Wade wins Blue Square UK Open
JAMES WADE claimed the third major title of his flourishing career with an 11-7 win over America^s Gary Mawson in the final of the Blue Square UK Open last night.
Wade added the £35,000 UK Open title to the World Matchplay and World Grand Prix victories he took in 2007 with a classy display of darts at the Reebok Stadium.
Mawson had ended Raymond van Barneveld^s bid for a third successive title in Bolton in the semi-finals with a 10-8 triumph, but fell short in his own challenge against Wade.
He held his own for much of the final, leading 3-1 and 6-5, but Wade pulled clear in the second half of the match to take victory.
"It^s a special title for me," said Wade. "I^ve never done well at Bolton in previous years so it feels good.
"It^s my third big title and to be honest I^m lost for words. Gary let me off at times in the final and I made the most of it, but I was pretty consistent over the whole weekend."
Wade began slowly, with only a 100 finish in leg two and a maximum in leg four to cheer about as Mawson - buoyed by his semi-final triumph - took the early advantage with a 3-1 lead.
A 98 finish saw Wade hit back, and he also took the next three - including seven perfect darts in one leg and a 13-darter - to take a 5-4 lead.
A superb 150 finish, ironically the checkout Wade missed in his nine-darter bid, saw Mawson level once more, and the American regained the lead at 6-5 on double 16.
But Wade levelled and then took advantage of a missed double top to pull out to 10-6, including a showpiece 100 checkout featuring two double tops.
Mawson landed double 16 to keep his hopes alive in leg 17, but a seventh maximum of the game put Wade clear in the next and he landed his favourite double top for a 12-darter to claim another major title.
Wade earlier defeated 2007 runner-up Vincent van der Voort in the semi-finals with a superb display, averaging 101 and checking out 77 percent of his doubles.
"I^m a player who is best preparing for one game a day and this tournament doesn^t suit me," admitted Wade. "But I showed some experience and belief to hang in and that helped me through."
Mawson had begun his challenge in the second round on Thursday, and claimed £15,000 as runner-up to break into the world^s top 50.
"I^ve had a fantastic weekend," he said. "I wish I could have gone one game further but James was great in the final."
Blue Square UK Open
Gary Mawson 10-6 Wayne Jones
Vincent van der Voort 10-5 Chris Thompson
Raymond van Barneveld 10-9 Phil Taylor
James Wade 10-6 Alan Tabern
James Wade 10-4 Vincent van der Voort
Gary Mawson 10-8 Raymond van Barneveld
James Wade 11-7 Gary Mawson
JAMES WADE 10-4 VINCENT VAN DER VOORT
JAMES WADE powered into the final of the Blue Square UK Open with a brilliant 10-4 win over Vincent van der Voort.
The Dutchman had been bidding to reach the Bolton decider for a second successive year, but was blown away by a sensational showing from Wade.
The world number three averaged over 101, and checked out 77 percent of his chances at a double to remain on course for the third major title of his career.
Wade started brilliantly, winning the first four legs without reply before van der Voort took the fifth on double four to get off the mark.
A 101 finish restored Wade^s cushion, and he followed up a 12-darter with two more back-to-back legs to lead 8-1.
Van der Voort took three of the next four, including legs of 12 and 13 darts, to stay in the game at 9-4.
But any hopes of a comeback were dashed by Wade, who landed a fifth maximum of the match in a 13-darter to seal the win.
"I^m delighted," said Wade. "This is the best run I^ve ever had at Bolton - I normally play rubbish here but this is the furthest I^ve got.
"That was better than I^ve played in other games in the event, so far. Vincent didn^t play his best game and I took full advantage."
GARY MAWSON 10-8 RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD
GARY MAWSON sensationally ended Raymond van Barneveld^s reign as the Blue Square UK Open champion with a 10-8 semi-final victory in Bolton.
The American star produced the performance of his life to send van Barneveld back to Holland without the title for the first time since his switch to the PDC in 2006.
Van Barneveld had knocked out Phil Taylor in the quarter-finals, but failed to repeat that performance against Mawson.
The duo shared the opening six legs before Mawson secured the first break of throw to move 4-3 up.
A 116 finish saw van Barneveld hit back, but Mawson took advantage of missed doubles from the Dutchman to go 6-4 up.
Van Barneveld won the next three to put himself 7-6 up, but was punished for further misses as Mawson levelled on double top and then hit the same bed to go 8-7 ahead.
He then followed up a 180 with a 111 finish to move a leg away from the win, and though van Barneveld took leg 17 the American would not be denied - hitting double 12 to reach the final.
The win repeated his victory over van Barneveld in last month^s PDC US Open, and also secured himself a place in the Grand Slam of Darts in November and moves him into the world^s top 50.
"I feel fantastic to be in the final," said Mawson. "I beaten Raymond last month and that warmed me up for this.
"He didn^t play to his best but I showed how good I can be and it^s great."