Treble triumph for Michael van Gerwen to complete UK Open qualifiers
By Mark Ashenden
Last Updated: 24/02/16 1:55pm
Michael van Gerwen wrapped up the UK Open qualifiers with a third victory in six events as he defeated Steve Beaton 6-2 in Sunday's final in Wigan.
The world No 1 was again in electric form as he followed up his victories in the second and fifth qualifiers by taking another £10,000 first prize to cement his position as the leader on the UK Open Order of Merit with a total of £37,750.
Van Gerwen started his campaign on Sunday with wins over Michael Dawson, Nick Fullwell and Kevin Dowling to reach the last 16, where he produced a superb comeback from 3-0 down against Lee Evans.
After defeating Phil Taylor in Saturday's semi-finals, the pair met again in the Qualifier Six semi-finals and the Dutchman proved too strong again as he raced to a 6-2 victory before putting a stop to Ian White's impressive run in the semi-finals.
The final against Beaton saw Van Gerwen quickly open up a two-leg lead before the former Lakeside champion was punished for missing two darts at tops when a 76 finish gave Van Gerwen a three-leg advantage.
Beaton, 51, capitalised on two misses in reply to take the fourth leg before van Gerwen claimed another brace to open up a 5-1 cushion.
Two missed darts at double seven from Van Gerwen allowed Beaton a reprieve, but the 26-year-old always looked comfortable as he fired home double eight in the next leg to claim victory.
The day was also memorable for Richie Corner as the 53-year-old landed the first nine-darter of his career in a 6-0 victory over Steve Hine.
In total, 96 professional players secured their qualification for the UK Open finals taking place at the Butlins Minehead Resort from March 4-6, where they will be joined by 32 qualifying amateurs.