Scott Williams became the first non PDC Tour Card holder to win a ranking title in over four years as he come from nowhere to win the latest Pro Tour title at Players Championship 17 in Niedernhausen. The win saw him bank the £12,000 top prize. As a result of his victory, he also rose an impressive 14 spots in the PDC Order of Merit.
Williams Wins Big
Challenge Tour Order of merit leader Williams started his unlikely assault in somewhat lowkey fashion. On the same board as Messrs Clayton and Clemens amongst others, ‘Shaggy’ opened his campaign with a 6-3 victory over Gary Blades, a 150 checkout in leg 7 being the highlight. He followed that up with a comeback 6-4 win over Danny Baggish, winning the last four legs on the spin.
Next up was the aforementioned Clayton, fresh from averaging 111 and almost 109 respectively in his opening two matches. The opening four legs went with throw before Premier League league phase winner Clayton broke for 3-2. Williams responded immediately to get the match back on throw. Williams had the throw in the decider and made the most of it, hitting a stunning 11 darter to claim the biggest scalp of his career.
Current World Cup holder John Henderson was next. Williams raced into a 3-0 lead and it was a lead he wouldn’t relinquish, running out a 6-3 victor.
That set up an all English clash with former World Champion Rob Cross in the quarter finals. Again, Williams was quickest out of the blocks, earning himself a three leg advantage. Cross responded to level things up at 4-4. Williams then held before breaking for victory with the aid of his third maximum.
Chris Dobey stood between Williams and his maiden final and things looked to be going the way of ‘Hollywood’ as he opened up a 4-2 lead. Williams hasn’t done yet though and he dug deep to win five legs on the spin and seal his place in the final.
Nathan Aspinall had already disposed of one (Jim) Williams on his route to the final and was looking for his second title of the season. Williams started the better, winning the first two legs before Aspinall won the next three. Legs were then exchanged before Williams established control, winning four legs on the trot to go within one of victory. Three match darts came and went in leg 12 but Williams wasn’t to be denied. Two maximums left him with 41 left after nine before he closed it out in fourteen to claim an astonishing victory.
Best Of The Rest
Elsewhere, Michael Smith’s quest to become just the third man to win four consecutive Players Championship titles was ended by Simon Whitlock at the last 32 stage.
Kim Huybrechts can go into the Cazoo World Cup with plenty of confidence. He reached the semi finals, his best run of the season, before falling to Aspinall.
Peter Wright fought his way into the quarter finals despite some below par displays.
Players Championship 17
Wednesday June 15
Mike De Decker 6-4 Steve Beaton
Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Jim Williams
Peter Wright 6-3 Ross Smith
Kim Huybrechts 6-4 Damon Heta
Chris Dobey 6-5 Simon Whitlock
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-3 Martin Lukeman
Rob Cross 6-3 Daryl Gurney
Scott Williams 6-3 John Henderson
Nathan Aspinall 6-2 Mike De Decker
Kim Huybrechts 6-0 Peter Wright
Chris Dobey 6-2 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Scott Williams 6-4 Rob Cross
Nathan Aspinall 7-4 Kim Huybrechts
Scott Williams 7-4 Chris Dobey
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