Players Championship: Michael van Gerwen stuns Phil Taylor with classic comeback
Michael Van Gerwen rallied from 6-3 down to defeat Phil Taylor 11-7 and win the Players Championship at Minehead.
Last Updated: 02/12/13 12:03am
The Dutchman laid down a marker ahead of the upcoming World Championship, at one stage reeling off eight successive legs on his way to claiming his fourth major television title.
Taylor looked to be in control when he took out double eight to restore his three-leg cushion at the end of the ninth, particularly after seeing his opponent miss two darts just before to cut the gap to one.
However 'The Power' was simply blown away after that, only managing to take another leg. Even then, his success in the 17th only turned out to be delaying the inevitable.
Van Gerwen crucially gained some momentum with a break of throw to make it 6-5 straight after a break of proceedings, then landed double 16 in back-to-back legs to move ahead for the first time in the contest.
A 110 checkout made it 8-6 and then he took out 81 with just two darts in the next to go further clear. Not content with that, 'Mighty Mike' repeated the trick in the next, firstly hitting treble 19 before moving upstairs for double 12.
Taylor stopped the rot with double 16 but Van Gerwen responded in superb fashion, setting himself up for double 12 again with treble 20, treble 20, treble 19.
He duly landed the match-winning shot at the second attempt, completing an impressive victory with a 14-dart leg.
"You always need to play well against him because he's won so many finals this year, but in the beginning of the game I struggled a bit and he was strong," said Van Gerwen, who had beaten Andy Hamilton 10-5 in the last four.
"If you want to beat Phil, you can't afford to miss and I hit some important finishes."
"I'm very happy because I'd lost in a couple of finals and people were talking about my performances, but I knew I had the game there so it's great for me and for my confidence going into the World Championship - but first I'm going to enjoy this win because it means a lot to me."
Taylor had earlier been on the other end of a blistering run, reeling off six straight legs to see off the challenge of Justin Pipe 10-4 in the semi-finals. He had also knocked out Raymond van Barneveld earlier on Sunday.