Stephen Bunting Wins Cazoo Masters To Claim Maiden TV Title
Stephen Bunting finally ended a decade of hurt as he got his hands on a PDC TV title for the first time, defeating Michael van Gerwen to claim the 2024 Cazoo Masters.
Breathtaking Bullet Finally Crosses Winning Line
The likeable Liverpudlian has been one of the main men in the darting world in the last six months, the former BDO World Champion displaying his undoubted quality in the back end of 2023.
Drawn against good friend Ross Smith in round one, Bunting found himself 5-2 down in a race to six, surviving a match dart at the bull before winning the all important last two legs in 29 darts.
That win set up the small matter of an encounter with recently crowned World Champion and world number one Luke Humphries, with no less than seven ton plus checkouts hit in 17 legs as Bunting disposed of ‘Cool Hand’ by 10 legs to 7.
Bunting had eased into Sunday’s main event, dropping just three legs in his two matches against the below par Peter Wright in the quarter finals and Nathan Aspinall in the last four.
The five legs leading into the first break all went with the throw with next to no opportunity to break.
Bunting secured the first break of the final in leg 8, a two dart checkout of 88 securing an 11 dart break before successive holds saw Bunting go into the second break 6-4 to the good.
Van Gerwen broke the Bunting throw in the first leg after the break before holding to level matters at six legs apiece. Both players then held throw before Bunting edged ahead courtesy of a 13 dart break, van Gerwen missing the opportunity to break straight back as Bunting re-established a two leg cushion.
Seven perfect darts from Bunting set up a straightforward hold for 10-7 before another maximum helped set up the decisive 56 finish taken in two darts to claim the title.
Both Bunting and van Gerwen has cruised through to the final after one sided contests to open Sunday evenings action.
Bunting averaged almost 100 as he saw off Nathan Aspinall, dropping just one leg and hitting over half of his attempts at the outer ring to secure his final spot.
Van Gerwen as good as matched his final opponent, disposing of Dimitri van den Bergh 11-2, a 148 checkout sealing an emphatic victory.
Sunday afternoon had started with Bunting disposing of an again below par Peter Wright, the former world champion still showing little sign of the form that made him a two time Ally Pally winner.
Michael van Gerwen advanced after an impressive showing saw him defeat Dave Chisnall. ‘Chizzy’ had looked in imperious form when beating Martin Schindler and Danny Noppert but found van Gerwen a step too far, despite throwing 8 maximums in his 10-4 defeat.
Nathan Aspinall showed all of his battling qualities as he saw off Daryl Gurney in a last leg decider, squeaking through despite 33 missed darts on the outer ring.
Dimitri van den Bergh advanced at the expense of Australian Damon Heta, Heta unable to produce the form that he’d shown in his opening matches against Gabriel Clemens and Rob Cross respectively.
2024 Cazoo Masters
Sunday February 4
Stephen Bunting 10-2 Peter Wright
Nathan Aspinall 10-9 Daryl Gurney
Michael van Gerwen 10-4 Dave Chisnall
Dimitri Van den Bergh 10-7 Damon Heta
Stephen Bunting 11-1 Nathan Aspinall
Michael van Gerwen 11-2 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Stephen Bunting 11-7 Michael van Gerwen