NINE-DART DUTCHMAN POWERS TO SPEEDY HIRE UK OPEN QUALIFIER WIN
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN hit a nine-dart finish and a 170 checkout in defeating Dave Chisnall 6-1 in the final of Sunday^s second Speedy Hire UK Open Qualifier in Crawley.
The Dutch youngster claimed his first full PDC ProTour victory since 2009 with the triumph, with the £6,000 prize money sealing his place in June^s UK Open televised finals and putting him in a strong position to reach July^s World Matchplay.
However, the manner in which van Gerwen took the win showed flashes of the brilliance which brought him to prominence as a teenager back in 2006.
The 22-year-old had defeated Bristol^s Steve Brown and recent Tour Card winners Stuart Kellett and Richie Howson before hitting top gear in his Last 16 contest with Jamie Caven, winning 6-2 and taking the final four legs in 11, 12, 11 and 15 darts.
He then powered past World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton 6-2 in the quarter-finals and whitewashed Simon Whitlock 6-0 in the semis, before claiming the title in style.
After taking the opening leg of the final in 13 darts, he broke Chisnall^s throw on tops before the St Helens man took out 85 on the bull to win the third.
Van Gerwen^s reply was senational, as he hit 180 and 177 before finishing 144 on double 12 for a nine-dart finish - his first since the 2006 Masters of Darts in Holland - to lead 3-1.
Chisnall missed double eight for a 123 finish in the next, with van Gerwen posting double four to move 4-1 up and then brilliantly taking out 170 for a 12-darter, after Chisnall missed the bull for a 121 checkout.
The youngster then sealed a brilliant win on double six, finishing the final with an average of 108.03.
"It^s very special for me," said van Gerwen, who has shown newfound confidence since winning four PDC Unicorn Youth Tour events in 2011.
"To win a tournament with a nine-darter and a 170 finish is great. I know I can play like this but you have to do it when it counts in tournaments, and I^m very proud that I did today.
"In the last four games I played very well against four players who are all in the top 32 and brilliant players, so if you do that then you can win anything.
"I played well in the Grand Slam of Darts and World Championship at the end of last year, and the Youth Tour was great for me.
"In the three ProTour events so far this year my scoring^s been great but in all three matches I lost, I^ve missed lots of match darts, but I hit my doubles at the right time today.
"I hope I can continue this now and this is a big step for me."
Chisnall had won his maiden PDC ProTour title in Crawley last year, but had to settle for the £3,000 runner-up cheque following the defeat to van Gerwen.
Chisnall had defeated three other Dutchman during the event, Mareno Michels, Roland Shcolten and Vincent van der Voort, as well as seeing off Spain^s Antonio Alcinas, Steve Farmer and Michael Mansell.
Van der Voort showed that he has recovered from the stomach bug which struck him during the Netherlands^ run to the Cash Converters World Cup of Darts semi-finals last weekend by reaching the last four in Crawley.
He was joined in the semis by in-form Australian Simon Whitlock who was also in the last four of the World Cup, drew with Raymond van Barneveld as the McCoy^s Premier League Darts began on Thursday and reached the same stage in Saturday^s UK Open Qualifier.
Swindon^s Johnny Haines reached the quarter-finals for the first time in the PDC since earning his Tour Card at Qualifying School last month, and was joined in the last eight by Scholten, Hamilton and Andy Smith.
The next two Speedy Hire UK Open Qualifiers will be held at the Barnsley Metrodome on March 24 & 25, with a total of eight £35,000 events being held before the top 96 professionals (plus ties) from the UK Open Order of Merit qualify to compete in June^s televised finals.
They will be joined in the UK Open by a series of Amateur Qualifiers from knockout events to be held during the Spring - full details will be announced once finalised.
