Mighty Michael van Gerwen continued his incredible run of success on the PDC ProTour taking his fourth Speedy Services UK Open Qualifier victory of the year, edging out Kim Huybrechts 6-5 in the final.

UK Open

Mighty Mike in PL Action – Lustig/PDC

The Dutchman bounced back from Saturday’s loss in the final to Simon Whitlock by taking another £6,000 first prize in Qualifier Six at the Robin Park Tennis Centre.

The result means that van Gerwen has now won four of the six Qualifiers held so far this year, reaching one final and one semi-final in the other two events to total £29,000 prize money so far.

Although van Gerwen enjoyed some luck in being handed passage to the Last 64 of the event through a first round by and the subsequent withdrawal through illness of James Wade, the Dutchman dropped just five legs in wins over Paddy Meaney, Mark Webster and Co Stompe in his first three games.

He then came from 5-2 down in the quarter-finals to defeat Andy Hamilton 6-5 and averaged a superb 112.67 in a 6-1 semi-final demolition of Michael Smith, who averaged 105 in reply but was unable to handle the in-form world number two.

Huybrechts, with the advantage of throw, made the early running in the final as he led 2-1 before two breaks from van Gerwen, with legs of 13 and 14 darts, helped him to move 5-2 up.

The Belgian hit back with a 14-darter of his own and a 108 finish to pull back to 5-4 before punishing two missed match darts from van Gerwen by pinning double 16 to force a decider.

Van Gerwen, though, was the first to a finish as he left 164 after nine darts, and though he missed the bullseye to complete the combination, he had enough cushion to return and land double eight for the title.

“It feels so good to get another win,” said van Gerwen, who is the first player in the ten-year history of the UK Open to win four of the eight qualifying tournaments.

“I’m very confident at the moment and that has a lot to do with it because I’m even winning bad games, and I’m doing very well at the moment.

“I made it a bit difficult in the final for myself with some poor scores at times and missing the two match darts, but to be the winner is the most important thing.

“I’m playing well and I’m happy with my form – in the semi-final against Michael Smith I threw some great darts. It was a fabulous game and I enjoyed it – but I still had to win the final and it was a very important win for me.

“I’m very proud of myself but I can still do better than this.”

Van Gerwen’s triumph denied Belgian World Cup finalist Huybrechts his first PDC ranking title, but he still took home £3,000 as runner-up following a superb day of darts in Wigan.

After whitewashing Mareno Michels, he defeated Matthew Dennant 6-1 and edged out Nigel Heydon in a deciding leg before seeing off Mark Hylton and Wayne Jones 6-3 to reach the last eight.

There, he saw off Peter Wright 6-4 before holding off John Bowles’ fightback from 3-0 down to level in the semi-finals as he took a 6-3 triumph.

Bowles’ run had seen him reach his first ProTour semi-final, and including a superb 108 average as he defeated Mervyn King 6-4 in the last 32, before he later defeated Brendan Dolan and Germany’s Jyhan Artut.

St Helens youngster Smith was the other semi-finalist, having seen off former World Championship finalist Kirk Shepherd, Stuart White, Ian White, Colin Lloyd and Ronnie Baxter on the day.

Artut, Wright, Hamilton and Baxter all picked up £1,000 for reaching the quarter-finals, while Hong Kong’s Royden Lam gave himself a chance of qualifying for the UK Open Televised Finals in Bolton in June by progressing to the last 16.

World Champion Phil Taylor, a quarter-final loser to van Gerwen on Saturday, lost out 6-3 to PDC Youth Tour product Josh Payne in the third round of the event, with the Stoke ace defeating Simon Whitlock and Dave Chisnall before going down to a player who picked up victory on the PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour last month.

World number three Adrian Lewis lost out in the second round to Ewan Hyslop, with his McCoy’s Premier League Darts rival Robert Thornton – the reigning UK Open champion – going out at the same stage to Roland Scholten.

The final two Speedy Services UK Open Qualifiers will be held at Wigan’s Robin Park Tennis Centre on April 27 & 28, after which the top 96 players, plus ties, from the final UK Open Order of Merit will qualify by right for June’s Televised Finals in Bolton.

