Peter Wright defeated Gerwyn Price to win the fifth and final Players Championship event of the PDC Summer Series as the World Matchplay field was finalised.
The world champion, who finished runner-up to Michael van Gerwen in the opening tournament on Wednesday, overcame another of his great rivals 8-3 to pocket a cheque of £10,000 that also seems him top the Sumer Series Order of Merit.
Snakebite trailed MVG by £9,000 on a cumulative total of £12,000 heading into the final but the Dutchman could only pick up a further £500 after an early exit in round two and that left the door ajar and he took full advantage.
After Wright beat Jelle Klaasen (6-4) and Darren Webster (6-2) in his opening two matches, the Scotsman averaged 102.6 in a 6-1 thrashing of Brendan Dolan before edging out Nathan Aspinall 6-5 to reach the semi-finals, where he blew Wayne Jones away 7-2 with a mark of 109.
The Masters champion, who marked the match between Adam Hunt and Klaasen in the morning due to receiving a first-round bye, maintained the momentum against Price by storming into a 5-1 lead and closed it out comfortably despite the two-time Grand Slam of Darts king's attempts to claw back the deficit.
"I'm pleased to win and it's great for me," said Wright, who has been wearing glasses all week for the first time. "It could have been two wins, but I wanted to be top of the Summer Series Order of Merit and I knew I had to win today, so I've done that.
"It's ideal preparation for the World Matchplay and it's good to be back playing. Just the last two weeks they [eyes] have started to go bad; I thought the best time to try [wearing glasses] was in the floor tournaments – it didn’t work out too badly!”
Wright averaged 99-3 compared to Price's 91.8 on his way to a third title of the season and the 31st of his career. His 30th came back in February when he nailed a 170 checkout to defeat the Welshman in the Players Championship Five final.
Price saved his best run of a largely disappointing week by his high standards for last, as he averaged over 100 in all five of his wins over William O'Connor (6-0), Darius Labanauskas (6-1), Jose De Sousa (6-5), James Wade (6-1) and a heartbroken Devon Petersen (7-6) in the semi-finals.
The world number three's best was 113 average against Labanauskas but it was his nail-biting clash with the popular African Warrior which made the darting headlines for it's drama, standard and implications.
Petersen needed to win his maiden PDC title - let alone reach his first final - to snatch the last available spot for the World Matchplay only to lose a last-leg decider in agonising circumstances after an inspirational day.
Having earlier stunned MVG 6-5 in the second round, he averaged an astonishing 113.5 - the second highest losing mark in Players Championship history - and also hit a 170 checkout in one of the matches of the season so far but missed one match dart at double 16 before Price finished 56 on tops.
Petersen had earlier played the role of heartbreaker when claiming a 6-3 quarter-final win over the equally popular John Henderson, who needed to reach his second PDC final five years after his first, to earn a World Matchplay spot for himself.
As it turned out, nobody from outside the qualification spots at the start of the final event of the Summer Series managed to climb up and earn a return to the Marshall Arena for the sport's second biggest major next weekend, so Ricky Evans clung onto the last place from the ProTour Order of Merit.
Ryan Joyce, who won his maiden Players Championship event earlier this week to move into the qualifying places, will make his World Matchplay debut along with Jose De Sousa, Gabriel Clemens and Dimitri Van den Bergh.
The 16 seeded players were already confirmed before the final event of the Summer Series although Simon Whitlock was unable to do enough to move up from 16th following a second-round exit. He is now on an ominous collision course with Van Gerwen in the second round should they both win their openner.
- Scroll down for World Matchplay qualifiers, Order Of Merits and all the results
Darren Webster, meanwhile, hit the second nine-darter of the week in his 6-1 victory over Kim Huybrechts in the opening round which also ended the Belgian's chances of snatching a World Matchplay spot. The Demolition Man was one of many players who needed to win the title but his dreams were, of course, ended by Wright in round three.
Special mention must also go out to Jones, who won through to the semi-finals in his best run on the ProTour since May 2016, seeing off Glen Durrant as well as Adrian Gray, Robbie Collins, Mike De Decker and Scott Baker.
Both Wright and Price received byes in the first round after Justin Pipe (arm injury) and Adrian Lewis (personal reasons) both withdrew while Luke Humphries and Jamie Lewis also opted not to take part for personal reasons.
