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MICHAEL VAN GERWEN won his third successive Speedy Services UK Open Qualifier as he defeated Michael Smith 6-2 in Saturday^s event in Wigan, as Gary Anderson and Andy Hamilton both hit nine-dart finishes at the Robin Park Tennis Centre.

Van Gerwen followed up last month^s double in Crawley in the year^s opening two of eight UK Open Qualifiers by taking the £6,000 first prize in Qualifier Three.

The Dutch star, who also won the final Players Championship of 2012, continued his amazing spell of form in the ProTour events by winning eight matches on his way to Saturday^s victory.

After wiring double 12 for a nine-dart finish during his first round win over fellow countryman Roland Scholten, van Gerwen then saw off McCoy^s Premier League Darts rival Gary Anderson in a deciding leg in round two.

He also picked up wins over Ian White and Adrian Gray before sweeping aside another Premier League rival, Simon Whitlock, 6-1 and then whitewashed Paul Nicholson to reach the semi-finals, where he averaged almost 107 in a 6-4 win over Peter Wright.

Van Gerwen opened the final with a break of throw against St Helens youngster Smith, who missed three darts at doubles to win the first leg and a further dart, at double nine, in the second as the Dutchman took a 2-0 lead with legs of 14 and 13 darts.

Smith hit a 180 - his third maximum score of the game - in taking leg three, but van Gerwen posted a 171 in a 13-darter to lead 3-1 and added double eight and double three to move to the brink of victory.

Smith took out 64 to keep his hopes alive at 5-2, but van Gerwen opened the next leg with a 180, and after initially missing the bullseye for a 170 checkout returned to seal the win on double four.

"It^s always nice to win a tournament like this and I^m delighted," said van Gerwen. "I know I^m playing well and I^ve shown everyone again today.

"I was strong from the beginning but I played a lot of good players, like Simon, Gary Anderson and Peter Wright. I^m full of confidence and I^m taking that into my games at the moment."

Smith, who won a UK Open Qualifier two years ago, was denied his third senior ranking title with his defeat in the final, but still picked up £3,000 for an impressive day^s work.

He took wins over Vernon Sheppard, Andree Welge, Steve Hine and Stuart Kellett in reaching the quarter-finals, where he was superb in defeating Justin Pipe 6-3, and he then saw off Robert Thornton 6-1 to reach the decider.

Thornton, the reigning UK Open champion, sealed a 6-2 quarter-final win over Mervyn King with a fine 154 checkout, and was joined in the semis by colourful Peter Wright, whose victims on the day included Alan Tabern, Mark Walsh, Colin Lloyd and John Part.

Part, last week^s UK Masters champion in Minehead, reached the quarter-finals alongside King, Nicholson and Pipe, while world number three James Wade was amongst the losers in the last 16.

The tournament also saw two nine-dart finishes landed - as well as three others narrowly missed - as Anderson first achieved the feat in his first round win over Josh Payne before Hamilton celebrated his 46th birthday with a perfect leg against Tony West.

The pair shared a £400 bonus which is on offer in each ProTour event, and follow the nine-darters hit by Robert Thornton and Kevin Thomas in the first two Speedy Services UK Open Qualifiers in Crawley three weeks ago.

Sunday sees Qualifier Four complete the PDC ProTour weekend in Wigan, with 242 players set to compete for the £35,000 prize fund.

