van Duijvenbode is too hot to handle as he wins Players Championship 6

Dirk van Duijvenbode won his second ProTour title of 2023 with an 8-4 victory over Ryan Searle in the Players Championship 6 final at the Barnsley Metrodome on Sunday.

Van Duijvenbode defeated Searle to win the Players Championship 4 last month, and he repeated the feat to become the first player to win multiple ProTour titles this year.

The 30-year-old needed only five legs to reach the semi-finals, where he defeated top seed Luke Humphries and Searle to win the £12,000 top prize and move to the top of the Players Championship Order of Merit.

Van Duijvenbode made a stunning start to Sunday’s showpiece, converting spectacular 142 and 148 checkouts to take the early lead, before Searle reeled off three straight legs to take the lead 4-3.

Van Duijvenbode, on the other hand, responded by winning five straight legs of his own to seal the deal, firing in six 180s and producing back-to-back 12-dart legs.

van Duijvenbode is too hot to handle as he wins Players Championship 6
van Duijvenbode is too hot to handle as he wins Players Championship 6 (PDC)

“I would say this is the second best title of my career,” reflected Van Duijvenbode, who boasted a tournament average of 102 en route to scooping his fifth PDC ranking title.

“I’m working with a great team. This is the first weekend for about 18 months where I haven’t had an injury, and I cannot tell you how grateful I am.

“Ryan is one of the nicest players on the tour. He is such a good player. He’s very good, and I am always happy if I beat him, but it is never easy.

“My goal is to win three titles this year and I’m already on two after six [Players Championship] events, so hopefully I will make the third as well!”


Van Duijvenbode advanced to his second ProTour final of the season with a string of dominant performances, beginning Sunday’s action with three 6-1 victories.

He brushed aside Kevin Burness and Ronny Huybrechts before destroying Cameron Crabtree with a career-best 115.7 average, landing six 180s and converting 140 and 128 finishes.

The three-time TV finalist maintained his dominant form with a 6-0 thrashing of Ian White in the last 16, and a 6-2 thrashing of his compatriot Michael van Gerwen confirmed his semi-final spot.

Van Duijvenbode then defeated Humphries in a thrilling deciding-leg battle in the final four, missing double 12 for a nine-darter but winning with a 105 average and eight maximums.

Meanwhile, Searle, who is competing in his third Players Championship final this season, began his campaign with a whitewash win over Jimmy Hendriks, averaging over 100.

In round two, the Somerset star defeated his practise partner and Saturday’s runner-up Gary Anderson, before going on to win convincingly against Ricardo Pietreczko and Matt Campbell.

Searle advanced to the semi-finals after a dramatic comeback win over Dave Chisnall, where he reeled off six straight legs in 15, 12, 15, 13, 13, 13 and 11 darts to defeat Mike De Decker 7-2 with a 107 average.

De Decker defeated seeded stars Stephen Bunting and Josh Rock to reach his second ProTour semi-final, capping off a run that included victories over Niels Zonneveld, Jacques Labre, and Gian van Veen.

Humphries’ consistent start to the season continued with another semi-final appearance, averaging 105 and 108 in victories over Northern Irish duo Mickey Mansell and Daryl Gurney, respectively.

In the quarter-finals, the world number six also defied a 106 average from Saturday’s champion, Ross Smith, avenging his defeat to the European Champion in the third round yesterday.

Smith completed a successful weekend by defeating Simon Whitlock and Nathan Aspinall to advance to the last eight, where he was joined by current Premier League table-topper Michael van Gerwen.

The three-time World Champion had his best ProTour season in 2023, with compatriot Van Veen and second seed Chisnall also falling in the quarter-finals.

Earlier in the day, Saturday’s semi-finalist Gerwyn Price was knocked out in the first round by Jose Justicia, despite averaging nearly 101 in a high-quality match.

Anderson and Rob Cross were among the high-profile second-round exits, with World Champion Michael Smith joining Aspinall and Jonny Clayton in round three.


2023 Players Championship 6

Sunday March 12

The Barnsley Metrodome

Last 16

Luke Humphries 6-2 Chris Landman

Ross Smith 6-2 Graham Usher

Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Richard Veenstra

Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-0 Ian White

Dave Chisnall 6-2 Vincent van der Voort

Ryan Searle 6-3 Matt Campbell

Mike De Decker 6-3 Jacques Labre

Gian van Veen 6-4 Jermaine Wattimena


Luke Humphries 6-4 Ross Smith

Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-2 Michael van Gerwen

Ryan Searle 6-5 Dave Chisnall

Mike De Decker 6-4 Gian van Veen


Dirk van Duijvenbode 7-6 Luke Humphries

Ryan Searle 7-2 Mike De Decker


Dirk van Duijvenbode 8-4 Ryan Searle