ST HELEN’s Michael Smith, having lost the 2022 World Championship Final, bounced back emphatically to become the eleventh different PDC World Darts Championship winner, as well as capturing the Number 1 spot in their rankings.
The 32-year-old gained revenge for 2019 over Michael van Gerwen in the Final winning 7-4, including a perfect nine-dart leg after his opponent missed D12 himself for a 9, in what was the greatest leg the sport has ever seen!
Bully Boy had lost 8 consecutive PDC major Final’s but has now won two of the last three, with one of them being the sport’s biggest prize: the Sid Waddell Trophy and £500,000 in prize money.
The Englishman had dreamed of becoming a World Champion and will receive the famous call from Master of Ceremonies John McDonald at the upcoming Masters that “he is the reigning and defending champion of the world”
The new World Number 1 opened the Final with the darts, having won the throw off-stage against van Gerwen who was appearing in his 6th World Championship Final. It was the former three-time winner who took the opening set at the Alexandra Palace, breaking in the third leg before holding straight after to gain the initiative in the Final.
The 3rd leg of the second set will go down in history as the best the sport of darts has ever seen, after the pair were both left on nine-dart checkouts, with Mighty Mike on 144 and Smith on 141 on the Dutchman’s darts.
The Green Machine missed D12 for the leg and a perfect leg, before the reigning Grand Slam champion stepped up and pinned the D12 for a 141 checkout, sending Wayne Mardle, Stuart Pyke and the whole of the Alexandra Palace into overdrive!
Both Michael’s threw everything at each other in the first six sets, with the Final level at 3-3 as the newly crowned World Champion broke twice in the sixth set to level, after the Winmau man claimed the fifth set without reply.
Van Gerwen led 2-0 in the seventh set only for his opponent to claw back and lead 4-3 in the Final, including a 130 finish on double five to break in the fourth leg. This was the moment where Michael Smith kicked on with the rampant Dutchman who was the favourite for the title, starting to wilt on the world stage.
Bully Boy took a 6-3 lead going within one set of World Championship glory, taking the ninth set without reply from his opponent who started to struggle with his grouping on the oche. The World Number 3 took the tenth set but was powerless to stop Smith from taking the title, as he produced a carbon copy of the seventh set in the eleventh.
The St Helens ace finished 106 in the third leg as he bounced back from 2-0 down to take his maiden World Championship title, finding double eight with his second dart in hand to make his darting dreams a reality at the Alexandra Palace, as Michael Smith became the 11th different name on the trophy and the new World Number 1.
Grab your copy of Darts World 581 here while stock lasts:
The Darts World 50 will be available to order (Here) from November 15th 2022 with release and delivery expected in early December
Also Available Free: Darts World Extra 6
Darts World Magazine (Issue 580) and fantastic value bundle offers:
Subscribe or purchase your copy