Gerwyn Price further enhanced his claims as a future world number one as he won his first World Grand Prix title at the expense of 200/1 pre-tournament outsider Dirk van Duijvenbode in Coventry.
Although the Welshman's 5-2 victory for the loss of 12 legs made the final look more one-sided than it really was, he was ultimately the superior player at the key moments en route to the fifth televised title of a blockbusting career that continues to go from strength to strength.
Price averaged 88.1 compared to his opponent's 87.07 despite firing in one less 180 with seven and was pretty ruthless on his finishing doubles as he pinned 50% of his 36 as van Duijvenbode missed 15 of his 27.
The two-time Grand Slam of Darts champion raced through the opening set 3-0 before pinching the next 3-2 while he repeated those two scorelines after the Dutchman pulled one back to move three sets clear at 4-1.
Van Duijvenbode raised his game to reduce the deficit to 4-2 and looked as though he might even force an eighth set when moving 2-0 up only for Price to reel him back in before completing the job with a 102 checkout that also sees him collect the £110,000 first prize.
The Iceman, who recently won the televised World Series crown in Austria, is just the eighth different player to get his hands on the prestigious trophy since Phil Taylor won the first of his 11 titles at the inaugural staging of the double-start major back in 1998 and now he moves up to number two in the world above Peter Wright and behind five-time winner Michael van Gerwen.
There was a lovely moment at the end of the match when Price's children were shown on the big screen celebrating as he lifted the trophy aloft. He paid tribute to his family - apart from the cleanliness of the house - during his post-match interview but admitted he didn't expect them to go to bed before midnight even on a school night.
On current form many pundits and darts fans around the world will rate the Iceman unofficially as the best player in the world right now having now won six tournaments in 2020, with four of them remarkably coming in the last five held since mid September.
His only defeat in his last 23 matches came in the German Darts Championship against eventual winner Devon Petersen, who had to come from 5-1 down to edge him 6-5.
He told www.pdc.tv: "I'm over the moon. At the end I was thinking about the [Dave] Chisnall game again and how I almost threw that game away. I seem to punish myself all the time, I kept bombing opportunities and I need to cut that out of my game. I can't let players like Dirk back in.
"I knew tonight whenever I put him under pressure he would struggle and for most of the game I did that. It was a difficult game and maybe it looked a little bit easier than it was, but I'm happy to get over the winning line.
"It was a good tournament for me but this one's over now. I'll enjoy it tonight but there's a European Tour event coming up on the weekend to look forward to.
"I've got one eye on the Grand Slam of Darts in November. I've got good memories of that tournament and now good memories in Coventry too. Hopefully I will have a good back end of the year."
As for for van Duijvenbode, he can head back to work at the aubergine factory with his head held high and £50,000 in his bank account after a history-making and career-changing week which saw him become the first World Grand Prix debutant to reach the final since 1998.
The 28-year-old upset the odds to stun Mensur Suljovic, Dimitri Van den Bergh, Gary Anderson and Simon Whitlock to bag by far the biggest pay day of his career having never previously gone beyond the last 32 in his six previous major appearances, but he was unable to pull off one last shock against the rampant Price despite a plucky performance that included a superb 135 checkout.
Van Duijvenbode has climbed up to 54 from 73 in the world while the confidence he's gained will surely help him make the most of further opportunities to shine on the biggest stages.
"I feel very disappointed in myself," said a distraught Van Duijvenbode. "I don't mind losing. If I play my normal game I'm okay if I lose, but tonight I don't know what happened.
"I didn't show what I could until I was 4-1 down and from then I think I was the better player, but it was too late.
"I'm more disappointed about my game than losing the final. I don't mind losing to Gerwyn. He is a great player, in the top two players in the world for sure."
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DIRK VAN DUIJVENBODE
DIRK VAN DUIJVENBODE
Televised PDC titles
Televised PDC finals
* Simon Whitlock and Jeffrey de Zwaan replaced Adrian Lewis and Stephen Bunting in the draw respectively after the duo withdrew due to positive tests for Covid 19
FINAL: 8pm Sky Sports, Monday October 12
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