Speedy Services UK Open Qualifier Three
Robin Park Tennis Centre, March 16

First Round
Dyson Parody Bye
David Copley Bye
Joey Palfreyman 6-5 Matt Padgett
Lee Moffat 6-2 Neville Roberts
Dennis Smith 6-3 Barrie Bates
Mervyn King 6-3 Peter Hudson
Jamie Caven 6-4 Steve McNally
Brian Startin 6-3 Darron Brown
Mark Lawrence Bye
Dave Kelly Bye
Terry Jenkins 6-2 David Pallett
Joe Bata 6-4 Shaun Liptrot
Prakash Jiwa 6-4 Matt Clark
Dafydd Edwards 6-3 Daniel Day
Matthew Edgar 6-1 Glen Miller
Gaz Cousins 6-2 Chris Hartrey
Andy Smith Bye
Dennis Priestley Bye
Magnus Caris 6-1 Keegan Brown
Colin Osborne 6-5 Patrick Pace
Vincent van der Voort 6-4 Brendan Dolan
Ian Moss 6-3 Scott Coleman
Ted Hankey 6-4 Dylan Duo
Darren Whittingham 6-5 Daryl Gurney
Kirk Shepherd Bye
Robert Thornton Bye
Chris Mason 6-5 Peter Evison
Kevin McDine 6-2 Sean Ryan
Ian Walters 6-5 Joe Murnan
Scott Rand 6-3 Pete Dyos
Mick Todd 6-3 Denis Ovens
Reece Robinson 6-1 David Patterson
Steve Grubb Bye
Wes Newton Bye
James Wade 6-2 Keith Rooney
Marc Dewsbury 6-4 Michael Barnard
Dean Winstanley 6-1 James Richardson
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Shaun Griffiths
Johnny Haines 6-1 Gino Vos
Alex Roy 6-3 Mark Hylton
Jason Hogg Bye
Paul Anthony Bye
Justin Pipe 6-3 Paul Amos
Colin Fowler 6-4 Andrew Gilding
Nick Fullwell 6-3 Aden Kirk
Michael Mansell 6-5 William O^Connor
Co Stompe 6-4 James Hubbard
Steve Farmer 6-3 Jon Jukes
Vernon Sheppard Bye
Michael Smith Bye
Andree Welge 6-1 Dan Russell
Ricky Evans 6-1 Sam Hill
Martyn Turner 6-5 Rocco Maes
Steve Hine 6-4 Jyhan Artut
Andy Jenkins 6-3 Steve Cupitt
John Scott 6-4 Ryan Harrington
Lee Gregory Bye
Kevin Thomas Bye
Steve Beaton 6-4 Richie Howson
Connie Finnan 6-2 Josh Jones
Jamie Gemmell 6-1 Norman Fletcher
Ryan De Vreede 6-3 Martin Perring
Arron Monk 6-0 Peter Manley
Stuart Kellett 6-0 Lee White
Dave Chisnall Bye
Ron Atwill Bye
Paul Nicholson 6-3 Kim Huybrechts
Ross Smith 6-4 Wayne Jones
Jordy Terburg 6-5 Tony Littleton
Ronnie Baxter 6-2 Mark Stephenson
Leon De Geus 6-4 Robert Marijanovic
Jamie Lewis 6-0 Mareno Michels
Tony West Bye
Steve Coote Bye
Andy Hamilton 6-2 Chris Wickenden
Lous Blundell 6-3 Edwin Max
Darren Ward 6-3 Andy Blackwell
Richie Burnett 6-1 Steve West
Tomas Seyler 6-4 Jerry Hendriks
Ronny Huybrechts 6-0 Lee Hayes
Adrian Gray Bye
Gary Whittles Bye
Kevin Dowling 6-4 Mark Gordon
Andy Hutchings 6-5 Andy Pearce
Jim Walker 6-4 Ryan Maher
Ian White 6-2 Mark Jones (Worcs)
Gary Anderson 6-3 Josh Payne - Gary Anderson hits nine-dart finish
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Roland Scholten
Andrew Johnson Bye
Alan Derrett Bye
Ross Lowe Bye
Par Riihonen 6-5 Max Hopp
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Bernd Roith
Darren Johnson 6-3 Brandon Walsh
Kentaro Suzuki 6-2 Steven Pearson
Steve Maish 6-1 Chris Aubrey
John Henderson Bye
Steve Randall Bye
Geoff Whitworth 6-2 Jack Tweddell
John Part 6-2 Campbell Jackson
Johnathen Mulley 6-5 Stuart White
Stephen Hardy 6-4 Jamie Atkins
Gareth Pass 6-1 Jamie Robinson
Ken MacNeil 6-1 Dave Ladley
Joe Cullen Bye
Terry Temple Bye
Mark Jones 6-4 Matthew Dicken
Charl Pietersen 6-2 Michael Blake
Dave Place 6-3 Ewan Hyslop
Phil Henshaw 6-3 Paul Rowley
Mark Frost 6-4 Mark Webster
Nigel Heydon 6-2 Jamie Guilfoyle
Brian Woods Bye
Jonathan Worsley Bye
Lee Palfreyman 6-1 Alan Cliffe
Darren Webster 6-3 Mark Cox
Colin Lloyd 6-0 Brett Claydon
Mark Dudbridge 6-1 Scott Pearson
Andrew Cornwall 6-3 Richard Plowman
Jake Patchett 6-3 Ian Lever
Ricky Sudale Bye
Matthew Dennant Bye
Andy Relf Bye
Steve Brown 6-2 Dave Weston
Peter Wright 6-0 Mike Gorst
Alan Tabern 6-1 Harry Lane
John Bowles 6-5 Paul Barham
Mark Walsh 6-5 Kevin Painter

