Jonny Clayton won his third televised title of the season - but the first ranked major of his career - with a stunning 5-1 thrashing of Gerwyn Price in the World Grand Prix final.
The sensational Ferret had shot to darting stardom earlier this year when winning the prestigious unranked Masters and Premier League titles but this triumph catapults him into the world's top 10 for the first time.
Clayton's new position of seventh from 13th is still not really a fair reflection of his current standing among the game's elite and this pummelling of the world champion, who lifted this trophy 12 months ago, further underlines what he's capable of as we head towards a whole host of winter majors, including the World Championship.
The standard of darts Clayton produced throughout the contest was just as bit as classy as what we'd seen form him all week as he showed no signs of nerves with one of the sport's biggest prizes - and a cheque for £110,000 - on the line.
As well as doubling-in at an astonishing rate of 63% over six sets compared to his opponent's 40%, he also brought the crowd to its feet with five 100+ checkouts including his second 170 of the tournament but it was arguably the 164 he produced in the very next leg which will be remembered most as it came straight after Price had left 24 after nine darts.
The Iceman, who averaged 115 in losing that third set, couldn't help but smile at some of the darts his 2020 World Cup-winning partner was peppering him with and he even laughed when Clayton weighed in with another show-stopping 152 finish in the second leg of the final set immediately after he'd missed tops for what would have been a morale-boosting 148 checkout.
It was a moment that summed up the match and although Price ironically cheered his own sole 100+ finish in the next leg, Clayton responded fittingly with a match-winning 116.
The 47-year-old, who had lost his six previous meetings with Price dating back to when he won their only other final at the Austrian Darts Open in 2018, averaged 94.44 in the final - a mark that's only ever been bettered in a World Grand Prix final by Phil Taylor (x6) and Michael van Gerwen (x2) while Price's 92.47 was boosted by throwing eight of the 12 maximums.
Clayton told www.pdc.tv: "It's what dreams are made of. We all play to win a big major, it's my first ranked major and I'm over the moon, chuffed to bits. It's been a long week, but to play the world number one and beat him is fantastic.
"I'm lost for words. To win this and play really, really well is a tick in my box and I'm going to smile for a couple of weeks!
"I came out of the blocks quicker than Gezzy. The respect I've got for Gerwyn is second to none, he's a fantastic player and a fantastic guy, and the crowd tonight let us play. We both enjoyed it.
"He's smashed me the last six or seven times so it's nice to have one back on him. My starting was fantastic, so I think I kept my pressure onto Gezzy and that was the difference."
Price said: "He was too strong for me today. He didn't miss a double early on to get off, I missed a couple but he was phenomenal.
"I did have a chance but I didn't take them a couple of times and he was winning the big moments. He was starting off a lot better than me.
"Apart from the first game that's the best I've played in the tournament and that's a testament to Jonny. He was by far the better player on the night, but I'll get him next time. I had a great final and I appreciate the crowd for letting us play."
Sky Bet latest odds: Price has now drifted well out to 6/1 to pull off a remarkable comeback while Clayton is almost unbackable at 1/2. Click here now for all the Sky Bet live darts markets including most 180s & highest checkout.
Sky Bet latest odds: Jonny Clayton is now 4/11 to win the final, with Price now 2/1 for glory. Click here now for all the Sky Bet live darts markets including most 180s & highest checkout.
Sky Bet latest odds: Jonny Clayton is now 1/3 to win his first televised ranking title, with Price now drifting out to 9/4. Click here now for all the Sky Bet live darts markets including most 180s & highest checkout.
Sky Bet latest odds: Jonny Clayton is now 8/11 favourite for glory while Price has now drifted to even-money to defend his title. Click here now for all the Sky Bet live darts markets including most 180s & highest checkout.
2045: The players have now made their entrances to the stage - with Gerwyn Price predictably receiving a warm round of boos - and finally the action is about to begin.
2020: Before the final gets under way, here are my two best bets, which I wrote about extensively in my pre-match preview.
