Gary Anderson sealed the first Cash Converters Players Championship of the year after a thrilling 6-5 victory over Andrew Gilding at the Barnsley Metrodome.
Anderson overcame stern opposition from Gilding to make it three tournament wins in 2014, per Darts Database, adding to his German Darts Championship and UK Open—claiming £10,000 of prize money, per Professional Darts Championship website.
Adrian Lewis hit two nine-dart finishes on the way to the quarter-finals but defeat against Mervyn King knocked him out, while James Wade went out after a 6-3 defeat by Gilding in the semi-final.
|Quarter-Final||Andrew Gilding||6-2||Darren Webster|
|Quarter-Final||James Wade||6-5||Ronnie Baxter|
|Quarter-Final||Gary Anderson||6-3||Andy Hamilton|
|Quarter-Final||Mervyn King||6-4||Adrian Lewis|
|Semi-Final||Andrew Gilding||6-3||James Wade|
|Semi-Final||Gary Anderson||6-3||Mervyn King|
|Final||Gary Anderson||6-5||Andrew Gilding|
The 43-year-old Scot began his road to success with victory over Gary Stone, before overcoming challenges from John Henderson and James Hubbard sealed his place in the last 16.
There wasn't such luck for Raymond van Barneveld, who has never won the Barnsley event according to Darts Database, knocked out in the second round after a 6-2 defeat by Nigel Heydon.
Meanwhile, Michael van Gerwen saw his stay in the competition ended abruptly after a 6-3 loss against Darren 'Demolition Man' Webster.
It was then the turn of fellow Premier League player Wes Newton to come up against Anderson, but neither he nor Andy Hamilton could stop The Flying Scotsman—6-3 victories on both occasions.
Anderson then faced King in the semi-final and with that, yet another 6-3 win as he progressed into his final date with Gilding.
It wasn't long until Anderson made his mark on the final round, ascending into a fine 3-0 lead and capping the third leg with a 65 checkout.
Gilding then pulled one back, but Anderson made quick work to extend his three-leg lead after a 76 checkout.
But then, a fightback was on the cards as Gilding pulled off a 134 checkout, then making the most of Anderson's two missed attempts to claw it back to 4-3.
Honours then turned even in the eighth leg as Gilding, on the rampage in a thrilling leg that saw Anderson make down to 32—but for Gilding to hit an 85 finish to draw the final level.
Anderson found the ascendancy once again as he made it 5-3 with scores of 180, 140 and 130—sealing double-eight, but missing a dart proved costly as Gilding made it 5-5, and both players went into the deciding leg.
He had done it two legs previously, but another double-eight resulted in another tournament win for Anderson, as he continues his excellent form in 2014.
Speaking with the Western Gazette's Chris Sweet recently, Anderson admitted that he had heard criticism of his double-finishes, but stated his hard work to perfect his game when asked if he was bothered about the talk surrounding his final-dart displays:
It has in the last couple of years because anything that was being I said I was listening to. It was always about my doubles, but if you step back and look at the games I have played in there are a lot of players who have been worse off with their doubles percentages. I’ve worked hard with the doubles and they have been fine.
Anderson certainly dismissed any accusations of his abilities on double-darts with his display in the final, bagging his double-eight to signal his second Players Championship win in Barnsley, per Darts Database.
Following Anderson's win, fellow professional Kevin Painter tweeted of the Scotsman's excellent form throughout the event:
On route to victory yesterday in pdc pro tour1,Gary Anderson started and ended the day with an 111+ average....take it easy son!!— Kevin Painter (@OfficialKP180) March 16, 2014
Anderson will go into the second day of the tournament looking to bag the £50,000 prize, per PDC website, but no doubt will have to face more stern opposition along the way.
Shock exits for van Barneveld and van Gerwen on the first day will leave the pair both looking to make amends in Barnsley.
However, with Anderson in such fine form and looking for his fourth title of the year, he's certainly living up to his nickname.