Michael van Gerwen clinched his ninth ranking victory of the year with a 6-4 win over Scott Taylor in the final of Players Championship Nine at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan on Saturday.
The Dutchman, who has now won four of the five Players Championship events he has played in this year, was made to work hard for the title by Taylor in a tight final.
The world number one has now won four of the five Players Championship events he has played in this year but was made to work hard for the title against Taylor, who enjoyed a sensational run in Wigan.
Van Gerwen recorded wins over Jamie Lewis, Darren Johnson, Jermaine Wattimena, Simon Whitlock, Jonny Clayton and James Wade en route to clinching the £10,000 top prize.
"Overall I did a good job today and I think I was a worthy champion today,” said Van Gerwen, whose average exceeded 100 over the course of the day.
"I think at the start of the day I played quite well and after that it got a bit sloppy but a win is a win, it doesn’t matter how you win.
"Scott did really well today so I want to say well done to him. It’s tough playing here, you have to play well every game.
"I want to add to my nine titles so far this year starting tomorrow."
Van Gerwen held throw by finding double ten to take the opening leg of the contest before Taylor signalled his intent with an impressive 11-dart leg to level at 1-1.
The Dutch ace hit 36 to go 2-1 in front before Taylor restored parity, hitting double nine after Van Gerwen piled the pressure on with the fourth 180 of the match in as many legs.
The pair continued to exchange holds of throw in the next four legs to leave the tie hanging in the balance at 4-4.
Van Gerwen then fired in a 13-darter to pile the pressure on Taylor as he went within one leg of victory at 5-4.
The first, and only, break of throw in the match came in the tenth leg as Van Gerwen’s opening score of 177 was backed up by an impressive 132 finish on the bull to win his 25th Players Championship title.
Dropping just 17 legs all day, Van Gerwen was at his clinical best at the Robin Park Tennis Centre.
The winner of 63 ProTour events brushed aside World Championship semi-finalist Jamie Lewis in his opening game of the day.
Van Gerwen followed this with a comfortable 6-1 win over Darren Johnson before seeing off fellow-Dutchman Wattimena 6-3.
The two-time world champion then saw off fellow-Premier League star Simon Whitlock 6-1 and beat Austrian Darts Open winner Jonny Clayton 6-3 to book his place in the semi-finals.
His last four clash with James Wade was nip and tuck in the early stages before Van Gerwen pulled away to seal a 6-4 win to reach the final.
Taylor, playing in the first ever ProTour final of his career, produced a series of stunning displays to shocked the field in Wigan.
He started the day with a 6-4 win over Belgian Davy Van Baelen before brushing aside Wayne Jones with a convincing 6-1 victory.
Growing in confidence, Taylor then overcame veteran Steve Beaton 6-4 and booked his place in the quarter-finals with a 6-1 triumph over Steve West.
The Bolton thrower, who had previously won just one game in eight attempts at Players Championship events, then claimed his biggest scalp of the day as he stunned Gary Anderson with a 6-4 win.
Taylor then defeated Jason Lowe, another surprise package on the day, 6-3 to reach the final.
Lowe, who reached the semi-finals of UK Open Qualifier Four in February, claimed the scalps of James Wilson, Dave Chisnall and Adrian Lewis on his way to the last four.
Fellow-semi-finalist Wade continued his strong run in ProTour events in 2018, having already reached the last eight on three occasions so far this year.
Meanwhile, it was a disappointing day for Rob Cross who lost to Ryan Joyce in the third round.
Daryl Gurney, who still has hopes of reaching the Unibet Premier League play-offs, was defeated by Wade in the quarter-finals.
Elsewhere, Mensur Suljovic lost to Keegan Brown in round three, Players Championship Seven winner Michael Smith went down 6-5 to Jan Dekker in the second round and Welsh star Gerwyn Price was eliminated by Wade in round three.
