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Take a trip down a darting memory lane!

The Highlights Of Major Dart Events Last Year

Posted: 08.06.18 in Darts Performance Centre Blog category

Take a trip down a darting memory lane!

The Highlights Of Major Dart Events Last Year

2017 was a thrilling year for many sports but for darts, it was certainly one that we will never forget. With one of darts’ biggest legends retiring, an unstoppable showcase from one of the sport’s newest players and a staggering array of winners and losers in the numerous championships and events across the season, here we’re taking a closer look at the biggest and best highlights of the major dart events from last year.

Phil Taylor Heads Into Retirement                                                             

This was certainly a devastating announcement for many darts fans, with Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor heading into a bittersweet retirement. Despite having a strong start to 2017, with an 18-8 win at the World Matchplay in Blackpool last July against Peter Wright and an 11-8 win over the same contender in the Melbourne Darts Masters in August, the remaining two stints before retirement, unfortunately, didn’t end quite as well. Peter Wright came back to bite Phil Taylor with a vengeance in October with a dominating 11-4 win at the German Darts Masters in Dusseldorf, and shortly after recovering from this defeat, Phil Taylor lost once more in the Final of the PDC World Championship in January this year to Rob Cross, 7-2. Perhaps it was time for The Power to finally hang up his darts and reminisce on a dominating career in the sport. Walking off stage to Viva la Vida for the final time, darts is unlikely to ever see a sportsman quite so relentless as Phil Taylor.

Van Gerwen Snatches The Premier League Title

Michael van Gerwen had a very impressive 2017, but it was his victory against Peter Wright in the final of the Premier League at the O2 Arena that was the most memorable. Van Gerwen, the world’s number one in the sport, was trailing 7-2 but staged a remarkable comeback to even out the score to 8-8 before edging into a thrilling deciding leg. With Peter Wright squandering a number of chances, Van Gerwen remained merciless and dominated the final leg with a 180 and 12-darter.

This phenomenal comeback saw MVG snatch the most prestigious trophy in the sport for the third time in his career, earning a record £250,000 as his prize. It is unsurprising to see MVG topping the standings - having taken part in multiple tournaments held throughout Europe and the rest of the world each year and relentlessly winning more than most despite competition from the likes of Rob Cross and other new and promising players, MVG is certain to maintain his prestigious ranking for a long time to come.

Cross’ Dream Year

Having mentioned two of the biggest legends in the sport, it’s only right to mention the incredible year that Rob ‘Voltage’ Cross had which saw him defeat both Phil Taylor and Van Gerwen. The Alexandra Palace in London hosted a compelling match in the 2018 World Championship which thrilled the crowds, seeing Cross continue on his meteoric rise through the ranks. Van Gerwen was the defending champion of the World Championship, and Cross managed to miraculously produce the best performance of his career, pushing the odds-on favourite out of the competition in order to reach the final. The match saw both players winning 27 legs, and with a combined total of 31 maximums totalled up, the pulsating performance continued to thrill. MVG and Voltage reached a sudden death leg, which saw the Dutchman miss six match darts which led to his defeat. Cross ended the match on an average of 101, and the win resulted in him becoming only the second player to reach the final on their debut campaign.

However, not only did Cross reach the final, he ended up knocking out the legend that is Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor in order to win the title on New Years Day! The former electrician has stunned the professional darts circuit and stormed his way into the top ten rankings with an incredible run which has seen him win four ProTour titles and come runner-up at the European Championship.

Kyle Anderson’s Dream Seven Days

Kyle Anderson is ranked world number 22 and has been a quiet contender in many of the darts championships for the past few years. However, Anderson stepped up his game in 2017, with a nail-biting 11-10 victory in the Auckland Masters final, seeing him win the first ever televised title of his career. A week prior, however, Anderson picked up the title at the Players Championship and saw his name etched onto a World Series for the first time. His dream seven days is certainly a stint that he will remember for the rest of his career! His 2017 didn’t stop there, however, as Kyle Anderson also managed to ruffle the feathers of world champion Michael van Gerwen with an incredible nine-dart finish as he battled to bounce back at the semi-final of the European Championship.

Gurney’s Grand Prix Glory

Daryl Gurney had a taste of success in 2017 too, with a win in October’s World Grand Prix against Simon Whitlock, which saw him come from behind to take the title. The Northern Irish star competed in Dublin and saw himself sit behind at 3-2 down, but with skill and determination, the ace turned his luck around and ended up taking a 4-3 lead. After taking the lead, Gurney managed to dominate the final two sets which saw him lift the World Grand Prix trophy for the first time. In fact, this title is Gurney’s first ever major title!

Lim’s Historic Night

Sixty-four-year-old Paul Lim captured hearts at the Alexandra Palace as he edged out Mark Webster during the World Championship in order to reach Round Two for the first time in the competition. Having defeated Hong Kong’s Kai Fan Leung in the Preliminary Round, the World Championship legend continued his successful night. Lim is well-known for hitting the first World Championship nine-darter back in 1990. The win against Webster saw Lim take on Gary Anderson, where Lim stunned the crowd once again with a double 12 which resulted in a phenomenal nine-darter once again – almost 28 years on.

Glen Durrant’s Rise To Success

Despite being on the scene for a long period of time, it wasn’t until 2016 that Durrant’s career really took off. With a win at the World Masters and Finder Masters, 2017 was the year that Durrant was expected to take off – and that he did. Durrant was the favourite at the World Darts Trophy in 2017 but despite good form he didn’t quite make the cut (although he certainly came back to win the event this year!) Nevertheless, Durrant did manage to pick up a win at the World Championship, reached the quarter-final of the Grand Slam and won the Denmark Masters, England Matchplay, Welsh Open and Winmau Wolverhampton Classic, summing up a significantly successful 2017.  

The dart’s world is one of the most interesting sports out there, full of innovation and exciting new ideas. With 2017 being a thrilling year for many sports fans and 2018 looking to be just as thrilling, especially with the announcement that two women will be taking part in the men’s event at the World Darts championship this year, the popularity of the sport is certain to continue to rise.

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