GARY ANDERSON claimed his first Coral UK Open title with an 11-7 win over Australian sensation Corey Cadby in Sunday’s final at the Butlin’s Minehead Resort.
World number four Anderson scooped the £70,000 top prize and his first televised ranking title for over two years with the success.
Anderson defeated World Champion Rob Cross 10-5 in Sunday afternoon’s quarter-finals and then overcame David Pallett 11-7 in the semi-finals, before holding off the former World Youth Champion to claim the title.
After Cadby opened up an early 4-1 lead – taking out 70 and 87 along the way – Anderson hit back to lead 5-4 with a four-leg burst of his own which was sparked by a 110 finish, before finishing a key 108 to lead 8-6.
Cadby hit back before finishes of 70 and 91 moved Anderson to the brink of a victory which he sealed with a 14-dart leg on double 18.
“It’s fantastic for me,” said Anderson. “I’ve come here to win the tournament and managed to do it, and it’s great.
“I played well on Friday and Saturday and I was very happy with my game but I struggled in the last three games. My scoring wasn’t there but my doubles went in when I needed them to.
“In the last three games I’ve been lucky – it’s been a struggle. Corey is good and I’ve got a lot of time for him, he’s a class act.
“I knew exactly what to expect and he’s going to be about for a long, long time. It’s getting harder every year with all the youngsters coming through and they’ll take it in their stride.”
Cadby, who picked up £35,000 as runner-up, continued his superb start to life as a professional since winning a Tour Card in January by reaching his first televised ranking final with Sunday wins over Gerwyn Price and Robert Owen.
The Tasmania-born star will now return to Melbourne ahead of his wedding to fiancee Breana in a fortnight – on his 23rd birthday – and said: “What a year 2018 has been and I’m looking forward to the rest.
“I’m only young, I’ve got a lot to learn and I’m pretty happy to make the final. I’m not happy to be runner-up but I’ll take it.
“I gave everything but you’ve got to hit the doubles at crucial times, you can’t afford to miss and Gary came through and won.”
The UK Open’s reputation for giving a platform to emerging players to make their mark continued as Wales’ Robert Owen and Shropshire-born David Pallett won through to their first televised semi-finals.
Owen saw off resurgent three-time World Champion John Part 10-3 in Sunday afternoon’s quarter-finals with the performance of his career, before being overpowered by Cadby in the last four as the Australian stormed into a 9-0 lead.
“I was disappointed to lose to Corey but at the same time I can’t really be too disappointed,” said the 33-year-old from Ogmore Vale. “It’s my first big TV semi-final and many other players never achieve that.
“Good things come to those who wait, and when you work hard it comes. I haven’t played my best darts this weekend but it’s a cracking start to the year.”
Pallett had lost his PDC Tour Card at the end of 2017, but the 28-year-old continued his promising start to the year by following up wins over former UK Open champions Robert Thornton and James Wade with a 10-5 quarter-final success against Steve West.
“I’m gutted with the way the semi-final went but it’s been a good weekend for me,” said Pallett, who has moved to Kettering this year.
“In the first ten legs, Gary wasn’t firing on all cylinders and an average Dave Pallett took five legs from him. I didn’t take advantage of it and you know when he’s going to come back at you he’s going to hit you, and he did.
“I lost my Tour Card but my form has been better than a lot of Tour Card holders out there and I’m full of confidence. I’d have snapped your hand off to reach the semi-finals at the start of the weekend and I’ll learn from this.”
Part enjoyed his best run in a TV event since reaching the 2012 Grand Slam of Darts quarter-finals, but after five wins in the earlier rounds the Canadian ran out of steam against Owen.
“Maybe I played better somewhere along the way but Robert had me under pressure from the start and I could not get going,” said Part. “He shut me down and played a great game.
“I didn’t feel like myself but he played some great darts. I’m disappointed but I’m very happy to be in the quarter-final of a major tournament, it’s a step forward for me.”
2018 Coral UK Open
Sunday March 4
David Pallett 10-5 Steve West
Robert Owen 10-3 John Part
Corey Cadby 10-6 Gerwyn Price
Gary Anderson 10-5 Rob Cross
Best of 19 legs
Gary Anderson 11-7 David Pallett
Corey Cadby 11-3 Robert Owen
Gary Anderson 11-7 Corey Cadby