Dave Chisnall landed a nine-dart finish on his way to winning the Belgian Darts Open in Wieze on Sunday, ending a three-year wait for his 16th ranking title.
Chisnall struck perfection in the opening leg of his 7-4 semi-final win over Danny Noppert as he landed the first nine-darter on the European Tour since his own effort at the 2019 Gibraltar Darts Trophy.
Six-time TV event finalist Chisnall then went on to deny Andrew Gilding a maiden title, running out an 8-6 victor in the final.
Both players had produced sparkling displays throughout the weekend to reach the showdown, and produced an intriguing decider in front of a packed Oktoberhallen crowd.
Gilding trailed from the fifth leg but produced a 136 checkout, the game’s most eye-catching moment, to reduce the deficit to 6-7.
However, Chisnall held throw to land double 19 and avoid a last-leg decider to rack up his third European Tour title, all of which have been won in different countries.
“It’s very special,” said an emotional Chisnall. “Any tournament you win is special but this one means even more after a tough year personally.
“We’ve had a couple of family bereavements so this is for them. I had a terrible year last year but I’m coming back and there will be more trophies going in my cabinet.
“I’ve been saying for the last few weeks that this has been coming and this weekend it happened.
The final was one of those games where we were both trying too hard to win a big tournament. Luckily for me that double 19 went in; I’m so happy.”
Meanwhile, Gilding’s continued strong form in 2022 sees him confirm his place in October’s BoyleSports World Grand Prix, having already featured in the Betfred World Matchplay in July.
Having defeated Belgian number one Dimitri Van den Bergh in Saturday’s second round, Gilding overcame Niels Zonneveld, Martin Schindler and Jonny Clayton as he reached a first European Tour final.
Sunday saw the tournament reach its climax with last 16 matches in the afternoon, before the evening session saw the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final take place.
Hopes of a Belgian winner were ended in the last 16 as Kim Huybrechts – who defeated Michael van Gerwen in round two – went down 6-1 to Adrian Lewis.
German duo Gabriel Clemens and Martin Schindler fell at the quarter-final stage along with Lewis and De Sousa.
The final European Tour event of 2022, the Gibraltar Darts Trophy (ET13), will take place from October 14-16 at the Victoria Stadium
2022 Belgian Darts Open
Sunday September 25
Andrew Gilding 6-3 Niels Zonneveld
Martin Schindler 6-3 Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Gabriel Clemens 6-3 Rob Cross
Jose de Sousa 6-4 Ryan Searle
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Nathan Aspinall
Danny Noppert 6-4 Joe Cullen
Adrian Lewis 6-1 Kim Huybrechts
Andrew Gilding 6-2 Martin Schindler
Jonny Clayton 6-5 Gabriel Clemens
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Jose De Sousa
Danny Noppert 6-3 Adrian Lewis
Andrew Gilding 7-5 Jonny Clayton
Dave Chisnall 7-4 Danny Noppert – Dave Chisnall hits nine-dart finish
Dave Chisnall 8-6 Andrew Gilding
Images: Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe