The return of professional Darts to Las Vegas marks a milestone in the effort to promote U.S darts. Las Vegas is the acclaimed world center of entertainment and just witnessed the return of professional darts after the premature exist of the Las Vegas Desert Classic that held from 2002 -2009 with Phil Taylor winning 5 of the 8 events organized during the period.
The World Series of Darts offered a new opportunity for Las Vegas and U.S Darts to prove that North America was ready for professional Darts. Micheal Van Gerwen claimed a second World Series of Darts title in the space of a week after beating debutant Daryl Gurney 8-6 in the final of the U.S. Darts Masters in Las Vegas.
During a dominant performance, Van Gerwen won through to the final for the loss of just one leg, as he followed up Friday’s first round whitewash of Chris White with an 8-1 quarter-final defeat of Dave Richardson and an 8-0 romp against Gerwyn Price.
He began the final in a similar fashion by taking an early 2-0 lead, including an opening leg 124 checkout, as legs of 12 and 13 darts put him in command.
Gurney, as he had during his semi-final win over Gary Anderson, hit back strongly by claiming five of the next six legs to move himself ahead at 3-2 and 5-3.
Van Gerwen responded as a 112 finish levelled in leg ten and a 13-darter moved him back into the lead as four straight legs put him into the ascendancy at 7-5.
Gurney took out 120 to keep his hopes of a maiden TV title alive, but Van Gerwen took out 98 to complete a brilliant 12-darter as he secured the win and back-to-back World Series triumphs.
“It’s so good to win the first U.S. Darts Masters in Las Vegas,” said the world number one. “The whole event has been superb.
“The fans, the players and the PDC have been brilliant, so I can’t wait to get back next year.”
Van Gerwen began the day with an 8-1 victory over Canada’s Dave Richardson, with the World Champion averaging 95.70 and hitting two maximums.
The Dutchman was in an even more ruthless mood in the semi-finals, beating Gerwyn Price 8-0 in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Tropicana Las Vegas – A Doubletree by Hilton.
Van Gerwen averaged over 100 in his semi-final clash with the Welshman, who struggled to cope with the scoring power of the World Champion as he set up a decider with Daryl Gurney.
Gurney, making his first appearance in a World Series event, faced world number three Peter Wright in the last eight, where he came through an 11th leg thriller to book his passage into the final.
The match went with throw until the ninth leg, where Wright looked to have stolen the initiative by breaking throw.
Gurney stuck with his opponent and broke back in the 12th leg to level the score at 6-6.
The pair then traded holds to take the match to a deciding leg, where Gurney found double 16 to secure a semi-final spot against world number two Anderson.
Gurney, started the last four showdown slowly, with Anderson – who had seen off Raymond van Barneveld in the last eight – racing in to a 4-1 lead.
With the match seemingly going Anderson’s way, the Northern Irish ace produced a stunning run of seven straight legs to claim a spot in his first World Series final.
Despite Gurney’s best efforts, the world number one proved too strong in the final, as he claimed a tenth World Series of Darts title.
“He was too good for me today but I’m getting much closer,” said Gurney, 31. “This is where I want to be and I think I’ve done myself a lot of favours here.
“There are a lot of big events coming up and this will give me a lot of confidence. When I get to a final I really want to win, so I’m not happy to lose but I’ve played well.”
The World Series of Darts returns in August, with the world’s best players heading to New Zealand and Australia for tournaments in Auckland, Melbourne and Perth.
U.S. Darts Masters
Saturday July 15
Gerwyn Price 8-4 Dawson Murschell
Michael van Gerwen 8-1 Dave Richardson
Gary Anderson 8-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Daryl Gurney 8-7 Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen 8-0 Gerwyn Price
Daryl Gurney 8-4 Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen 8-6 Daryl Gurney
All matches best of 15 legs