Clayton ends two year wait for Pro Tour title at Players Championship 12
In the Players Championship 12 Jonny Clayton defeated Josh Rock 8-5 to win the tournament for the first time in more than two years.
In winning his second ProTour championship of the year, Clayton recorded three-ton-plus averages, giving himself the ideal preparation for his Thursday at The O2 attempt to win the Cazoo Premier League for a second time.
Before fending off Rock’s challenge to win the Players Championship for the sixth time in his career, the five-time TV championship winner defeated Dave Chisnall and Damon Heta in the quarter- and semifinal rounds, respectively.
“Josh is a class act with a massive future so I’m going to enjoy any win against him, especially in a final,” said Clayton, who defeated Rock to win the Austrian Darts Open (ET5) final in April.
“I came here this weekend to get valuable match practice; I’m playing Gerwyn Price, arguably the best player in the world, on Thursday night so I need the practice.
“I’ll admit I’m the laziest practicer at home, so I needed this and it keeps me sharp for next week.
“I’m playing okay again and I’ve got a smile on my face. Hopefully it gives me that confidence to pick up the trophy for a second time.”
After a dominant start to the day in which he defeated Karel Sedlacek 6-0 while averaging 109.98, Clayton prevailed over Jurjen van der Velde in a decisive last-leg match.
At the Morningside Arena, a 6-1 triumph over Kim Huybrechts was followed by a 107.40 average in a 6-4 victory over Pascal Rupprecht to advance to the round of eight.
After defeating the first seed Chisnall, Clayton averaged 103.45 to defeat Heta 6-5 and overcome Rock’s near-100 average in the championship match.
On his path to winning the Players Championship for the second time this year, rising sensation Rock eliminated Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson in the last 16 and final 32 rounds, respectively, averaging 105.85 in a 6-5 victory over Anderson.
Additionally, the winner of the UK Open, Andrew Gilding, advanced to the semifinals, and Boris Krcmar, a representative of Croatia at the World Cup, made it to his first quarterfinal of the year in terms of rankings.
Gerwyn Price, who finished first in the Premier League standings and will face Clayton in the Play-Off semifinal, lost to Joe Cullen in the round of 16.
The thirteenth and fourteenth Players Championship competitions will take held on June 12–13 in Hildesheim, Germany.
2023 Players Championship 12
Sunday May 21
Morningside Arena, Leicester
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Pascal Rupprecht
Damon Heta 6-4 Stephen Bunting
Chris Dobey 6-4 Rob Cross
Boris Krcmar 6-5 Scott Williams
Josh Rock 6-3 Michael van Gerwen
Andrew Gilding 6-4 Steve Lennon
Joe Cullen 6-3 Gerwyn Price
Jonny Clayton 6-2 Dave Chisnall
Damon Heta 6-5 Chris Dobey
Josh Rock 6-5 Boris Krcmar
Andrew Gilding 6-3 Joe Cullen
Jonny Clayton 7-6 Damon Heta
Josh Rock 7-5 Andrew Gilding
Jonny Clayton 8-5 Josh Rock