Second Round
David Copley 6-5 Dyson Parody
Joey Palfreyman 6-1 Lee Moffat
Mervyn King 6-2 Dennis Smith
Jamie Caven 6-0 Brian Startin
Mark Lawrence 6-0 Dave Kelly
Terry Jenkins 6-2 Joe Bata
Prakash Jiwa 6-4 Dafydd Edwards
Gaz Cousins 6-3 Matthew Edgar
Andy Smith 6-2 Dennis Priestley
Colin Osborne 6-3 Magnus Caris
Vincent van der Voort 6-2 Ian Moss
Ted Hankey 6-4 Darren Whittingham
Robert Thornton 6-3 Kirk Shepherd
Chris Mason 6-3 Kevin McDine
Scott Rand 6-0 Ian Walters
Mick Todd 6-3 Reece Robinson
Wes Newton 6-0 Steve Grubb
James Wade 6-2 Marc Dewsbury
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Dean Winstanley
Alex Roy 6-3 Johnny Haines
Jason Hogg 6-0 Paul Anthony
Justin Pipe 6-3 Colin Fowler
Michael Mansell 6-4 Nick Fullwell
Co Stompe 6-4 Steve Farmer
Michael Smith 6-4 Vernon Sheppard
Andree Welge 6-4 Ricky Evans
Steve Hine 6-5 Martyn Turner
John Scott 6-2 Andy Jenkins
Kevin Thomas 6-1 Lee Gregory
Connie Finnan 6-5 Steve Beaton
Ryan De Vreede 6-2 Jamie Gemmell
Stuart Kellett 6-5 Arron Monk
Dave Chisnall 6-1 Ron Atwill
Paul Nicholson 6-5 Ross Smith
Ronnie Baxter 6-3 Jordy Terburg
Leon De Geus 6-3 Jamie Lewis
Tony West 6-5 Steve Coote
Andy Hamilton 6-0 Louis Blundell
Richie Burnett 6-3 Darren Ward
Ronny Huybrechts 6-5 Tomas Seyler
Adrian Gray 6-4 Gary Whittles
Kevin Dowling 6-1 Andy Hutchings
Ian White 6-2 Jim Walker
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Gary Anderson
Alan Derrett 6-4 Andrew Johnson
Par Riihonen 6-3 Ross Lowe
Simon Whitlock 6-0 Darren Johnson
Steve Maish 6-1 Kentaro Suzuki
John Henderson 6-0 Steve Randall
John Part 6-1 Geoff Whitworth
Stephen Hardy 6-2 Johnathen Mulley
Ken MacNeil 6-5 Gareth Pass
Terry Temple 6-4 Joe Cullen
Charl Pietersen 6-5 Mark Jones
Dave Place 6-4 Phil Henshaw
Nigel Heydon 6-4 Mark Frost
Jonathan Worsley 6-4 Brian Woods
Lee Palfreyman 6-5 Darren Webster
Colin Lloyd 6-4 Mark Dudbridge
Jake Patchett 6-1 Andrew Cornwall
Matthew Dennant 6-5 Ricky Sudale
Steve Brown 6-0 Andy Relf
Peter Wright 6-3 Alan Tabern
Mark Walsh 6-4 John Bowles

