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Daryl Gurney was crowned champion at the 2017 World Grand Prix of Darts in Dublin, as he beat Simon Whitlock 5-4 in Saturday’s final.
SuperChin had to scrap as the Wizard took an early lead, but it was Gurney who prevailed in an exciting finish.
The Northern Irishman fell to his knees as he found the winning double during a war of attrition.
According to the PDC, the winner walked away with £100,000 for his night at the Citywest Hotel oche.
The opening set was a chess match, with both finalists appearing nervous and cautious as the Irish crowd roared behind them.
Both men made errors as the Wizard spurned an early chance to break throw, but Gurney’s intermittent displays of quality took it to two legs apiece.
SuperChin twice missed double tops to win the opener, but Whitlock had tension in his arm as he spurned two darts to end a marathon set. Both men suffered as they missed an astonishing five opportunities at double to conclude the set, and it was left to Whitlock to find double one to collect the opener.
Sky Sports Darts shared the crazy ending to the set:
Sky Sports Darts 🎯 @SkySportsDarts
WATCH: Both players miss darts for the set & Whitlock takes a nervy opener in the madhouse! https://t.co/SwNR9DIxc1 https://t.co/4yshSziCQF
Gurney burst back into the match at the start of the second set, breaking Whitlock’s throw with a spectacular checkout of 156. The Northern Irishman hit double 18 and appeared mystified after his failures just minutes before.
Whitlock replied with a 180 maximum and double six, and the Australian remained composed and motivated.
The standard of darts shifted up a gear as both players settled, but it was Whitlock who perfectly timed another maximum, finishing on double nine to make it 2-0 at the interval.
The Wizard wobbled at the start of the third, and Gurney’s languid style began to pay dividends on the trebles. However, the difference remained the finishing, and Whitlock checked out with much more efficiency.
Gurney finally recorded a set on the board as he hit the bull’s-eye, and the relief was clear on the player’s face. Whitlock struggled with his consistency throughout the fourth set, and this allowed Gurney to make it 2-2 as the tension built.
PDC Darts called the action as the adrenaline flowed through Gurney:
PDC Darts @OfficialPDC
GURNEY 2️⃣ – 2️⃣ WHITLOCK ALL SQUARE here in Dublin as Gurney lands a 95 checkout to clinch the set 3-1. #Unibet180 https://t.co/X7Oua16UeA
Whitlock missed two doubles to win the fifth, leaving Gurney double 16 to make it 3-2, and the Wizard was ruing his luck as he lost a third set on the bounce. Gurney lacked composure in the final leg, but Whitlock was beginning to show signs of fatigue.
SuperChin was poor in the sixth set, and he allowed his 48-year-old opponent easy chances to wrap up legs when he should have turned the screw on the older player.
At 3-3, Whitlock began to believe again, and Gurney appeared agitated as he struggled with his technique. The crowd jeered as SuperChin slowed his game down, extending the length of each visit significantly.
The pair stayed neck and neck in the seventh, but it was Whitlock who found a magical maximum as Gurney threw nervous darts. The Aussie claimed a 4-3 lead as his opponent faltered.
Sky Sports Darts highlighted Whitlock’s finish:
Sky Sports Darts 🎯 @SkySportsDarts
WHAT. A. DART! @SWhitlock180 breaks for a 4-3 lead and will throw for the match! Live on Sky Sports Arena: https://t.co/SwNR9DqWkt https://t.co/RzxNTx5CG8
The night concluded with high drama as Gurney clung on to stay in the contest. SuperChin collected the set to make it 4-4 with a brilliant checkout of 96.
Whitlock had run out of gas in the final set, with both men on the ropes, but it was SuperChin who snatched the title as he sprinted for the finish line.