Gary Anderson made a dream start to the Pro Tour season by winning his first individual title for two years at Players Championship One.
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The Flying Scotsman, who last tasted success in the 2018 Champions League, endured a difficult and injury-hit 2019 but he couldn't have asked for much more just a week into the new campaign.
Having reaching the semi-finals of last week's Masters before thrilling the Aberdeen crowd in the Premier League on Thursday night, Anderson produced a series of stunning displays to claim the Barnsley crown.
The 49-year-old sealed the £10,000 top prize with a fine 8-4 triumph over Canada's Jeff Smith while earlier he'd averaged 106 in a 6-2 win against Rob Cross and 104 during a 6-3 defeat of Gerwyn Price, who he'd also thrashed 10-2 at the Masters in Milton Keynes.
Anderson's best average, however, was a mark of 107.5 in a first-round victory against Christian Bunse (6-3) while his other victims were Simon Whitlock (6-1) and quarter-finalist Joe Cullen (6-2) prior to beating Adrian Lewis 7-3 in the last four thanks to an average of 102.2.
The two-time world champion slipped to six in the rankings by the end of last season and there are fears his decent will be even more dramatic this year considering he's defending a whopping £430,000 in Order of Merit prize money from what was a tremendous 2018, in which he won the UK Open and World Matchplay as well as four other Pro Tour triumphs.
But this long-awaited individual title for Anderson, who won the World Cup for Scotland with Peter Wright in 2019, will encourage his army of supporters that he's well on the way to getting back to his formidable best.
"It's been a while since I won something, but I've got the hunger back," Anderson told www.pdc.tv. "I want to get back to how I was throwing before [injury], I don't mind if I win or lose, but as long as I throw them how I used to then I'll be alright.
"I still have work to do, but it's not a bad start."
Smith deserves a lot of credit too in what was his first tournament since returning to the PDC Pro Tour since 2013 and on this evidence he'll surely be one to watch in the coming months.
The Canadian, who landed a 110 checkout in the deciding leg of his Q School decider against Seigo Asada last month, held his nerve to claim the scalps of Dave Chisnall, Nathan Aspinall and world champion Peter Wright in matches that went the distance while he also saw off Michael van Gerwen's conqueror Brendan Dolan 7-2 in the semi-finals.
Former BDO Championship runner-up recorded a 101 average in a high-class encounter with Aspinall while he also defeated Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 and Reece Robinson 6-3.
MVG's day began with 100+ averages against Scott Mitchell and Damon Heta but found Dolan in inspired form during a 6-4 defeat.
The Irishman was also responsible for ending Lisa Ashton's Players Championship debut in the first round, beating her 6-4 with an average of 94.3 compared to the Lancashire Rose's 80.
Earlier in the day there were two nine-darters hit - the first from Mickey Mansell during his clash with Nathan Derry before Mike van Duivenbode doubled that tally against Chris Dobey. At this rate, the record 49 perfect legs on the PDC Tour in 2019 will be smashed!
Players Championship One Results (Saturday February 8)
- Last 16 onwards
- Brendan Dolan 6-5 Ross Smith
- Maik Kuivenhoven 6-3 Steve Brown
- Peter Wright 6-3 Conan Whitehead
- Jeff Smith 6-5 Nathan Aspinall
- Adrian Lewis 6-1 Darren Webster
- Steve Beaton 6-1 Mickey Mansell
- Gary Anderson 6-2 Rob Cross
- Joe Cullen 6-1 Nick Kenny
- Brendan Dolan 6-3 Maik Kuivenhoven
- Jeff Smith 6-5 Peter Wright
- Adrian Lewis 6-3 Steve Beaton
- Gary Anderson 6-2 Joe Cullen
- Jeff Smith 7-2 Brendan Dolan
- Gary Anderson 7-3 Adrian Lewis
- Gary Anderson 8-4 Jeff Smith