Graz Glory as Clayton wins his first Euro Tour Title since 2018

On a memorable day of drama in Graz, Jonny Clayton won his second Interwetten Austrian Darts Open title by defeating Josh Rock 8-6 to win his first European Tour title since 2018.

At the Steiermarkhalle, Clayton made an impressive comeback to the winner’s circle by defeating Rock in a competitive match to win his first PDC ranking title since October 2021.

The Welshman began his challenge on Saturday by defeating Jelle Klaasen in a decisive leg. He then averaged 106 in his match against Damon Heta in the round of 16, advancing with a magnificent 161 checkout.

After defeating Joe Cullen 6-3 in the quarterfinals, Clayton overcame a 6-3 deficit to defeat Daryl Gurney in a thrilling semifinal, surviving two match darts in the penultimate leg.

Five years after defeating his World Cup partner Gerwyn Price at this location, the former Premier League champion took advantage of this window of opportunity to reclaim the Austrian Darts Open title.

In Sunday’s championship match, Rock struck first with a 14-dart hold, but Clayton quickly took charge with a ferocious four-leg burst, including a 121 checkout in leg three and a 12-dart break in leg five.

In response, the Northern Irishman won three of the following four legs to reduce the deficit to 4-5, and a skillful 102 combination in leg 11 allowed him to keep the pressure on 2018 champion Clayton.

The Welshman then responded with a strong hold to move within one point of victory at 7-5, then he followed a fifth 180 by pinning double 13 to win the tense match.

Graz Glory as Clayton wins his first Euro Tour Title since 2018
Graz Glory as Clayton wins his first Euro Tour Title since 2018 (Matic Klansek)

“I think Graz is very kind to me. I love this place,” reflected Clayton, who averaged over 101 to scoop the £30,000 top prize and the coveted green jacket – awarded to each year’s champion in Austria.

“The crowd have been fantastic. They’ve been behind me all tournament and now I’ve got another green jacket. What more can I ask for?

“There are no easy games. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be and obviously today was my day, so I’m going to appreciate this win.

“The support is unreal. I was a working man playing darts as a hobby. Now it’s my profession and with a crowd like this behind me, I can’t ask for anything more – it is absolutely fantastic.”

On his way to his first European Tour final, Rock, meanwhile, made history by thrashing defending champion Michael van Gerwen, handing the Dutchman his first loss at this competition since 2016.

Following in the footsteps of Luke Humphries in Munich last year, the 22-year-old defeated Van Gerwen by a score of 2 to 0 for the second time in his European Tour career.

The World Youth Champion, who had earlier in the day defeated his countryman Mickey Mansell in a last-leg decider, also dashed the hopes of Mensur Suljovic, a fan favourite at home.


“Well done to Jonny. He was the better player and he deserved the win,” reflected Rock, who performed superbly to advance to a second ranking final of 2023.

“Jonny took his chances when he had to, but I reached my first semi-final and final on the same night [on the European Tour], so I cannot complain. I’m happy.

“I was surprised that I whitewashed Michael. We have only played each other three times and that was my first time beating him and I beat him in style.

“I can’t take anything away from Jonny though. He was absolutely phenomenal, but I’m happy to get to the final, and thanks very much to the fans, they were fantastic.”

2023 Interwetten Austrian Darts Open

Sunday April 23

Afternoon Session

Third Round

Daryl Gurney 6-4 Andrew Gilding

Danny Noppert 6-5 Nathan Aspinall

Jonny Clayton 6-4 Damon Heta

Joe Cullen 6-2 Dirk van Duijvenbode

Josh Rock 6-5 Mickey Mansell

Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Michael Smith

Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Simon Whitlock

Ryan Searle 6-3 Rob Cross


Evening Session


Daryl Gurney 6-1 Danny Noppert

Jonny Clayton 6-3 Joe Cullen

Josh Rock 6-4 Mensur Suljovic

Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Ryan Searle



Jonny Clayton 7-6 Daryl Gurney

Josh Rock 7-0 Michael van Gerwen



Jonny Clayton 8-6 Josh Rock