Speedy Hire UK Open Qualifier Two
K2 Centre, Crawley, Sunday February 12
Toon Greebe 6-2 Martyn Turner
Matthew Edgar 6-5 Steve Evans
Stuart White 6-3 Ian Moss
Tony West 6-0 John Walton
Colin Monk 6-1 Peter Evison
Josh Jones 6-5 Co Stompe Jnr
Keegan Brown 6-4 Michael Smith
James Wade 6-3 Mark Webster
Alan Tabern 6-4 Terry Jenkins
Joey Palfreyman 6-0 Peter Harris
James Richardson 6-1 Simon Burt
Liam Kelly 6-3 Andy Relf
Kevin Dowling 6-1 Anthony Littleton
Vincent van der Voort 6-4 Ryan Harrington
Roland Scholten 6-3 Danny Summers
Adrian Gray 6-4 Barrie Bates
Aaron Turner 6-0 Adrian Bolitho
Ian White 6-2 Darren Johnson
Nick Fullwell 6-3 Jason Crawley
Gary Anderson 6-1 Andy Firth
Wes Newton 6-1 Alex Clyburn
Damien Sherwood 6-2 Mark Hylton
Colin Osborne 6-1 Kurt Van De Rijck
Peter Wright 6-3 Les Wallace
Darren Whittingham 6-5 Andy Brown
Steve Farmer 6-0 Gino Vos
Michael Mansell 6-4 Michael Barnard
Scott Rand 6-0 Jack Hill
Jelle Klaasen 6-2 Keith Stephen
Arron Monk 6-0 Gareth Pass
Connie Finnan 6-4 Bernd Roith
Andrew Cornwall 6-0 Peter Manley
Justin Pipe 6-5 William O^Connor
Adam Smith-Neale 6-4 Lee Whitworth
Andrew Hibbert 6-0 Nathan Richards
Andy Hamilton 6-2 Tony Ayres
Co Stompe 6-1 Steve McNally
Dave Smith 6-3 Reece Robinson
Richie Howson 6-0 Ron Atwill
Denis Ovens 6-2 Ashley Holgate
Mark Lawrence 6-4 Matt Clark
Mick McGowan 6-5 Terry Temple
Mark Walsh 6-0 Tony Tasker
Ronnie Baxter 6-4 Rocco Maes
Philip Wathen 6-2 Alex Roy
John Part 6-3 Chris Thompson
Dave Ladley 6-3 Richie Walsh
Jerry Hendriks 6-4 Carlos Rodriguez
Mike Veitch 6-4 Richie Burnett
Nigel Heydon 6-3 Joe Murnan
Brandon Walsh 6-3 Lee White
Joe Cullen 6-0 Matt Jackson
Shaun Griffiths 6-2 Gary Eastwood
Dennis Smith 6-2 Darrell Claydon
Steve Beaton 6-2 Sam Hill
Peter Hudson 6-2 Paul Nicholson
Colin Lloyd 6-0 Daniel Day
Kirk Shepherd 6-1 John Jenkinson
John Henderson 6-3 Paul Sawyer
Jyhan Artut 6-0 Andrew Gilding
Mervyn King 6-5 Steve Grubb
Daniel Bunker 6-2 Steven Pearson
Robert Thornton 6-3 Prakash Jiwa
Keith Rooney 6-5 James Guilfoyle
Toon Greebe 6-5 Gary Butcher
Matthew Edgar 6-4 Stuart White
Paddy Meaney 6-1 Paul Barham
Johnny Haines 6-3 Devon Petersen
Dean Winstanley 6-0 Tony West
Colin Monk 6-0 Josh Jones
James Hubbard 6-2 Rees Hall
John Bowles 6-0 Andy Turnbull
James Wade 6-5 Keegan Brown
Alan Tabern 6-1 Joey Palfreyman
Mark Frost 6-1 Ian Lever
Jamie Lewis 6-0 Ian Jopling
Liam Kelly 6-4 James Richardson
Vincent van der Voort 6-4 Kevin Dowling
Ted Hankey 6-5 Nigel Birch
John Scott 6-2 Paul Rowley
Roland Scholten 6-2 Adrian Gray
Ian White 6-2 Aaron Turner
Brendan Dolan 6-1 Dave Kelly
Chris Aubrey 6-1 Dyson Parody
Gary Anderson 6-3 Nick Fullwell
Wes Newton 6-3 Damien Sherwood
Antonio Alcinas 6-3 Steve Maish
Dave Chisnall 6-1 Mareno Michels
Peter Wright 6-1 Colin Osborne
Steve Farmer 6-1 Darren Whittingham
Steve Hine 6-0 Darren Williams
Steve West 6-1 Neville Roberts
Michael Mansell 6-4 Scott Rand
Jelle Klaasen 6-2 Arron Monk
Kevin Painter 6-2 Chris Mason
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Tony Wood
Andrew Cornwall 6-3 Connie Finnan
Justin Pipe 6-1 Adam Smith-Neale
Ross Smith 6-4 Lewis Venes
Darren Webster 6-5 Wayne Jones
Andy Hamilton 6-2 Andrew Hibbert
Dave Smith 6-1 Co Stompe
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Steve Brown
Stuart Kellett 6-1 Andy Pearce
Richie Howson 6-2 Denis Ovens
Mick McGowan 6-5 Mark Lawrence
James Young 6-3 Stefanie Luck
Jamie Caven 6-2 Sean White
Mark Walsh 6-3 Ronnie Baxter
John Part 6-5 Philip Wathen
Brian Woods 6-5 Richard North
Mark Jones 6-0 Geoff Whitworth
Dave Ladley 6-5 Jerry Hendriks
Nigel Heydon 6-2 Mike Veitch
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Mick Todd
Dave Honey 6-4 Darren Latham
