MICHAEL VAN GERWEN clinched his 26th European Tour title and a sixth of the year as he defeated William O’Connor 8-2 in the final of the European Darts Matchplay on Sunday.
The world number one hit a nine-dart leg against Ryan Joyce on Saturday evening, before backing up last month’s Gibraltar Darts Trophy crown with another triumph to continue his dominance in 2018.
The fourth staging of the tournament at the edel-optics.de Arena saw runner-up O’Connor enjoy his best ever run in a European Tour event, but Van Gerwen produced a sensational display in the final, averaging 105.17 as he picked up the £25,000 prize.
Van Gerwen hit an astonishing tournament average of 103.06 as he defeated Joyce in round two, before powering past Robert Thornton 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals.
The final session of the weekend saw the Dutchman see off a determined Ian White 6-4, followed by a 7-4 victory over Stephen Bunting to reach the final.
“I am delighted to win this trophy and I’m pleased with how I played this weekend,” said Van Gerwen, who has lost just two matches on the European Tour in 2018.
“William played really well all weekend, it was a phenomenal performance from him but there can only be one winner and luckily it was me.
“Of course, it’s always hard to win titles like this but you need to have a strong mindset to beat these top players.
“It was a great feeling to hit the nine-darter in front of such a great crowd – it’s been well overdue on the European Tour and I’m glad it was me who hit it.”
O’Connor broke the Dutchman’s throw in the opening leg of the contest, before Van Gerwen reeled off the next six legs in stunning style.
The Irishman pulled one back to make it 6-2, only for Van Gerwen to take the final two legs of the match and return to the winners’ enclosure on the European Tour.
O’Connor’s impressive run to his first ever PDC ranking final saw the Republic of Ireland World Cup of Darts star record impressive victories over Martin Atkins, World Champion Rob Cross, Kim Huybrechts, Mensur Suljovic and Andy Boulton.
The Hamburg event was also a significant one for Boulton, who won through to his first ever European Tour semi-final, and for Bunting, who reached his first semi-final on the continent in almost two years.
The PDC European Tour continues from August 31-September 2 with the German Darts Championship in Hildesheim, Germany with coverage to be broadcast at PDCTV-HD and through a series of bookmakers’ websites worldwide.