WHITLOCK VOWS TO COME BACK STRONGER AFTER ENDING CAMPAIGN ON A HIGH
Simon Whitlock finished his 2014 Premier League Darts season with a draw against league leader Michael van Gerwen in Cardiff on Thursday.
‘The Wizard’ has already been eliminated after a poor start to his campaign but earned a point in his final fixture.
It could have been a win for Whitlock, who led world number one van Gerwen 6-2, but The Australian believes that his performance can be the catalyst for a successful year ahead.
"I’m pleased with the way I played,” said the world number four and former Premier League runner-up.
"I wanted to go out on a high and I think I’ve done that even though I felt I should’ve won the match.
"I struggled early on and had a few problems but after having no points in four weeks, I’ve got five in the last five and I am getting better.
"I will use this break to work on my game and continue my improvement. I’ll be back stronger in the other big tournaments coming up.”
van Gerwen kicked off with a 180 and went on to win the first leg with a 100 finish.
Whitlock fired in his first maximum in leg two as he held his throw by bedding double 19 before his second 180, followed by a 116 finish put the Australian in front.
‘The Wizard’ pegged double ten to move 3-1 ahead but van Gerwen reduced the deficit in sensational style with a 164 checkout.
Whitlock’s third maximum helped him restore his two leg advantage and his fourth set him on the way to another break of throw, which he completed with a neat 64 finish.
The world number four then superseded his opponent’s earlier showstopper by taking out the biggest finish possible, 170, to guarantee himself a minimum of a point.
The defending champion responded with a brilliant 126 checkout after Whitlock had hit his fifth 180.
The Dutchman then punished the Australian for two missed darts for a 7-3 win by cleaning up 65 and he forced a deciding leg by pinning tops.
And van Gerwen claimed a share of the spoils by taking out 70, ensuring he would stay at the top of the table.