PDC Summer Series Day Five Results (Players Championship 13)
- Last 16 onwards. For all the Players Championship NINE results and detailed stats, head to Dart Connect (tv.dartconnect.com/events/pdc)
- Gerwyn Price 6-5 Jose De Sousa
- James Wade 6-3 Chris Dobey
- John Henderson 6-5 Mickey Mansell
- Devon Petersen 6-3 Daryl Gurney
- Peter Wright 6-1 Brendan Dolan
- Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Dirk van Duijvenbode
- Scott Baker 6-0 Madars Razma
- Wayne Jones 6-5 Mike De Decker
- Gerwyn Price 6-1 James Wade
- Devon Petersen 6-3 John Henderson
- Peter Wright 6-5 Nathan Aspinall
- Wayne Jones 6-0 Scott Baker
- Gerwyn Price 8-7 Devon Petersen
- Peter Wright 7-2 Wayne Jones
- Peter Wright 8-2 Gerwyn Price
Summer Series Order Of Merit: Top 20
- Peter Wright £22,000
- Michael van Gerwen £21,000
- James Wade £16,250
- Ryan Joyce £11,000
- Gerwyn Price £10,000
- Jose de Sousa £9,250
- Dave Chisnall £9.250
- Rob Cross £8,000
- Daryl Gurney £7,750
- Nathan Aspinall £7.750
- Krzysztof Ratajski £7,750
- Ian White £6,750
- Mensur Suljovic £6,750
- Glen Durrant £6,500
- Devon Petersen £6,000
- Martin Kleermaker £5,750
- Chris Dobey £5,250
- Michael Smith £5,250
- Danny Noppert £5,250
- Jermaine Wattimena £5,000
World Matchplay qualifiers
The 16 seeded players are the top 16 from the main PDC Order Of Merit. There was no rankings movement in the top 12 during the PDC Summer Series although James Wade did close the gap between himself and Gary Anderson thanks to winning one of the five events. However, the players ranked 13-16 did shuffle around significantly, with Krzysztof Ratajski (15th to 13th) and Glen Durrant (16th to 15th) making new career-high climbs which means they avoid a potential meeting with top seed Michael van Gerwen in the second round. That fate falls on Simon Whitlock, although he's in such bad form right now, he may struggle to get past Summer Series event winner Ryan Joyce.
- Michael van Gerwen £1,527,250
- Peter Wright £928,000
- Gerwyn Price £806,000
- Rob Cross £546,750
- Michael Smith £521,250
- Nathan Aspinall £476,000
- Daryl Gurney £449,750
- Gary Anderson £435,750
- James Wade £421,000
- Dave Chisnall £381,750
- Ian White £358,500
- Mensur Suljovic £318,250
- Krzysztof Ratajski £249,750
- Adrian Lewis £248,750
- Glen Durrant £247,000
- Simon Whitlock £246,250
The unseeded players were the top 16 on the one-year ProTour Order of Merit who hadn't already qualified via the above list. The cut-off point was the final event of five at the PDC Summer Series. Remarkably - despite how tight this ranking list was all the way down to around the 40th position before a dart was thrown at Summer Series - only two players outside the qualification places managed to climb their way into the 16. The first was Ryan Joyce thanks largely to the maiden ranking title he managed to achieve on day two and the other was Ricky Evans, who moved up just two places with some steady performances, while Ryan Searle and Kim Huybrechts were the pair who were dislodged.
- Joe Cullen £56,250
- Brendan Dolan £40,500
- Jose de Sousa £40,000
- Danny Noppert £36,500
- Jermaine Wattimena £34,000
- Gabriel Clemens £29,250
- Jonny Clayton £29,000
- Jamie Hughes £27,500
- Jeffrey de Zwaan £26,500
- Ryan Joyce £26,250
- Dimitri van den Bergh £24,500
- Justin Pipe £24,000
- Vincent van der Voort £23,750
- Keegan Brown £23,750
- Steve Beaton £23,500
- Ricky Evans £22,500
Related Darts Content
- Summer Series: Event one report
- Summer Series: Event two report
- Summer Series: Event three report
- Summer Series: Event four report
- 2020 World Matchplay draw and schedule
- 2020 Premier League venues & dates
- 2020 PDC event calendar & results
- 2020 World Darts Championship results
- 2019 PDC event results
- Sky Bet's darts odds
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