Mervyn King Clean Sweep
MERVYN KING completed a clean sweep of the PDC ProTour events in Swindon with a 6-1 defeat of Simon Whitlock to win Sunday^s UK Open Qualifier at the Oasis Leisure Centre.
King backed up Saturday^s Players Championship victory with another classy display to claim the £6,000 top prize from the first of eight UK Open Qualifiers to be held in the coming months.
Having overcome a scare in Sunday^s opening game, when he battled from behind to defeat Anastasia Dobromyslova in a deciding leg, King then swept to 6-3 wins against local rival Peter Wright, Premier League Darts opponent Ronnie Baxter, Jamie Caven and Wayne Jones.
In the semi-finals, he landed seven 180s in a 6-4 defeat of world number two James Wade - repeating his Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts win on Thursday against the left-hander - before defeating Whitlock in the final.
King made an early statement of intent in the decider, taking out 117 in the opening leg, double one to break Whitlock^s throw in the second, and a 14-darter to move 3-0 up.
Double top for a 14-darter in reply saw Whitlock get off the mark, but King kicked off the fifth leg with a maximum and took out 104 for a 4-1 cushion, then finished 80 to win the sixth leg before wrapping up the win in the next.
"I^m lost for words," admitted an emotional King afterwards. "I can^t explain how it feels to have won both ProTour events in a weekend.
"It means everything to me and I^m so proud, because to win one tournament is an achievement in itself, but to win two is as good as it gets.
"I played some fantastic darts on Saturday and did it again today. My new darts are feeling like a part of me now and to play for two days running at that standard is phenomenal."
King joins an elite group of players to have won both PDC ProTour events staged in one weekend, with Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis and Robert Thornton also achieving the feat.
Whitlock reached his first PDC ProTour final with an exceptional display in Swindon, which included a whitewash of Colin Osborne, a 6-3 win over Australian rival Paul Nicholson and 6-5 defeats of Terry Jenkins and Gary Anderson.
Anderson led 5-3 in their semi-final clash but paid the penalty for failing to close out the win, while Wade reached the last four for the second time in four PDC ProTour events so far this year.
Yorkshire^s Mark Lawrence mirrored his run to the quarter-finals of the UK Open finals last June with a last eight finish in Swindon, with Matt Clark, Wayne Jones and Terry Jenkins also reaching the quarters.
Chris Mason^s return from an eight-month absence saw him reach the last 16, with newcomer Anton Liscsey, former UK Open champion Roland Scholten and Adrian Lewis amongst the other losers at that stage.
Youngster Arron Monk also reached the last 16, defeating his father Colin Monk, Steve Beaton and Carlos Rodriguez on the day.
MERVYN KING won his first tournament since 2008 with 6-3 victory over Andy Hamilton in the final of Saturday^s Players Championship.
The world number four ended a 15-month gap between victories to claim the £6,000 winner^s cheque at the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon.
Having won both his Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts matches so far this season, King continued his form to sweep through the 156-player field in the third Players Championship of the year.
Having edged past Steve Evans in a deciding leg in the first round, he took 6-2 wins against Andy Callaby, Vincent van der Voort and Steve Hine to reach the quarter-finals.
There, he saw off in-form Adrian Lewis 6-4 before blowing away another Premier League rival, Ronnie Baxter, 6-1 to reach the final.
In the decider, he took out 101 in the opening leg to break Hamilton^s throw before the Stoke man punished two misses from King to level with a 76 finish.
King returned the favour in the third leg on double 12 before holding throw in the next to lead 3-1.
Hamilton hit a 174 in a 13-darter to win the fifth leg, which was bettered by King as he moved 4-2 up with a 12-dart finish.
Hamilton took out 76 for the second time in the game in taking leg seven, but missed the bull for a 164 in the next and two darts at double eight as King finished on double two to move a leg away from the win.
He then wrapped up victory in style, hitting a 180 to leave a 99 finish, which he took out on double 16 for the title.
Hamilton had ridden his luck at times during his best run since October, as he took the £3,000 runner-up prize.
Steve Brown saw 11 darts at a double to defeat him in the last 16 go begging, while Jamie Caven missed one chance to take a 6-4 victory in the semis, as Hamilton took out 120 to force a decider and produced a 13-dart winning leg.
Baxter, who had been defeated by Phil Taylor in the Premier League on Thursday, bounced back to reach the last four, taking wins against Mark Walsh, Kevin McDine and Peter Wright on the day.
The two winners of Players Championships in Gibraltar a fortnight ago, Colin Lloyd and Denis Ovens, clashed at the last 16 stage, with Lloyd taking a narrow 6-4 win, before losing out to Caven in the quarters.
Australian Simon Whitlock, the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship runner-up in January, defeated Tony Eccles and Wes Newton in his run to the last 16 as he begins his full-time challenge on the PDC ProTour.