Classy Clayton wins the New South Wales Darts Masters
Jonny Clayton defeated James Wade in front of a record-breaking Wollongong crowd to win the PalmerBet New South Wales Darts Masters and win his first World Series championship in Australia.
4,000 spectators packed the WIN Entertainment Center to watch Clayton win his first championship of 2022 after defeating Wade handily 8-1 in the championship match on Saturday.
Both of the former World Series Finals champions were battling for their first World Series circuit victories when Clayton seized an early march and established a 3-0 lead.
Wade opened his account after his first maximum with a signature ton-plus finish, but Clayton quickly restored his three-leg advantage with a 14-darter, which he then followed with a 120 checkout to take the lead at 5-1.
The Welshman didn’t let up and increased his lead to 7-1 before securing the deal spectacularly and winning the £20,000 top prize with a 160 finish.
“This means a lot to me,” said an emotional Clayton, who surrendered just six legs on Finals Day to secure his second World Series crown.
“I knew I needed to keep James under pressure because we all know what James can do, and luckily for me I kept him under pressure.
“Hopefully this can kick-start the rest of my year. Last week I didn’t turn up, but I lost to a much better player, and now I’m looking forward to next week.”
Clayton advanced to the semifinals earlier in the day with a valiant 6-4 triumph over third seed Michael Smith, finishing with a superb 136 to guarantee his advancement.
The Welshman then easily defeated Joe Cullen 7-1 to advance to Saturday’s championship match, exacting revenge for his loss to the Yorkshireman in the Cazoo Premier League semifinals in June.
Wade, who had not won a PDC championship since March 2021, put up some excellent performances in the final rounds of the tournament on Saturday, thrashing first seed Dimitri Van den Bergh.
The ten-time TV champion punished the Belgian’s careless performance by hitting four 180s, eliminating 127 and 104 checkouts, and earning a spot in the last four.
In the semifinals, the left-hander eliminated world number one Gerwyn Price with a brutal display of combo finishing.
Wade began the match with a magnificent 140 outshot, then won the next three legs to secure a decisive 7-3 victory and a spot in the first Australian final since 2015.
“I just got smashed to pieces by Jonny,” reflected a candid Wade post-match.
“I’m really disappointed with how I played in the final, but Jonny is one of the few players I don’t mind losing to.
“I didn’t play anywhere near Jonny’s level and he did what he needed to do. The only thing he did wrong was lose a leg!”
In other matches, Price defeated Fallon Sherrock in the quarterfinals with his second-highest televised average, averaging 109.98, hitting four 180s, and making six of his nine double attempts.
Cullen, meanwhile, dashed Australia’s World Cup star Simon Whitlock’s aspirations by winning 6-2 and advancing to back-to-back semi-finals Down Under despite defying a partisan crowd.
2022 PalmerBet New South Wales Darts Masters
Saturday August 20
James Wade 6-0 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Gerwyn Price 6-0 Fallon Sherrock
Joe Cullen 6-2 Simon Whitlock
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Michael Smith
James Wade 7-3 Gerwyn Price
Jonny Clayton 7-1 Joe Cullen
Jonny Clayton 8-1 James Wade