Perfect Treble at Pro Tour Opener

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Luke Littler may have grabbed the headlines on a fantastic opening day of the new Pro Tour Season, with victory in his first Players Championship Event. But, The Nuke‘s thrilling Final 8-7 against Ryan Searle in Wigan was not the only high point on a high quality day of darts.

Three perfect legs were recorded in Wigan with recent World Championship Finalist, Littler, along with Leighton Bennett and Mickey Mansell (Pictured) all registering 9 dart legs at Robin Park Sports Centre.

Boom Boom Bennett found perfection against Lukas Wenig while The Clonoe Cyclone’s was produced against Krzysztof Ratajski in the 2nd Round.

The 17-year-old found his in the next round against Italian international Michele Turetta, in what was a fabulous showing of tungsten action in Players Championship 1.

The Nuke claims £15,000 having averaged a staggering 109.64 in the Final, whilst opponent Searle scored 111.71 despite falling short in the final leg.

The teenager will see this as a huge step in the right direction in relation to qualifying for major events later in the year, with the World Matchplay coming up in July.

2023 PDC Development Tour Number 1 Gian van Veen had a bright opening day in Wigan, reaching the Semi Finals after beating 2024 World Championship Quarter Finalist Brendan Dolan and former European Championship winner Ross Smith, claiming 6-5 victories in all his matches from the 2nd Round onwards.

The Nuke opened his campaign in Players Championship 1 with a 6-1 victory over Jim Williams, averaging 105.48 and hitting 7 180s.

The reigning World Youth Champion defeated Luke Woodhouse 6-3 before finding the tournament’s 3rd 9 Dart Finish in a 6-1 victory over Michele Turetta in the Last 32.

Littler hit his 2nd 100+ score to beat Cameron Menzies 6-2 in the Last 16. Littler missed Double 12 for a 2nd 9 Dart finish of the day but averaged a whopping 108.99 in booking a place in the Quarter Finals.

The Nuke scored 100.65 in beating recent Tour Card winner James Hurrell 6-3 in the Quarter Finals, before coming through a close contest with Alan Soutar in the Semi Finals in a match which could have gone either way.

Littler saved his best for last in one of the highest quality Pro Tour Finals showcased, with both players throwing a combined 13 180s over 15 legs of darts.

Ryan Searle continues his very useful habit of starting the floor season strongly amd can hold his head high despite defeat. Heavy Metal included 2 x 11 dart legs as well as a 103 check out in the third leg.

It was Luke though who found the highest finish, completing a 12-dart leg with a 136 checkout to move 5-3 ahead in the Final.
Littler held his throw on tops to win 8-7 with the 17-year-old set to play again on Tuesday in Pro Tour Event 2 which will be live streamed on PDC TV.

Elsewhere, Brendan Dolan had a strong day at Robin Park Sports Centre beating Wessel Nijman 6-5 in a match where both players averaged over 102. The History Maker recorded wins over Ricardo Pietreczko and Martijn Dragt, in a run to the Quarter Finals in the opening Pro Tour.

Gerwyn Price produced an impressive early display in beating Matthew Dennant in the 2nd Round, scoring 110.77 and hitting 6 180s. The Iceman hit a 100 check out in the opening leg, before finding 12 and 11 dart legs in recording a 6-2 win. The Welshman then withdrew citing unhappiness with the conditions.

Players Championship 2 is Live from 1pm on PDCTV, in the second stage of the opening Pro Tour double header of 2024 in Wigan.

PDC Players Championship 1

Results

Last 16:

Luke Littler 6-2 Cameron Menzies
James Hurrell 6-3 Jamie Hughes
Alan Soutar 6-1 Lee Evans
Nick Kenny 6-5 Mickey Mansell
Ryan Searle 6-0 Mike de Decker
Jose de Sousa 6-5 Nathan Aspinall
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Ricardo Pietreczko
Gian van Veen 6-5 Kim Huybrechts

Quarter Finals:

Luke Littler 6-3 James Hurrell
Alan Soutar 6-5 Nick Kenny
Ryan Searle 6-2 Jose de Sousa
Gian van Veen 6-5 Brendan Dolan

Semi Finals:

Luke Littler 7-6 Alan Soutar
Ryan Searle 7-3 Gian van Veen

Final:

Luke Littler 8-7 Ryan Searle

—–Ends—–

Images: PDC

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