wanted to punish myself. I was so poor towards the end of the game against Danny [last weekend].
“I couldn’t hit anything early on [against Chisnall], so I was trying to throw a little bit quicker and get my arm in, and thankfully I found it towards the end of that game.
“It’s not easy when you’re playing in all the big tournaments and you’re trying to pick and choose your events. When you do turn up you’re under pressure, but thankfully I did the business today.”
Price opened his campaign with a hard-fought victory over an in-form Jules van Dongen, before averaging 104 to whitewash his veteran compatriot Richie Burnett in round two.
The Welshman then fended off a late onslaught from Masters champion Chris Dobey to triumph in a last-leg shoot-out, which he backed up with a hard-fought victory over Germany’s Ricardo Pietreczko.
Price averaged almost 102 in his quarter-final demolition of Gian van Veen, and he booked his showdown with Chisnall after overcoming a tenacious Damon Heta in the last four.
Chisnall, meanwhile, responded to his disappointing first round exit at the European Championship in impressive fashion to pocket the £8,000 runner-up prize on Wednesday.
The St Helens star averaged 106, 100, 99 and 102 in wins over Krzysztof Kciuk, Simon Whitlock, Callan Rydz and Jamie Hughes respectively, relinquishing seven legs across those four matches.
Chisnall then defied a below-par display to account for Maik Kuivenhoven in the last eight, before winning through a gruelling semi-final clash against Rob Cross.
Cross conceded just nine legs in reaching the semi-finals, where he was joined by third seed Heta, who posted a 116.12 average in his last 16 victory over European Championship runner-up James Wade.
Ryan Searle also posted an astronomical average en route to reaching the last eight, recording winning legs of 11, 12, 11, 12, 13 and 13 darts to demolish Martin Lukeman with a 116.36 average in round one.
Searle was joined in the quarter-finals by Players Championship 27 winner Radek Szaganski, who claimed the scalp of two-time World Champion Gary Anderson in the first round.
Van Veen, a semi-finalist at last weekend’s European Championship, also featured in the quarter-finals alongside his compatriot Kuivenhoven to maintain his fine form.
Elsewhere, Michael van Gerwen was beaten in round one by Lee Evans on his return to Players Championship action, with Anderson, Jonny Clayton, Joe Cullen and Dimitri Van den Bergh exiting at the same stage.
Newly crowned European Champion Peter Wright was also beaten in his opener by Jamie Hughes, leaving the Scot £3,500 adrift of Players Championship Finals qualification ahead of Thursday’s final event.
Meanwhile, Mensur Suljovic, Vincent van der Voort, Mervyn King and Alan Soutar are among the players outside of the provisional qualification places for the World Darts Championship, which sets up an intriguing finale to the 2023 ProTour season.
Thursday’s Players Championships 30 will be broadcast live on PDCTV, as players bid to secure qualification for the Cazoo Players Championship Finals and Paddy Power World Darts Championship.
2023 Players Championship 29
Wednesday November 1
The Barnsley Metrodome
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Jamie Hughes
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-0 Josh Payne
Ryan Searle 6-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Rob Cross 6-1 Stephen Burton
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Ricardo Pietreczko
Gian van Veen 6-5 Ross Smith
Damon Heta 6-3 James Wade
Radek Szaganski 6-2 Ritchie Edhouse
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Maik Kuivenhoven
Rob Cross 6-2 Ryan Searle
Gerwyn Price 6-1 Gian van Veen
Damon Heta 6-2 Radek Szaganski
Dave Chisnall 7-5 Rob Cross
Gerwyn Price 7-4 Damon Heta
Gerwyn Price 8-3 Dave Chisnall
image courtesy of PDC