Speedy Services UK Open Qualifier Six Results

First Round
Michael Barnard Bye
Jim Walker Bye
Peter Hudson 6-3 David Pallett
Matthew Dicken 6-5 Sean Ryan
Colin Lloyd 6-1 Norman Fletcher
Matt Clark 6-2 Martin Perring
Andy Hutchings 6-2 Lee Moffat
Jamie Gemmell 6-3 Nigel Birch
Kirk Shepherd Bye
Michael Smith Bye
Keith Stephen 6-1 Lee Hayes
Stuart White 6-0 Neville Roberts
Roland Scholten 6-1 Denis Ovens
Robert Thornton 6-5 Matthew Edgar
Michael Mansell 6-2 Shaun Griffiths
Ian White 6-2 John Henderson
Gareth Pass Bye
Andy Jenkins Bye
Dave Place Bye
Tomas Seyler 6-4 Jonathan Worsley
Ken MacNeil 6-1 Andrew Johnson
Steve Brown 6-5 Lee Palfreyman
Ronnie Baxter 6-0 Dylan Duo
Mark Cox 6-4 Peter Evison
Max Hopp Bye
Terry Jenkins Bye
Jelle Klaasen Bye
David Dodds 6-3 Chris Hartrey
Josh Jones 6-3 Steve Maish
Steve West 6-5 Steve Beaton
Alex Roy 6-3 Mark Lawrence
Mark Jones 6-4 Dave Ladley
Michael van Gerwen Bye
James Wade Bye – James Wade has withdrawn through illness
Antonio Alcinas 6-1 Joe Murnan
Paddy Meaney 6-2 Brett Claydon
Mark Webster 6-5 Mick Todd
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Jason Wilson
Colin Fowler 6-2 Adam Hunt
Scott Coleman 6-2 Arron Monk
Tony Littleton Bye
Mike Gorst Bye
Co Stompe 6-5 Bernd Roith
Richie Burnett 6-1 Mike Norton
Justin Pipe 6-1 Jack Tweddell
Kevin Painter 6-5 Connie Finnan
Ricky Evans 6-5 Paul Nicholson
Gino Vos 6-0 Paul Schofield
Stephen Hardy Bye
Ronny Huybrechts Bye
Adrian Lewis Bye
Ewan Hyslop 6-4 Dave Weston
Andy Smith 6-2 Brandon Walsh
Joey Palfreyman 6-1 Ian Walters
Nick Fullwell 6-5 Jani Haavisto
Andrew Gilding 6-3 Par Riihonen
Colin Osborne Bye
Dave Honey Bye
Andrew Hamilton Bye
Ryan Maher 6-2 Tom Martin
Aden Kirk 6-3 Christopher Dale
Scott Rand 6-4 Jerry Hendriks
Prakash Jiwa 6-3 Jake Patchett
Steve Grubb 6-5 Dyson Parody
Ted Hankey Bye
Geoff Whitworth Bye
Andy Relf 6-1 Chris Wickenden
John Part 6-5 Darren Johnson
Mensur Suljovic 6-0 Steve Randall
Mark Frost 6-3 Patrick Pace
Peter Wright 6-2 Brian Woods
Darren Whittingham 6-3 Mark Dudbridge
Ricky Sudale Bye
Mark Ashby Bye
Royden Lam 6-2 Steve Coote
Keith Rooney 6-4 Andrew Hibbert
Phil Taylor 6-3 Simon Whitlock
Dave Chisnall 6-1 Marc Dewsbury
Josh Payne 6-5 Pete Dyos
Martyn Turner 6-2 Gaz Cousins
Wayne Jones Bye
Leon De Geus Bye
Dean Winstanley Bye
Chris Mason 6-3 Darren Brown
Chris Aubrey 6-1 Ryan Harrington
Matthew Medhurst 6-1 Ryan De Vreede
Jarkko Komula 6-4 Nathan Richards
William O’Connor 6-4 Alan Tabern
Mark Hylton Bye
John Scott Bye
Andy Pearce Bye
Rocco Maes 6-3 Jamie Lewis
Matthew Dennant 6-3 Daniel Day
Kim Huybrechts 6-0 Mareno Michels
Nigel Heydon 6-2 Lee White
Paul Barham 6-1 Craig Pope
Barrie Bates Bye
John Bowles Bye
Vernon Sheppard 6-4 Paul Rowley
Dennis Smith 6-2 Kentaro Suzuki
Jamie Caven 6-3 Kevin Thomas
Mervyn King 6-5 Jamie Atkins
Joe Cullen 6-0 Campbell Jackson
Kevin McDine 6-1 Mark Forman
Terry Temple Bye
Vincent van der Voort Bye
Steve McNally Bye
Jason Hogg 6-2 Gary Anderson
Wes Newton 6-3 Phil Henshaw
Sam Hill 6-3 Ian Moss
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Kurt Van De Rijck
Matt Padgett 6-1 Tony Tasker
Kevin Dowling Bye
Shaun Liptrot Bye
Andy Pearson Bye
Paul Amos 6-5 James Richardson
Steve Hine 6-3 Jon Jukes
James Hubbard 6-4 Jamie Robinson
Dan Russell 6-2 Dafydd Edwards
Stuart Kellett 6-3 Glen Miller
Peter Manley Bye
Ian Jopling Bye
Reece Robinson Bye
Keegan Brown 6-2 Ryan Palmer
Ross Smith 6-5 Adrian Gray
Mark Walsh 6-2 Brian Startin
Richie Howson 6-5 Johnny Haines
Jyhan Artut 6-3 Jordy Terburg

