Old Guard Return Fire on Pro Tour

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GARY Anderson was on top form as he claimed his first PDC title of the year at Players Championship 2 in Wigan on Tuesday, defeating Ryan Searle 8-5 in the final. Some of the sport’s biggest and longest established names also starred in the second event of the season’s opening double header.

The sports new generation had the better of PC! with Luke Littler’s triumph but it was a different story on day 2. Anderson produced four ton-plus averages across the day and missed double 12 for a nine-darter on three occasions, the last of which came in the final leg of the final.

The Scot had already missed a dart for perfection earlier in the match, having also missed an attempt in his semi-final win over Peter Wright.

A 117.12 average in a 6-0 win over Andy Baetens in the fourth round is the highest ever officially recorded by Anderson, who defeated Raymond van Barneveld in the quarter-finals.

Anderson, who began the day with wins over Daniel Klose, Adam Gawlas and Daryl Gurney, scoops the £15,000 top prize which sees him rise two places to 25th on the PDC Order of Merit.

“It’s always nice to win these events, especially the way I played today,” said Anderson, who won three Players Championship titles in 2023.

“Yesterday I felt like a kid at a new school, I was nervous but today I felt more settled and it showed in my performances.

“It’s been a long day and I’m happy to come out on top against a great player in Ryan.

“We’ve practiced together a couple of times since the World Championship, we spur each other on.

“He’s a great guy, he just gets on with it and plays darts, he puts the effort in so it’s nice to see him do well.

“I’ll just carry on doing what I do, I’m in a good place in my life and I’m enjoy playing darts.

“I’m looking forward to playing the European Tour events as well this year and I want to keep my form going.”

Wright responded to some recent criticism with an impressive run to the last four where he gave Anderson a real run for his money. The Scot will have been pleased to bank some good form before a ‘home night’ in the Premier League this Thursday as the showpiece arrives in Glasgow.

Raymond van Barneveld added to the parade of legendary names reaching the later stages of PC2 as the Dutch icon reached the quarter finals, taking out compatriot and new generation star Gian van Veen along the way.

Another strong day from Searle saw him finish runner-up for a second successive day, having lost out to Luke Littler in the Players Championship 1 final. For the third consecutive year Heavy Metal hit the opening weekend hard and added to his collection of finals and or wins.

Littler’s first taste of defeat on the ProTour came in the second round as he went down 6-5 to Radek Szaganski.

Meanwhile it was another day to forget for World Champion Luke Humphries who lost 6-5 to Jurjen van der Velde in round one.

The 2024 PDC ProTour season continues with Players Championships 3-4 in Leicester on March 19-20, with coverage broadcast live through PDCTV and bookmakers’ websites worldwide.

2024 Players Championship 2

Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan

Tuesday February 13

Last 16

Peter Wright 6-2 Cameron Menzies

Robert Owen 6-4 Ryan Joyce

Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Gian van Veen

Gary Anderson 6-0 Andy Baetens

Martin Lukeman 6-3 Chris Dobey

Callan Rydz 6-4 Jose De Sousa

Ryan Searle 6-1 Arron Monk

Niels Zonneveld 6-4 Paul Krohne

Quarter-Finals

Peter Wright 6-2 Robert Owen

Gary Anderson 6-3 Raymond van Barneveld

Martin Lukeman 6-2 Callan Rydz

Ryan Searle 6-4 Niels Zonneveld

Semi-Finals

Gary Anderson 7-5 Peter Wright

Ryan Searle 7-6 Martin Lukeman

Final

Gary Anderson 8-5 Ryan Searle

—–ENDS—–

Images: PDC

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