Luke Littler
Luke Littler

Darts results: Luke Littler hits nine-darter and wins title on his PDC Pro Tour debut in Wigan

Luke Littler made an explosive start to his life on the PDC Pro Tour by firing a nine-dart finish en route to the Players Championship 1 title.

Littler averaged 109.64 to win a pulsating final, beating Ryan Searle 8-7 with the latter managing a staggering 111.71 only to be outdone by the sport's new golden boy.

“I know my game is there, I know I can beat anyone, and I’m really happy to have won,” reflected Littler, who already has his sights set on World Matchplay qualification.

“Me and my manager know what I have to do to qualify for the World Matchplay and the World Grand Prix.

“I’ve got about 13 or 14 ProTours before the World Matchplay, but it’s always good to get off to a good start.

“I want to try and qualify for everything, and I’ve just got to play my game. I’m taking it in my stride.

“It takes huge pressure off me, and now hopefully I can settle and enjoy it.”

The 17-year-old's exploits at the World Championship shot him to sporting stardom and he's shown no sign of slowing down since having hit the headlines with a televised perfect leg in Bahrain on his winning World Series debut back in January and also producing further fireworks in the opening two weeks of the Premier League season.

Littler's first appearance in a ranking tournament as a PDC professional was equally sensational as he averaged over 100 on four occasions, managing 108.99 against Cameron Menzies in the last 16 before going better still in the final, while his moment of perfection came in the previous round against Michele Turetta, who he thrashed 6-1.

That saw him become the youngest ever player to achieve a nine-darter on the PDC Pro Tour at the age of 17 - breaking the record set by 18-year-old Leighton Bennett just an hour earlier.

To highlight that not only teenagers can manage the feat, 50-year-old Mickey Mansell also got in on the act six minutes after Bennett!

The Nuke also missed double 12 in his 6-3 triumph over Menzies for what would have been a second nine-darter of the day.

Littler, who started the day with a 6-1 thrashing of Jim Williams with an average of 105.48 before seeing off Luke Woodhouse 97.78 in round two, also defeated James Hurrell 6-3 in the quarter-finals with his third 100+ average of the day (100.65) but avoided a huge scare against Alan Soutar in the last four.

The Scotsman spurned two darts for a 6-4 lead in the race to seven as Littler punished him before taking out a massive 150 checkout to edge 6-5 ahead.

Soutar hit back to force a decider only for Littler to scrape through with an average of 89.70 which at least made him look slightly human.

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