Back-to-back titles as brilliant Anderson rules at the Pro Tour.
Anderson, who won the Players Championship 24 last month, won with a nine-dart finish at the Barnsley Metrodome before dismissing Rock to claim his third ranking title of the year.
The two-time World Champion won the £12,000 top prize with a tournament average of 101.45, moving him to the top of the 2023 Players Championship Order of Merit with five events remaining.
After defeating Damian Mol in his first-round match, Anderson dominated Keane Barry in the second round, averaging 105 in his 6-2 victory.
The 52-year-old then defeated European Champion Ross Smith with a phenomenal 113 average, before beating Gerwyn Price and Danny Noppert with 108 and 107 averages, respectively.
Anderson later rallied from a 4-3 deficit to defeat a spirited Jim Williams in the semi-finals, setting up a title match versus World Youth Champion Rock.
The Northern Irishman struck first with a break of throw, but Anderson reacted with a 121 leveller on the bull, launching a four-leg rampage for the Scot.
He extended his advantage to 4-1 with a superb 110 kill on tops, and when Rock stopped the rot in set six, the veteran great recovered his three-leg cushion with a 12-dart hold.
Rock responded with 67 and 72 combination finishes, threatening to mount a late comeback, but Anderson had other plans, delivering a smooth 127 finish in leg ten to reclaim control at 6-4.
The Northern Irishman then suffered the price for missing two darts at double, as Anderson moved to within one dart of victory at 7-4, before pinning double four moments later to cap off another outstanding season.
“I’ve got nothing to lose. I just come up and throw darts and they’re going alright,” quipped Anderson, who also claimed the spoils at Players Championship Eight in March.
“I last played in Leicester two weeks ago. Today is only the second time I’ve thrown since Andrew [Gilding] battered me on that stage!
“I was struggling at the end there. The young boys that do this every day of the week – hats off to them.
“I’m playing well, but I’m not looking too far ahead. I have my odd practice with Ryan [Searle], play in the Players Championships, and if I qualify for anything else in between it’s a bonus.”
Rock’s astonishing consistency continued as he reached his fourth Players Championship final of 2023, only to be denied his first ranking trophy since last October.
The 22-year-old defeated Shaun Wilkinson in his opener, and after coming from 5-3 down to defeat Simon Whitlock, he brushed away Steve Lennon to go to the round of 16.
There, Rock came back from a 2-0 deficit to smash Germany’s Daniel Klose, converting 170 and 136 checkouts to win with a 107 average.
The World Youth Champion then eliminated Rob Cross in the last eight before defeating fellow Northern Irishman Brendan Dolan in an all-Northern Irish semi-final.
Dolan, like Anderson, attained perfection on a spectacular day in Barnsley, delivering his second flawless leg of 2023 in his quarter-final victory over Martijn Kleermaker.
Dolan, a former World Grand Prix runner-up, also overcame Owen Bates, Dylan Slevin, Rusty-Jake Rodriguez, and Danny Jansen to reach the final four and win £4,000 in prize money.
Dolan was joined in the semi-finals by Welsh arrowsmith Williams, who defeated Mervyn King and Cam Crabtree late in the season to post his greatest performance of the 2023 season.
Crabtree shined on his way to his first Players Championship quarter-final, while Cross, Noppert, and Kleermaker also advanced to the last eight.
2023 Players Championship 25
Wednesday October 18
The Barnsley Metrodome
Martijn Kleermaker 6-4 Callan Rydz
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Danny Jansen
Josh Rock 6-2 Daniel Klose
Rob Cross 6-5 Joe Cullen
Gary Anderson 6-2 Gerwyn Price
Danny Noppert 6-1 Martin Lukeman
Cam Crabtree 6-4 Stephen Burton
Jim Williams 6-3 Mervyn King
Brendan Dolan 6-3 Martijn Kleermaker
Josh Rock 6-3 Rob Cross
Gary Anderson 6-4 Danny Noppert
Jim Williams 6-3 Cam Crabtree
Josh Rock 7-5 Brendan Dolan
Gary Anderson 7-5 Jim Williams
Gary Anderson 8-4 Josh Rock