When you compare the standards, body language and confidence of both players this week, everything points towards Jonny Clayton. Is he odds-against purely on reputation? Even that seems unfair when you think he's won as many titles as Price this season with four, including the televised Masters and Premier League. Although Price wasn't in the latter, it didn't stop Ferret's belief sky rocketing for these huge occasions. If the semi-final Price turns up it could be an even heavier margin of victory than my prediction of 5-3. We've already mentioned Price being more prolific on 180s and I think that will be the case again, even in defeat.
2010: Just thought it's worth noting that you can get 25/1 on a nine-dart finish tonight. There's only been three in the tournament's history - Brendan Dolan achieved the first in 2011 before Robert Thornton and James Wade remarkably both managed it in the same match in 2014.
1950: Here's both players' tournament stats, with Price's figures on the left. The Iceman has been by far the most prolific 180 hitter having managed 17 in 64 legs despite throwing none during 12 legs against Dave Chisnall while Clayton has only fired in nine in 65 legs despite playing consistently well. The Ferret's higher three-dart average is predominantly down to his fantastic doubling.
1945: As for Clayton, well he's been consistently brilliant all week and even when he looked in danger at 2-1 down in sets against Krzysztof Ratajski following a disastrous busting of 134, he knuckled down to reel off six of the next seven legs to reach the semi-finals. He's been averaging in the mid 90s all week while his doubling at both ends of legs has been sensational.
1940: So how did both players reach tonight's World Grand Prix final? Let's start with the defending champion, who hasn't been himself in the past two rounds - especially against Stephen Bunting in the semi-finals when he was hampered by an elbow injury. He did start off like a train, however, as he became the sixth different player to post a double-start 100+ average against Michael Smith but those levels have dropped off and he was somewhat fortunate to find Dave Chisnall so wasteful on his doubles in the quarter-finals. However, he has done enough to get through and now is the time to pull out a big performance.
1935: Price and Clayton have played more doubles matches together (11) in World Cups since they first teamed up in 2018 than matches against each other in that same time (8) - and the world champion has won them all. Tonight does therefore feel a bit like a great tag team becoming rivals for an individual title shot.
One of those includes a one-sided meeting in the second round of this year's World Matchplay, but to be fair to Clayton, they have only faced each other three times since they won the World Cup in 2020 and that gave him the belief and launchpad to become a star in his own right. It's surely a matter of time before he can get one over on his countryman.
The only other time they've met in a PDC final was the 2018 Austrian Darts Open - their last encounter before becoming Welsh team-mates - and Clayton won that to claim his maiden European Tour title.
1925: So just how do these two friends and Welsh team-mates compare when it comes to major finals? Apart from teaming up to win the World Cup together in 2020, Price has won five of his nine finals so far since 2017, with his only defeats coming to Peter Wright (2017 UK Open), Rob Cross (2019 European Championship) and Michael van Gerwen (2019 Players Championship Finals and 2020 UK Open).
By contrast, Clayton has lost just one of this three - the 2017 Players Championship Finals to Michael van Gerwen when he was very much an unknown quantity compared with what he is today.
GERWYN PRICE'S MAJOR INDIVIDUAL TITLES
JONNY CLAYTON'S MAJOR INDIVIDUAL TITLES
1915: Good evening and welcome to our live blog of the Boylesport World Grand Prix final as Gerwyn Price bids to become just the third different player in the tournament's history to successfully defend the title after Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen.
Although the Ferret headed into the double-start event 13 places below the world number one given those two big titles did nothing for his ranking, there is no doubt he's one of the best players around right now and should he poicket the £110,000 winners' cheque then he'll rise up to seventh.
Nevertheless it's the world champion who is 8/13 favourite to win his sixth televised major individual title in his 10th final while his 2020 World Cup winning team-mate is the marginal outsider at 5/4.
The final begins at around 2030 GMT so between now and then we'll run through the routes to the final, tournament statistics, head-to-head records and some predictions.
Before we get into the present, here is quick look at the previous finals in the tournament history...
World Grand Prix Past Finals
World Grand Prix Most Titles