Price back on top at the Players Championship “I gave myself a kick up the backside and it worked,”
Gerwyn Price won his eighth PDC title in 2023 with an 8-3 triumph over Dave Chisnall in Wednesday’s Players Championship 29 decider.
Price won the £12,000 top prize in Barnsley with a sequence of impressive performances, defeating first seed Chisnall in the year’s penultimate Players Championship tournament.
The Welshman entered Wednesday’s match fresh off a humiliating quarter-final loss to Danny Noppert at last weekend’s European Championship, in which he miraculously relinquished a 7-0 lead.
He returned to winning ways at the Barnsley Metrodome, however, claiming his fourth Players Championship victory of 2023 to move to the top of the Order of Merit with just one event remaining on Thursday.
Chisnall took advantage of Price’s slow start to take an early lead in the final, only to miss six darts for a 3-0 lead that proved decisive.
Price had an incredible mid-match burst to turn the game around, following up a spectacular 170 checkout with back-to-back 11-dart legs to take a 5-3 lead.
Chisnall was unable to answer, as Price continued the procession to win, hitting back-to-back 15-darters before finishing with a superb 105 checkout on tops.
“I gave myself a kick up the backside and it worked,” reflected Price, who produced three ton-topping averages throughout the afternoon.
“I was going to take these two days off, but I wanted to punish myself. I was so poor towards the end of the game against Danny [last weekend].
“I couldn’t hit anything early on [against Chisnall], so I was trying to throw a little bit quicker and get my arm in, and thankfully I found it towards the end of that game.
“It’s not easy when you’re playing in all the big tournaments and you’re trying to pick and choose your events. When you do turn up you’re under pressure, but thankfully I did the business today.”
Price began his campaign with a hard-fought win against an in-form Jules van Dongen, before averaging 104 in round two to easily defeat his experienced compatriot Richie Burnett.
The Welshman then held off a late charge from Masters champion Chris Dobey to win a last-leg shoot-out, which he followed up with a hard-fought win over Germany’s Ricardo Pietreczko.
Price averaged over 102 in his quarter-final thrashing of Gian van Veen, and he earned his meeting with Chisnall by defeating a tenacious Damon Heta in the last four.
Meanwhile, Chisnall rebounded well after his dismal first-round elimination at the European Championship, taking home the £8,000 runner-up prize on Wednesday.
In wins over Krzysztof Kciuk, Simon Whitlock, Callan Rydz, and Jamie Hughes, the St Helens star averaged 106, 100, 99, and 102, surrendering seven legs in all.
Chisnall then overcame a poor performance to defeat Maik Kuivenhoven in the last eight, before advancing to the semi-finals against Rob Cross.
Cross lost only nine legs on his way to the semi-finals, where he was joined by third seed Heta, who averaged 116.12 in his last 16 win over European Championship runner-up James Wade.
Ryan Searle also had an outrageous average on his way to the final eight, with winning legs of 11, 12, 11, 12, 13, and 13 darts to crush Martin Lukeman’s 116.36 average in round one.
Players Championship 27 champion Radek Szaganski, who defeated two-time World Champion Gary Anderson in the opening round, joined Searle in the quarter-finals.
Van Veen, who reached the semi-finals of the European Championship last weekend, was also in the quarter-finals alongside his compatriot Kuivenhoven to keep up his good record.
On his comeback to the Players Championship, Michael van Gerwen was defeated in round one by Lee Evans, while Anderson, Jonny Clayton, Joe Cullen, and Dimitri Van den Bergh also exited at the same stage.
Peter Wright, the newly crowned European Champion, was also defeated in his opening by Jamie Hughes, leaving the Scot £3,500 short of qualifying for the Players Championship Finals ahead of Thursday’s final event.
Meanwhile, Mensur Suljovic, Vincent van der Voort, Mervyn King and Alan Soutar are among the players outside of the provisional qualification places for the World Darts Championship, which sets up an intriguing finale to the 2023 ProTour season.
2023 Players Championship 29
Wednesday November 1
The Barnsley Metrodome
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Jamie Hughes
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-0 Josh Payne
Ryan Searle 6-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Rob Cross 6-1 Stephen Burton
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Ricardo Pietreczko
Gian van Veen 6-5 Ross Smith
Damon Heta 6-3 James Wade
Radek Szaganski 6-2 Ritchie Edhouse
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Maik Kuivenhoven
Rob Cross 6-2 Ryan Searle
Gerwyn Price 6-1 Gian van Veen
Damon Heta 6-2 Radek Szaganski
Dave Chisnall 7-5 Rob Cross
Gerwyn Price 7-4 Damon Heta
Gerwyn Price 8-3 Dave Chisnall