Second Round
Michael Barnard 6-2 Jim Walker
Peter Hudson 6-2 Matthew Dicken
Colin Lloyd 6-3 Matt Clark
Andy Hutchings 6-3 Jamie Gemmell
Michael Smith 6-4 Kirk Shepherd
Stuart White 6-3 Keith Stephen
Roland Scholten 6-3 Robert Thornton
Ian White 6-4 Michael Mansell
Andy Jenkins 6-5 Gareth Pass
Tomas Seyler 6-3 Dave Place
Steve Brown 6-5 Ken MacNeil
Ronnie Baxter 6-2 Mark Cox
Terry Jenkins 6-5 Max Hopp
Jelle Klaasen 6-5 David Dodds
Josh Jones 6-5 Steve West
Alex Roy 6-5 Mark Jones
Michael van Gerwen Bye
Paddy Meaney 6-3 Antonio Alcinas
Mark Webster 6-4 Daryl Gurney
Scott Coleman 6-0 Colin Fowler
Tony Littleton 6-5 Mike Gorst
Co Stompe 6-2 Richie Burnett
Kevin Painter 6-1 Justin Pipe
Ricky Evans 6-4 Gino Vos
Ronny Huybrechts 6-2 Stephen Hardy
Ewan Hyslop 6-2 Adrian Lewis
Joey Palfreyman 6-1 Andy Smith
Nick Fullwell 6-5 Andrew Gilding
Colin Osborne 6-3 Dave Honey
Andy Hamilton 6-3 Ryan Maher
Scott Rand 6-3 Aden Kirk
Steve Grubb 6-1 Prakash Jiwa
Ted Hankey 6-2 Geoff Whitworth
John Part 6-2 Andy Relf
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Mark Frost
Peter Wright 6-1 Darren Whittingham
Ricky Sudale 6-0 Mark Ashby
Royden Lam 6-3 Keith Rooney
Phil Taylor 6-3 Dave Chisnall
Josh Payne 6-5 Martyn Turner
Wayne Jones 6-4 Leon De Geus
Dean Winstanley 6-5 Chris Mason
Chris Aubrey 6-1 Matthew Medhurst
William O’Connor 6-5 Jarkko Komula
Mark Hylton 6-2 John Scott
Rocco Maes 6-4 Andy Pearce
Kim Huybrechts 6-1 Matthew Dennant
Nigel Heydon 6-3 Paul Barham
John Bowles 6-1 Barrie Bates
Dennis Smith 6-0 Vernon Sheppard
Mervyn King 6-3 Jamie Caven
Kevin McDine 6-3 Joe Cullen
Terry Temple 6-4 Vincent van der Voort
Steve McNally 6-3 Jason Hogg
Wes Newton 6-4 Sam Hill
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Matt Padgett
Kevin Dowling 6-1 Shaun Liptrot
Paul Amos 6-3 Andy Pearson
James Hubbard 6-5 Steve Hine
Stuart Kellett 6-5 Dan Russell
Ian Jopling 6-2 Peter Manley
Keegan Brown 6-3 Reece Robinson
Mark Walsh 6-3 Ross Smith
Jyhan Artut 6-1 Richie Howson