Third Round
Joey Palfreyman 6-1 David Copley
Mervyn King 6-5 Jamie Caven
Terry Jenkins 6-0 Mark Lawrence
Prakash Jiwa 6-2 Gaz Cousins
Andy Smith 6-3 Colin Osborne
Ted Hankey 6-1 Vincent van der Voort
Robert Thornton 6-2 Chris Mason
Scott Rand v Mick Todd
James Wade 6-3 Wes Newton
Alex Roy 6-2 Adrian Lewis
Justin Pipe 6-3 Jason Hogg
Michael Mansell 6-4 Co Stompe
Michael Smith 6-4 Andree Welge
Steve Hine 6-1 John Scott
Connie Finnan 6-5 Kevin Thomas
Stuart Kellett 6-1 Ryan De Vreede
Paul Nicholson 6-3 Dave Chisnall
Ronnie Baxter 6-5 Leon De Geus
Andy Hamilton 6-2 Tony West - Andy Hamilton hits nine-dart finish
Richie Burnett 6-4 Ronny Huybrechts
Adrian Gray 6-4 Kevin Dowling
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Ian White
Alan Derrett 6-2 Par Riihonen
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Steve Maish
John Part 6-3 John Henderson
Ken MacNeil 6-3 Stephen Hardy
Terry Temple 6-4 Charl Pietersen
Dave Place 6-3 Nigel Heydon
Lee Palfreyman 6-1 Jonathan Worsley
Colin Lloyd 6-1 Jake Patchett
Matthew Dennant 6-3 Steve Brown
Peter Wright 6-4 Mark Walsh
Losers £200

Fourth Round
Mervyn King 6-5 Joey Palfreyman
Terry Jenkins 6-2 Prakash Jiwa
Andy Smith 6-4 Ted Hankey
Robert Thornton 6-1 Scott Rand
James Wade 6-4 Alex Roy
Justin Pipe 6-4 Michael Mansell
Michael Smith 6-1 Steve Hine
Stuart Kellett 6-5 Connie Finnan
Paul Nicholson 6-4 Ronnie Baxter
Richie Burnett 6-4 Andy Hamilton
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Adrian Gray
Simon Whitlock 6-0 Alan Derrett
John Part 6-3 Ken MacNeil
Terry Temple 6-5 Dave Place
Colin Lloyd 6-5 Lee Palfreyman
Peter Wright 6-0 Mattthew Dennant
Losers £400

Fifth Round
Mervyn King 6-1 Terry Jenkins
Robert Thornton 6-4 Andy Smith
Justin Pipe 6-4 James Wade
Michael Smith 6-4 Stuart Kellett
Paul Nicholson 6-5 Richie Burnett
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Simon Whitlock
John Part 6-5 Terry Temple
Peter Wright 6-5 Colin Lloyd
Losers £600

Robert Thornton 6-2 Mervyn King
Michael Smith 6-3 Justin Pipe
Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Paul Nicholson
Peter Wright 6-4 John Part
Losers £1,000

Michael Smith 6-1 Robert Thornton
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Peter Wright
Losers £2,000

Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Michael Smith
Winner £6,000
Runner-Up £3,000

Final - Leg-By-Leg
0-0 - Michael Smith wins the bull and will throw first.
0-1 - Smith hits a 177 to leave 32, but misses three darts on the outside wire of double 16, and van Gerwen steps in to finish 70 in two darts to break with a 14-dart opening leg.
0-2 - Smith opens with 180 and 140 but misses double nine for a 123 finish and van Gerwen lands tops for a 13-darter to double his lead.
1-2 - Smith lands a 180 and finishes double six to get off the mark.
1-3 - van Gerwen lands a 180 and finishes tops for another 13-dart leg.
1-4 - The Dutchman again leaves a double after 12 darts, and posts double eight to win a fourth leg of the game in 14 darts.
1-5 - van Gerwen moves a leg away from his third successive UK Open Qualifier win, hitting a 180 in leaving 81 after nine darts before eventually taking the leg on double three.
2-5 - Smith keeps his hopes alive by taking out 64 on double ten.
2-6 - van Gerwen opens with a 180 and seals the win on double four.

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