Joe Cullen 6-1 Brand Walsh
Shaun Griffiths 6-3 Dennis Smith
Andy Smith 6-2 Stephen Hardy
Jimmy Mann 6-2 Magnus Caris
Peter Hudson 6-1 Steve Beaton
Kirk Shepherd 6-5 Colin Lloyd
Kevin McDine 6-2 Mark Stephenson
Gaz Cousins 6-3 Martin Perring
John Henderson 6-4 Jyhan Artut
Mervyn King 6-0 Daniel Bunker
Robert Thornton 6-2 Keith Rooney
Matthew Edgar 6-3 Toon Greebe
Johnny Haines 6-2 Paddy Meaney
Dean Winstanley 6-1 Colin Monk
John Bowles 6-4 James Hubbard
Alan Tabern 6-5 James Wade
Jamie Lewis 6-3 Mark Frost
Vincent van der Voort 6-4 Liam Kelly
Ted Hankey 6-2 John Scott
Roland Scholten 6-4 Ian White
Brendan Dolan 6-1 Chris Aubrey
Wes Newton 6-5 Gary Anderson
Dave Chisnall 6-5 Antonio Alcinas
Steve Farmer 6-1 Peter Wright
Steve Hine 6-1 Steve West
Michael Mansell 6-0 Jelle Klaasen
Kim Huybrechts 6-2 Kevin Painter
Justin Pipe 6-0 Andrew Cornwall
Ross Smith 6-4 Darren Webster
Andy Hamilton 6-1 Dave Smith
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Stuart Kellett
Richie Howson 6-5 Mick McGowan
Jamie Caven 6-1 James Young
John Part 6-3 Mark Walsh
Brian Woods 6-4 Mark Jones
Nigel Heydon 6-1 Dave Ladley
Simon Whitlock 6-0 Dave Honey
Shaun Griffiths 6-2 Joe Cullen
Andy Smith 6-2 Jimmy Mann
Peter Hudson 6-1 Kirk Shepherd
Kevin McDine 6-3 Gaz Cousins
John Henderson 6-5 Mervyn King
Matthew Edgar 6-3 Robert Thornton
Johnny Haines 6-5 Dean Winstanley
John Bowles 6-2 Alan Tabern
Vincent van der Voort 6-0 Jamie Lewis
Roland Scholten 6-1 Ted Hankey
Brendan Dolan 6-5 Wes Newton
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Steve Farmer
Michael Mansell 6-3 Steve Hine
Justin Pipe 6-1 Kim Huybrechts
Andy Hamilton 6-4 Ross Smith
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Richie Howson
Jamie Caven 6-5 John Part
Brian Woods 6-5 Nigel Heydon
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Shaun Griffiths
Andy Smith 6-2 Peter Hudson
Kevin McDine 6-4 John Henderson
Johnny Haines 6-3 Matthew Edgar
Vincent van der Voort 6-5 John Bowles
Roland Scholten 6-3 Brendan Dolan
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Michael Mansell
Andy Hamilton 6-5 Justin Pipe
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Jamie Caven
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Brian Woods
Andy Smith 6-2 Kevin McDine
Vincent van der Voort 6-5 Johnny Haines
Dave Chisnall 6-1 Roland Scholten
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Andy Hamilton
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Andy Smith
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Vincent van der Voort
Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Simon Whitlock
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Dave Chisnall
Final - Leg-By-Leg
0-0 - Michael van Gerwen wins the bull and will throw first.
0-1 - van Gerwen hits scores of 140 and 180 and lands double eight for a 13-dart finish.
0-2 - van Gerwen breaks immediately, finishing double top at the first time of asking.
1-2 - Chisnall breaks back, hitting a 140 to leave 85, which he takes out on the bull with van Gerwen waiting on 50.
1-3 - MICHAEL VAN GERWEN HITS NINE-DART LEG! Chisnall hits scores of 140, 123 and 119 but van Gerwen lands 180, 177 and finishes 144 on double 12 for a nine-darter.
1-4 - van Gerwen extends his lead, hitting two 140s and finishing double four after Chisnall misses double nine on a 123 combination.
1-5 - van Gerwen moves a leg away from victory in stunning fashion, with Chisnall hitting a 180 and 140 but missing the bull for a 121 finish as the young Dutchman steps in with a 170 checkout.
1-6 - van Gerwen leaves 75 after 12 darts and posts double six for the win.
Final Averages: Michael van Gerwen 108.03, Dave Chisnall 98.77