Michael van Gerwen was crowned the 2019 Melbourne Darts Masters champion as he beat Daryl Gurney 8-3 in front of a packed crowd at Melbourne Arena.
Claiming his second title in Australia, and first since 2016 – Van Gerwen also sealed his first televised title since the Premier League back in May in the process.
It was normal service resumed for the world number one, as he powered his way to 13th World Series title with expert finishing and dominant displays.
Gurney, looking for his first World Series title, proved a tough test early on in the final and had Van Gerwen worried with stronger scoring – but his accuracy on the doubles proved his downfall.
Van Gerwen also started brightly, and sunk a 110 checkout in the third leg – the highest of the final – to move 2-1 ahead.
He then broke throw for the first time in the game to move two clear, but Gurney responded strongly to break back and level at 3-3 at the interval.
But that was as good as it got for the former World Grand Prix champion, as Van Gerwen rattled off five straight legs to clinch the title.
“It is good to be back and winning titles again. People have been talking a little bit because they are used to seeing me win all the time.
“Form is temporary and class is permanent, nobody should doubt my talent,” said a buoyant Van Gerwen after his win.
“To beat Gary Anderson, Peter Wright and then Daryl in the final it shows that I am still the man to beat and I want to make it two out of three when we go to Hamilton next week.”
The Dutchman, who has been struggling for form in recent weeks, came through a tough final day which started with an impressive 8-6 victory over Gary Anderson.
This also saw Van Gerwen average over 100 for the first time in 15 matches.
In the Semi-Finals he was at his most dominant, whitewashing reigning champion Peter Wright 8-0 to reach the final.
Gurney’s run to the final started with a convincing 8-4 over home favourite Simon Whitlock, in which he landed a stunning 132 checkout on the bull.
This was then followed by a tense 8-5 victory over World Matchplay champion Rob Cross.
Trading the first ten legs, Gurney again was the stronger scorer and finisher and proved as such as he clinched four straight legs to seal the victory and reach the final.
It was the Northern Irishman’s second World Series final after he lost to the same opponent in the US Darts Masters in 2017, with Van Gerwen running out an 8-6 winner on that occasion. The run to the decider this week is something the world number five is hoping could kick start his year.
“I had my chances and if I had managed to hit my doubles I might have been able to win tonight.
“I’m playing well and giving myself good opportunities so to make it to another final shows I am still competing at the highest level.
“There are a lot of big events coming up in the rest of the year and I hope to be lifting at least one of the big ones.”
The World Series of Darts will continue from August 23-24 as the PDC stars head to Hamilton for the first time at the Claudelands Arena with bumper crowds expected.
A limited number of tickets are still available at https://premier.ticketek.co.nz/shows/show.aspx?sh=DARTS2019
The New Zealand Darts Masters will be broadcast live on Fox Sports across Australia and worldwide through the PDC’s international broadcast partners, as well as through PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers (outside of the UK, Ireland & Netherlands).
UK TV coverage on ITV4 will be from 7pm BST.
2019 Melbourne Darts Masters
(1) Peter Wright v Corey Cadby
Raymond van Barneveld v Haupai Puha
(4) Michael van Gerwen v Tim Pusey
Gary Anderson v James Bailey
(2) Rob Cross v Robbie King
James Wade v Damon Heta
(3) Daryl Gurney v Kyle Anderson
Simon Whitlock v Mick Lacey
Friday, August 16
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Mick Lacey
Raymond van Barneveld 6-1 Haupai Puha
Daryl Gurney 6-3 Kyle Anderson
Gary Anderson 6-0 James Bailey
Peter Wright 6-4 Corey Cadby
Damon Heta 6-1 James Wade
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Tim Pusey
Rob Cross 6-2 Robbie King
Best of 11 legs
Saturday, August 17
Peter Wright 8-6 Raymond van Barneveld
Michael van Gerwen 8-6 Gary Anderson
Rob Cross 8-3 Damon Heta
Daryl Gurney 8-4 Simon Whitlock
Michael van Gerwen 8-0 Peter Wright
Daryl Gurney 8-5 Rob Cross
Michael van Gerwen 8-3 Daryl Gurney
All best of 15 legs