The Ice Man Returneth! Price Retains Grand Slam.
Gerwyn Price produced the performance of his life to retain the BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts title in incredible fashion by defeating Peter Wright 16-6 in Sunday’s final.
The Welshman followed up his brilliant maiden career victory over Michael van Gerwen in Sunday afternoon’s semi-finals with an unstoppable display to lift the Eric Bristow Trophy once again in Wolverhampton.
Price had never previously defeated Van Gerwen in 18 previous career meetings but emerged a 16-12 winner in their last-four clash to keep his title hopes alive at the Aldersley Leisure Village.
He then wrote his name into the record books with a relentless demolition of Wright to claim back-to-back Grand Slam wins, averaging 107.86 and hitting 11 180s during a remarkable display.
“I’m chuffed to bits,” said an emotional Price, who picks up £125,000 as champion plus a £3,500 group winner bonus following a flawless week.
“I knew in the middle of the game that I was playing really well. I was hitting trebles for fun and putting Peter under pressure and he wasn’t playing his best.
“I was that I was at the top of my game and I felt comfortable all the way through that game. I’m happy to play the way I did – Peter’s a world-class player and for me to win 16-6 is outstanding.”
Having defeated Gary Anderson in a controversial final 12 months ago, Price has turned jeers to cheers on his way to retaining the Eric Bristow Trophy with his superb form throughout the nine-day tournament.
“This week the crowd has been fantastic for me,” said Price. “To come through that game and have the cheers at the end of it is a much better feeling than last year.
“I’m not used to this but they truly have got behind me and I appreciate it.”
A 100 finish from Price broke throw in the opening leg and he doubled his lead in 13 darts before Wright took out 71 to get off the mark in leg three.
Checkouts of 111, 84 and 88 helped Price to move 7-3 up before Wright – the 2017 runner-up in Wolverhampton – hit back with successive legs to halve the deficit.
An 11-darter from Price stopped that run, while he also took out 130 on the bull and a 12-darter in a run of eight straight legs to open up a 15-5 advantage.
Three missed match darts allowed Wright to keep his faint hopes alive with a sixth leg, but the respite was brief as double five secured Price back-to-back titles.
Following the success, Price moves up to third on the PDC Order of Merit, and he added: “I’m playing well, I’m up to number three and I probably deserve to be three, maybe two.
“I’ve had a good year, 18 months, but it doesn’t happen all the time.
“I’ve been playing well and it breeds confidence, and I’ve been confident in every tournament for the last six months. I’m just thankful to win this again.
“I’m full of confidence and hopefully I can carry that on to next week, it’s the Players Championship and hopefully I can have a good run in that.”
Price’s semi-final win had seen him open up an early 4-1 lead over World Champion Van Gerwen, and though the Dutchman eventually levelled at nine-all, the Markham ace pulled clear to complete a memorable win.
Wright had booked his place in the Wolverhampton final for a second time in three years with a 16-11 win over Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant, who lost out in his third PDC televised semi-final of 2019.
Scottish ace Wright had defeated Price to win his only televised ranking title at the 2017 UK Open but was this time left to admit: “I had no answer.
“Beating Michael and then the way he played there, I thought he was trying for the record [average in a final].
“I was chasing him all the way through, and when he missed I was lucky if I was on 100-and-something! He played fantastic all the way through.”
Wright had switched darts ahead of the event to a style similar to that used by Phil Taylor towards the end of the Stoke legend’s career and was happy with his performances in reaching the final.
“I switched to these darts and I said to myself that I think I can get to the final with them, and I got to the final,” he added. “It’s a stepping stone.”
Van Gerwen had been bidding to win his fourth Grand Slam of Darts title, but has now set his sights on next weekend’s Players Championship Finals after being knocked out by Price.
“Gerwyn deserved to win,” said Van Gerwen. “I made too many mistakes and gave him too many chances. He took advantage and credit to him for that.
“It hurts not to take the trophy home, but tomorrow I start to prepare for the next tournament, where I will put it right.”
BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts
Sunday November 17
Peter Wright 16-11 Glen Durrant
Gerwyn Price 16-12 Michael van Gerwen
Gerwyn Price 16-6 Peter Wright
Text – PDC Official.
Pic – L Lustig