Players Championship Nine Results
- Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Jamie Lewis
- Darren Johnson 6-5 Mickey Mansell
- Jermaine Wattimena 6-5 Ritchie Edhouse
- Kirk Shepherd 6-1 Scott Darbyshire
- Simon Whitlock 6-2 Jim Brown
- Diogo Portela 6-2 Vincent Kamphuis
- William O'Connor 6-3 Kim Huybrechts
- Ron Meulenkamp 6-2 Bradley Brooks
- Ian White 6-5 Kevin Burness
- Alan Tabern 6-2 Benito van de Pas
- Jelle Klaasen 6-5Dirk van Duijvenbode
- Aden Kirk 6-4 Peter Hudson
- Jonny Clayton 6-1 Chris Quantock
- Jose Justicia 6-5 Nathan Aspinall
- Richard North 6-0 Devon Petersen
- Christian Kist 6-3 Mario Robbe
- Daryl Gurney 6-0 Terry Temple
- Cristo Reyes 6-5Ricky Evans
- Mark Webster 6-4 Justin Pipe
- Ronnie Baxter 6-2 Luke Woodhouse
- Michael Barnard 6-5Darren Webster
- Ryan Meikle 6-3 John Davey
- Stephen Bunting 6-5Peter Jacques
- Dawson Murschell 6-3 Steve Hine
- Rob Cross 6-0 Martin Schindler
- Ross Smith 6-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh
- Vincent van der Voort 6-1 Sven Groen
- Ryan Joyce 6-5Luke Humphries
- Gerwyn Price 6-2 Robert Owen
- Madars Razma 6-1 Martin Atkins (Wigan)
- James Wade 6-1 Jason Cullen
- Zoran Lerchbacher 6-3 Simon Preston
- Peter Wright 6-2 Ronny Huybrechts
- Josh Payne 6-4 Eddie Dootson
- Robert Thornton 6-4 Chris Dobey
- Simon Stevenson 6-2 Steve Lennon
- Gabriel Clemens 6-4 John Henderson
- James Richardson 6-5 Adam Hunt
- Adrian Lewis 6-3 Jimmy Hendriks
- Robert Marijanovic 6-5 Mark Dudbridge
- Joe Cullen 6-2 Ross Twell
- Stephen Burton 6-5 Paul Nicholson
- Alan Norris 6-5 Danny Noppert
- Jarred Cole 6-4 Andrew Gilding
- Dave Chisnall 6-4 George Killington
- Joe Murnan 6-5 John Goldie
- James Wilson 6-4 Arron Monk
- Jason Lowe 6-2 Mark Wilson
- Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Tytus Kanik
- Prakash Jiwa 6-5 John Part
- Keegan Brown 6-2 Ryan Searle
- Matthew Edgar 6-1 Robbie Green
- Gary Anderson 6-0 Gary Eastwood
- Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-3 Toni Alcinas
- Kyle Anderson 6-5 Ted Evetts
- Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-3 Kevin Painter
- Michael Smith 6-2 Richie Burnett
- Jan Dekker 6-3 Paul Rowley
- Steve West 6-3 Tony Newell
- Jeffrey de Graaf 6-3 Ryan Harrington
- Wayne Jones 6-5 Mervyn King
- Scott Taylor 6-4 Davy Van Baelen
- Steve Beaton 6-3 Jamie Bain
- Jamie Caven 6-4 Brendan Dolan
- Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Darren Johnson
- Jermaine Wattimena 6-3 Kirk Shepherd
- Simon Whitlock 6-2 Diogo Portela
- Ron Meulenkamp 6-2 William O'Connor
- Ian White 6-1 Alan Tabern
- Aden Kirk 6-4 Jelle Klaasen
- Jonny Clayton 6-4 Jose Justicia
- Richard North 6-2 Christian Kist
- Daryl Gurney 6-5 Cristo Reyes
- Mark Webster 6-1 Ronnie Baxter
- Michael Barnard 6-2 Ryan Meikle
- Dawson Murschell 6-2 Stephen Bunting
- Rob Cross 6-4 Ross Smith
- Ryan Joyce 6-2 Vincent van der Voort
- Gerwyn Price 6-2 Madars Razma
- James Wade 6-5 Zoran Lerchbacher
- Peter Wright 6-4 Josh Payne
- Simon Stevenson 6-1 Robert Thornton
- James Richardson 6-4 Gabriel Clemens
- Adrian Lewis 6-2 Robert Marijanovic
- Stephen Burton 6-5Joe Cullen
- Alan Norris 6-2 Jarred Cole
- Dave Chisnall 6-3 Joe Murnan
- Jason Lowe 6-2 James Wilson
- Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Prakash Jiwa
- Keegan Brown 6-1 Matthew Edgar
- Gary Anderson 6-5 Jeffrey de Zwaan
- Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-5 Kyle Anderson
- Jan Dekker 6-5 Michael Smith
- Steve West 6-1 Jeffrey de Graaf
- Scott Taylor 6-1 Wayne Jones
- Steve Beaton 6-2 Jamie Caven
- Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Jermaine Wattimena
- Simon Whitlock 6-0 Ron Meulenkamp
- Ian White 6-5Aden Kirk
- Jonny Clayton 6-3 Richard North
- Daryl Gurney 6-3 Mark Webster
- Michael Barnard 6-3 Dawson Murschell
- Ryan Joyce 6-5 Rob Cross
- James Wade 6-4 Gerwyn Price
- Simon Stevenson 6-5 Peter Wright
- Adrian Lewis 6-2 James Richardson
- Stephen Burton 6-4 Alan Norris
- Jason Lowe 6-3 Dave Chisnall
- Keegan Brown 6-5 Mensur Suljovic
- Gary Anderson 6-1 Rowby-John Rodriguez
- Steve West 6-4 Jan Dekker
- Scott Taylor 6-4 Steve Beaton
- Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Simon Whitlock
- Jonny Clayton 6-5Ian White
- Daryl Gurney 6-2 Michael Barnard
- James Wade 6-4 Ryan Joyce
- Adrian Lewis 6-2 Simon Stevenson
- Jason Lowe 6-4 Stephen Burton
- Gary Anderson 6-2 Keegan Brown
- Scott Taylor 6-1 Steve West
- Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Jonny Clayton
- James Wade 6-3 Daryl Gurney
- Jason Lowe 6-5 Adrian Lewis
- Scott Taylor 6-4 Gary Anderson
- Michael van Gerwen 6-4 James Wade
- Scott Taylor 6-3 Jason Lowe
- Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Scott Taylor