Gary Anderson claimed the first PDC ranking title of 2020 with victory at Player’s Championship 1 in Barnsley on Saturday.
Anderson defeated Canada’s Jeff Smith 8-4 in the final to get his 2020 campaign off to a perfect start following an injury-ravaged 2019.
The two-time World Champion was in fine form all day, hitting four ton-plus averages, including a 107.5 against Christian Bunse in the first round.
After a win over Simon Whitlock, a 104.4 average saw Anderson defeat rival Gerwyn Price for the second time in a week, which he followed up with a 106.1 to overcome Rob Cross and reach the quarter-finals.
There, the Scottish World Cup winner beat Joe Cullen 6-2 before averaging 102.2 to claim a 7-3 win over Adrian Lewis in the semi-finals.
The final saw Anderson race into a 6-2 lead before Smith, who was competing in his first Players Championship event since 2013, fought back to trail 6-4.
However, two-time World Champion Anderson was not to be denied and he went on to pick up his first PDC ranking title since the 2018 World Matchplay.
“It’s been a while since I won something, but I’ve got the hunger back,” Anderson revealed.
“I want to get back to how I was throwing before [injury], I don’t mind if I win or lose, but as long as I throw them how I used to then I’ll be alright.
“I still have work to do, but it’s not a bad start.”
The first of 30 Players Championship events in 2020 saw two nine-dart finishes hit, both in the first round, by Northern Ireland’s Mickey Mansell and Dutchman Mike van Duivenbode.
The day was also a significant one for another Dutch youngster, Maik Kuivenhoven, who reached his first PDC ranking quarter-final.
Sunday will see the second day of the ProTour double-header take place, with live streaming on PDCTV.
See full Players Championship 1 results in the Match Centre.
Players Championship 1
Saturday February 8
Brendan Dolan 6-5 Ross Smith
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-3 Steve Brown
Peter Wright 6-3 Conan Whitehead
Jeff Smith 6-5 Nathan Aspinall
Adrian Lewis 6-1 Darren Webster
Steve Beaton 6-1 Mickey Mansell
Gary Anderson 6-2 Rob Cross
Joe Cullen 6-1 Nick Kenny
Brendan Dolan 6-3 Maik Kuivenhoven
Jeff Smith 6-5 Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Steve Beaton
Gary Anderson 6-2 Joe Cullen
Jeff Smith 7-2 Brendan Dolan
Gary Anderson 7-3 Adrian Lewis
Gary Anderson 8-4 Jeff Smith