Noppert seals fourth Pro Tour title at Players Championship 2
Sunday’s Players Championship 2 in Barnsley saw Danny Noppert defeat Simon Whitlock 8-3 to win his fourth PDC championship
As the first ProTour action weekend came to a close, the Dutchman put on a series of elegant performances to win the £12,000 top prize at the Barnsley Metrodome.
The UK Open champion faced little opposition on his way to victory, and he turned in his best performance of the day in the championship match on Sunday to deny Whitlock his first ProTour victory since 2017.
Whitlock made a sluggish start, which Noppert capitalised on to sprint into a 3-0 lead. Whitlock answered by reeling off back-to-back legs in 15 and 14 darts to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Noppert was able to regain his two-leg advantage thanks to a decisive 107 combination in leg six, though, and he continued to press forward in the final legs, recording legs of 14, 13, and 15 darts to win.
“It was a good day. I wasn’t at my very best level, but my finishing was brilliant,” reflected Noppert, who celebrates his third Players Championship success.
“There are 128 good players here and sometimes you don’t play your best game, but against Simon in the final, I produced a good performance and I’m very happy with the win.
“Last year I had a really good year and I am really proud of my performance here. I feel really emotional. I am speechless.
“When you win games and tournaments like I have on the big stage, I have more belief and I think my son being born last year gave me a really positive feeling. I am always feeling positive.”
The eighth-ranked player in the world, Noppert, started Sunday’s competition with a 6-3 victory over Dylan Slevin, who had advanced to Saturday’s semi-finals. He then defeated Connor Scutt handily in round two.
The 32-year-old eliminated Danish pioneer Vladimir Andersen in a tense third-round matchup before defeating Saturday’s runner-up Jamie Hughes and securing his place in the round of eight with a ton-plus average.
After defeating Callan Rydz, who had advanced to consecutive quarterfinals in Barnsley this weekend, the Dutch star finished off a stunning display of combination finishing by defeating Brendan Dolan 7-3 in the semifinals.
Noppert defeated Whitlock in the championship match, but the Australian turned back time in Barnsley to advance to his first ProTour final in more than five years.
The five-seed Dave Chisnall was defeated by the defending World Cup champion to start his campaign, and he went on to defeat Mario Vandenbogaerde and Rowby-John Rodriguez to reach the round of 16.
Whitlock eliminated fellow veteran Raymond van Barneveld to advance to the quarterfinals. Then, after disposing of Richard Veenstra, another Dutchman, he defeated top seed Luke Humphries in the last four by crashing in nine 180s.
In addition to defeating Ted Evetts in the first round after five match darts, Humphries defeated Dimitri Van den Bergh and James Wade in last-leg shootouts to advance to the semifinals.
Dolan also had a memorable day at the Barnsley Metrodome, where he defeated Michael Smith, Gary Anderson, and Michael van Gerwen to reach the same stage
Former Dutch Open champion Veenstra, who last month earned his PDC Tour Card through European Qualifying School, joined World Champion Smith, Rydz, and Wade in the quarterfinals.
Karel Sedlacek of the Czech Republic defeated Saturday’s victor Ryan Searle in their first-round match, and Masters champion Chris Dobey lost to Van Barneveld at the same stage.
Along with fourth seed Rob Cross, Van Gerwen, Peter Wright, and Jonny Clayton, all players from the Premier League, also lost in the third round.
2023 Players Championship 2
Sunday February 12
The Barnsley Metrodome
Luke Humphries 6-5 Dimitri Van den Bergh
James Wade 6-5 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Richard Veenstra 6-4 Stephen Bunting
Simon Whitlock 6-2 Raymond van Barneveld
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Nathan Rafferty
Michael Smith 6-3 Gabriel Clemens
Callan Rydz 6-5 Steve Lennon
Danny Noppert 6-3 Jamie Hughes
Luke Humphries 6-5 James Wade
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Richard Veenstra
Brendan Dolan 6-3 Michael Smith
Danny Noppert 6-4 Callan Rydz
Simon Whitlock 7-4 Luke Humphries
Danny Noppert 7-3 Brendan Dolan
Danny Noppert 8-3 Simon Whitlock