Gerwyn Price won the William Hill World Darts Championship and became the new world number one after defeating Gary Anderson with an electrifying display in Sunday’s final at London’s Alexandra Palace.
Price prevailed 7-3 with a dominant performance against two-time winner Anderson to lift the Sid Waddell Trophy, claim the £500,000 winner’s cheque and become the first ever Welsh PDC World Champion.
The triumph also saw Price replace Michael van Gerwen at the top of the PDC Order of Merit, bringing an end to the Dutchman’s seven-year reign as world number one.
The damage was done early in the final as the Welsh star won five of the first six sets thanks to some ruthless finishing, leaving Anderson unable to recover despite Price squandering several opportunities to wrap up the victory before finally claiming glory.
“This means everything to me. It means the world,” said Price, who averaged 100.08 in the superb success.
“I bombed numerous opportunities to win it towards the end but I knew that I had put myself in such a good position that I would have another chance. Gary missed to give it me and I’m glad I took it.
“I’ve never felt pressure like that in my life. It was so tough to hit that winning double but the feeling after doing it is so difficult to explain. I’m the World Champion; it’s unbelievable.
“I’m proud to be world number one too. It’s probably even tougher to achieve that than it is to become World Champion. To manage both is incredible for me.”
Anderson missed four darts to take the opening set 3-0 and Price punished the Scot by claiming the next three legs to snatch an early advantage.
The Welshman took the first leg in set two, but a 180 followed by a 128 checkout sparked a three leg burst that saw Anderson level the match.
Price won the third set 3-1 with 12,13 and 14-dart legs, shrugging off a 170 checkout from Anderson, before finishes of 84 and 120 helped the former professional rugby player take set four by the same margin.
Checkouts of 83, 97 and 76 saw Price continue an incredible run of finishes to open up a three set lead.
He then produced the best set of darts in World Championship history when he took out 100 for an 11-dart leg, 161 for a 12-darter and double 12 to go out in ten darts, after missing the bed to complete a nine-darter – posting an astonishing set average of 136.64.
Back-to-back double top finishes saw Price take his success rate on that target to 13 landed from as many attempts, but when he finally missed the bed Anderson pounced to take the seventh set in a decider.
Price moved 6-2 ahead when he landed double top to win the fifth leg in set eight, before claiming the following two legs to move within a leg of glory – but he went on to miss nine match darts across two legs to allow Anderson to steal the set and stay in the contest.
The Scot punished Price for more missed doubles to make it five legs on the spin, but Price came from behind to claim the title on double five after Anderson had missed six darts to keep his hopes alive.
“Getting beat in the final is disappointing but I’ll give myself a pat on the back for getting this far,” said Anderson, who has moved up five places to eighth in the Order of Merit.
“What I’ve done over the last few weeks has been a big bonus for me. I started the final alright but I started to struggle and you can’t do that against players like Gerwyn.”
The triumph saw Price become the tenth PDC World Champion and the first to have achieved the feat as a product of Qualifying School, having earned his professional Tour Card in 2014 – just two weeks after Van Gerwen’s spell as world number one had begun.
He succeeds Peter Wright as World Champion and also leaps above the Scot and Van Gerwen to top the PDC Order of Merit.
William Hill World Darts Championship
Sunday January 3
Gerwyn Price 7-3 Gary Anderson
Set Scores: 3-2, 1-3, 3-1, 3-1, 3-1, 3-0, 2-3, 3-2, 2-3, 3-2
PIC: L lustig (PDC)