Raymond van Barneveld showed he still has the quality to compete in the PDC on day three of the PDC Super Series.
In just his third day back on the tour, he defeated Joe Cullen 8-6 to win his first ranking title since 2013.
Barney was in excellent form throughout the day, coming through a tough board including Rob Cross and Mervyn King, en route to the final.
He came from behind to beat Cullen, who already won event one of the series in Bolton. The win puts van Barneveld into contention to make the World Matchplay, among other TV tournaments.
Astonishing Barney completes comeback
After winning his Tour Card back at Q-School, few expected the Dutchman to win a ranking event at all, never mind in the first few days of the Pro Tour.
Wins over Krzysztof Kciuk, before surviving match darts against Cross, gave him a spot in the last 32. The victory over King saw him take board 10, and from there, the Dutchman looked imperious.
Darius Labanauskas, Alan Soutar and Ian White were swept aside to make his first final since 2019, where he faced Cullen, who won the first Pro Tour title on Thursday in Bolton.
The Rockstar, who became the number one seed on the Pro Tour, won against:
- Rowby-John Rodriguez
- Ricky Evans
- Daryl Gurney
- Krzysztof Ratajski
- Danny Noppert
To make the final.
Cullen went 3-1 up in the early stages, before missing darts at a double to go 5-2 up. This allowed van Barneveld to hit 32 go one leg behind, before levelling at 4-4 with a 44 checkout.
Cullen though would not go quietly, hitting a 119 outshot to get the break back at 5-4. Barney though showed the heart and desire many thought had gone in the next leg. With the Englishman on 96, he took out an incredible 144 checkout to level the game once more at 5-5.
The 11th and 12th leg saw both miss darts to win each leg, but both held to level at 6-6. Cullen then left 47 after nine darts in the 13th leg, but could not take it out. Barney punished, hitting an 80 outshot to go one away. The 14th leg then saw Cullen miss more darts at the outer ring to force a decider, and van Barneveld eventually found double three to win 8-6, and secure his first ranking title for eight years.
What else happened on day three of the PDC Super Series?
Aside from Barney winning, the other stories saw Danny Noppert and Ian White produce their best runs of 2021 so far. They both made semi finals.
Alan Soutar was beaten by Barneveld in the last eight, but the Scottish captain, who also won his Tour Card at Q-School, continues to impress, reaching the quarter finals for the first time.
There were also some big Michael van Gerwen went out in round one, losing to Darius Labanauskas as he still looks for his first title of 2021. Gerwyn Price withdrew from the event, while Peter Wright made the last 16, losing out to Glen Durrant.
Finally, congratulations to Mensur Suljovic. He produced a nine dart leg in a last leg decider to beat Peter Hudson in round one. It means we’ve had a nine darter every day of the PDC Super Series.
The PDC Super Series concludes tomorrow at 14.00 GMT. We’ll have a Live Blog right here giving you every result.