Third Round
Michael Barnard 6-5 Peter Hudson
Colin Lloyd 6-0 Andy Hutchings
Michael Smith 6-2 Stuart White
Ian White 6-4 Roland Scholten
Tomas Seyler 6-4 Andy Jenkins
Ronnie Baxter 6-2 Steve Brown
Terry Jenkins 6-5 Jelle Klaasen
Alex Roy 6-4 Josh Jones
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Paddy Meaney
Mark Webster 6-2 Scott Coleman
Co Stompe 6-2 Tony Littleton
Ricky Evans 6-1 Kevin Painter
Ronny Huybrechts 6-1 Ewan Hyslop
Nick Fullwell 6-2 Joey Palfreyman
Andy Hamilton 6-3 Colin Osborne
Scott Rand 6-2 Steve Grubb
Ted Hankey 6-5 John Part
Peter Wright 6-4 Mensur Suljovic
Royden Lam 6-4 Ricky Sudale
Josh Payne 6-3 Phil Taylor
Wayne Jones 6-4 Dean Winstanley
William O’Connor 6-3 Chris Aubrey
Mark Hylton 6-3 Rocco Maes
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Nigel Heydon
John Bowles 6-0 Dennis Smith
Mervyn King 6-5 Kevin McDine
Terry Temple 6-3 Steve McNally
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Wes Newton
Paul Amos 6-3 Kevin Dowling
Stuart Kellett 6-0 James Hubbard
Keegan Brown 6-4 Ian Jopling
Jyhan Artut 6-2 Mark Walsh
Losers £200

Fourth Round
Colin Lloyd 6-4 Michael Barnard
Michael Smith 6-4 Ian White
Ronnie Baxter 6-3 Tomas Seyler
Terry Jenkins 6-4 Alex Roy
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Mark Webster
Co Stompe 6-3 Ricky Evans
Ronny Huybrechts 6-5 Nick Fullwell
Andy Hamilton 6-3 Scott Rand
Peter Wright 6-2 Ted Hankey
Royden Lam 6-4 Josh Payne
Wayne Jones 6-4 William O’Connor
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Mark Hylton
John Bowles 6-4 Mervyn King
Brendan Dolan 6-0 Terry Temple
Stuart Kellett 6-1 Paul Amos
Jyhan Artut 6-2 Keegan Brown
Losers £400

Fifth Round
Michael Smith 6-4 Colin Lloyd
Ronnie Baxter 6-5 Terry Jenkins
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Co Stompe
Andy Hamilton 6-0 Ronny Huybrechts
Peter Wright 6-2 Royden Lam
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Wayne Jones
John Bowles 6-5 Brendan Dolan
Jyhan Artut 6-4 Stuart Kellett
Losers £600

Michael Smith 6-1 Ronnie Baxter
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Andy Hamilton
Kim Huybrechts 6-4 Peter Wright
John Bowles 6-1 Jyhan Artut
Losers £1,000

Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Michael Smith
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 John Bowles
Losers £2,000

Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Kim Huybrechts
Winner £6,000
Runner-Up £3,000

Final – Leg-By-Leg
Michael van Gerwen v Kim Huybrechts
0-0 – Kim Huybrechts wins the bull and throws first
0-1 – Huybrechts opens the final with a 180 and wins the opening leg on double four.
1-1 – van Gerwen lands his first maximum of the game, and pins tops for a 13-darter to level.
1-2 – van Gerwen posts a 174 score but misses darts at double 16, eight and four to break, as Huybrechts hits tops to hold throw.
2-2 – Huybrechts misses the bull for a 167 finish to break, and van Gerwen lands double 12 to square the game again.
3-2 – Huybrechts opens with another maximum, but misses double ten for 128 finish as van Gerwen hits the same bed for a 13-darter to break.
4-2 – van Gerwen lands a 180 and finishes 66 on double 18 to move two legs clear.
5-2 – Both players open with 180s, and when Huybrechts misses the bull to finish 128, van Gerwen posts tops for a 14-darter to break again and move a leg away from victory.
5-3 – Huybrechts replies with a 14-darter to break back and keep his hopes alive, hitting a fourth maximum of the game and double eight.
5-4 – van Gerwen lands his fourth 180 of the game, but is left waiting on 28 as Huybrechts finishes 108 on double 16 to continue his fightback.
5-5 – van Gerwen hits another maximum to leave 58, with Huybrechts replying with a 170 to leave 32, and when the Dutchman misses two match darts he hits double 16 to force a decider.
6-5 – van Gerwen is first to a finish, leaving 164 after nine darts before missing the bull to complete the combination, but he returns to seal the win on double eight.

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