Michael van Gerwen continues European Tour dominance with Austrian Open win
Last Updated: 07/05/19 11:30am
Michael van Gerwen continued his European Tour dominance by edging out Ian White 8-7 to win the Austrian Darts Open final in Graz on Sunday night.
World champion Van Gerwen travelled to Austria having won three of the four European Tour events held so far in 2019, including two over the past fortnight.
He extended that record with another outstanding performance as he claimed the £25,000 title and a commemorative green jacket as the Austrian Darts Open champion.
Van Gerwen had whitewashed Steve Lennon in Saturday's second round and dropped only one leg on Sunday afternoon with a big win over Stephen Bunting in the last 16.
He was pushed all the way by Peter Wright in the quarter-finals, with the Scot coming back from 5-3 down to force a decider only for the Dutchman to be too strong.
Van Gerwen then overcame Daryl Gurney 7-3 in the semi-finals, taking out finishes of 170 and 164 as he pulled into an early 4-1 lead before going on to seal his spot in the decider.
There, he took on White in a repeat of last weekend's German Darts Open final, which Van Gerwen had won on that occasion 8-3 only to find their rematch a tougher prospect.
White took an early 3-1 lead as he followed up two 14-darters with a 138 checkout, only for Van Gerwen to win three in a row and move 4-3 up.
The pair then traded the next four legs before a 13-dart break of throw from Van Gerwen saw him open up a 7-5 lead and move to the brink of victory.
Legs of 14 and 15 darts from White saw him take the contest all the way, but Van Gerwen - with the advantage of throw - produced a brilliant 13-darter to secure yet another triumph.
"It's the first time I've played here and I wanted to win so I'm really glad I did," said Van Gerwen, who has now won 25 deciding legs in a row on the European Tour since 2014.
"Ian was phenomenal and he pushed me to the end. What more can you want, winning the title in a good game and with a good crowd - that makes darts."
White had followed up Saturday's win over Jamie Hughes with a big 6-1 win over Keegan Brown in round three, and landed a ten-darter during his quarter-final with Steve Beaton before sealing a 6-2 win with a 126 bullseye finish.
White then defeated James Wade 7-4 in the semi-finals, with the first eight legs being shared before the left-hander's miss at tops allowed him in for a key 11-darter before he pulled clear.
"It's been a good weekend again," said White. "I had my chance of winning it but you know what Michael's like, he'll take it out.
"We were both in the final last week and this week and I hope we can get a few more fights on the oche together in finals. It would be nice."
Wade's run to the semi-finals surpassed his quarter-final appearance in March's European Darts Open, as he defeated Premier League rivals Mensur Suljovic and Gerwyn Price on Sunday before coming unstuck against White.
Gurney saw off Mark Webster and Adrian Lewis in his first two games on Sunday, but saw his hopes of claiming a fourth successive win over Van Gerwen dashed by the world number one.
Wright was a quarter-finalist for a third time this year on the European Tour before he was edged out by Van Gerwen, while Lewis was a quarter-finalist for a second successive weekend.
Beaton followed up last weekend's nine-darter at the German Darts Open by overcoming 2018 World Champion Rob Cross to reach his first European Tour quarter-final since September 2017.
Price finished six doubles from eight attempts in his third round win over Darius Labanauskas, but suffered defeat for a second time in four days to Wade as his hopes were ended in the last eight.
The PDC European Tour continues next weekend with the European Darts Grand Prix from May 10-12 at the Glaspalast in Sindelfingen, where 48 players will be competing for £140,000 in prize money.
Premier League Night 15 - Thursday, May 9 - FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield
|Michael Smith||vs||James Wade|
|Mensur Suljovic||vs||Rob Cross|
|Daryl Gurney||vs||Gerwyn Price|
|Michael van Gerwen||vs||Peter Wright|
2019 Austrian Darts Open
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Stephen Bunting
Peter Wright 6-5 Tytus Kanik
Adrian Lewis 6-1 Nathan Aspinall
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Mark Webster
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Darius Labanauskas
James Wade 6-3 Mensur Suljovic
Steve Beaton 6-2 Rob Cross
Ian White 6-1 Keegan Brown
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Peter Wright
Daryl Gurney 6-5 Adrian Lewis
James Wade 6-4 Gerwyn Price
Ian White 6-2 Steve Beaton
Michael van Gerwen 7-3 Daryl Gurney
Ian White 7-4 James Wade
Michael van Gerwen 8-7 Ian White
The Premier League continues as we head to the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield on Thursday, May 9.