Peter finds the Wright stuff to win PDC World Championship title
Peter Wright won his first PDC World Championship title after brilliantly beating Michael Van Gerwen 7-3 at Alexandra Palace.
The 49-year-old Scot, who lost to Van Gerwen in the 2014 final, denied his world number one opponent a fourth global crown.
And it was an outstanding performance by underdog Wright, as he won three successive sets to leave his illustrious opponent floundering.
The opening two legs of an eagerly awaited encounter went against the throw, and Van Gerwen went agonisingly close to a 170 checkout in a first-set decider, narrowly missing the bullseye, before Wright closed out a double-top finish.
It was exactly the start Wright needed, and he continued a high-class opening in set two – taking it 3-1 and opening up a clear early advantage.
Van Gerwen, though, hit back immediately, needing just 37 darts to whitewash Wright in set three, when he averaged 122, before a tight, tense fourth set also went the Dutchman’s way 3-2.
With his 180 count beginning to mount – he hit seven maximums in the first four sets – Van Gerwen was off and running in pursuit of another world crown.
Wright had to somehow halt his charge, and he did exactly that in set five – with a considerable amount of help from his opponent.
Van Gerwen inexplicably missed six darts at a double in leg three, but Wright retained his accuracy, taking the set 3-1 and regaining overall control.
Van Gerwen’s double trouble continued in the sixth set, which saw Wright claim a whitewash and reopen a healthy lead, yet Van Gerwen regained his composure to peg his opponent back and make it 4-3.
But back came Wright in set eight, capitalising on another missed Van Gerwen double in the deciding fifth leg to put daylight between him and his opponent once again.
Wright then clinched a five-leg set to go 6-3 up and close in on the title, before Van Gerwen responded by going agonisingly close to a nine-dart leg in set 10.
But Wright was not to be denied, and he closed out the match with a double 10 shot to see him crowned world champion and collect a £500,000 winner’s purse.