BURNETT ENDS BARREN SPELL WITH AMAZING DUTCH WIN

RICHIE BURNETT ended a ten-year gap without a ranking title with victory over Dave Chisnall in Sunday’s Players Championship final in Holland – and dramatically booked himself a spot in the World Grand Prix in the process!

The Welsh ace went into Sunday’s PDC ProTour event, the last before the cut-off for World Grand Prix qualifiers, knowing that only a £6,000 win would see him move high enough in the Players Championship Order of Merit to earn a Dublin return.

However, he swept through the 131-player field in Nuland to snatch the title, his first since the 2001 Witch City Open in Boston.

Having dropped only five legs in wins over Jerry Hendriks, Dave Smith and Denis Ovens, he then overcame Paul Nicholson 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals.

There, he edged out Kevin Painter 6-5 after his opponent missed three darts to win the deciding leg, before picking up a 6-2 win in an all-Welsh semi-final with fellow former World Champion Mark Webster.

He shared the opening eight legs of a tense final with Chisnall before making his move in the ninth, hitting a 180 in a 13-darter to lead 5-4 with the throw.

Burnett then hit scores of 180 and 140 to leave 86 after nine darts in the next, and finished 86 for an 11-darter to seal the win in style.

“I’m over the moon,” said Burnett. “I’ve felt it was there for the last year since I was back playing seriously again and everything came together for me.

“I knew this was the last resort and when I woke up this morning I said to myself ‘let’s go for it’. I knew that if I hit my doubles I can win, because I can out-score anybody and that’s what happened.

“Even when I’ve been losing it’s only been by the thickness of a wire, so I’ve kept patient and always kept looking forward, and I knew it would come for me.

“I came into this weekend thinking if I can win one, and I know I’m capable, it might get me into the World Grand Prix so there was massive pressure on me.

“In the final I only responded in the last two legs but I responded well.”

Burnett has drawn Gary Anderson in the first round of the World Grand Prix, and he added: “If I’m playing well I can beat anybody and it should be a fantastic game with Gary.”

Chisnall found himself on the losing side in his third PDC ProTour final since coming through Qualifying School in January to win a Tour Card, but again showed his class in a fine day.

He picked up four successive 6-2 victories in reaching the quarter-finals, where he disposed of Nigel Heydon, before whitewashing Belgian newcomer Kurt van de Rijk in the semis.

Van de Rijk had reached the second round of Saturday’s Players Championship but knocked out Tony Eccles, Brendan Dolan, Mensur Suljovic, Peter Wright and Steve Evans in his run to the last four, where he picked up £2,000.

World number eight Webster was the other semi-finalist as he sought to claim his second Players Championship victory inside 12 months, while Heydon, Evans, Painter and Michael Smith were the losing quarter-finalists.

Webster had been the unlucky player to drop from the final qualifying place for the World Grand Prix a year ago, when Steve Farmer swept through the field in Nuland, and this time it was Coventry’s Scott Rand who missed out following Burnett’s success.

Rand had reached the semi-finals of Saturday’s Players Championship, but picked up only £200 following a second round defeat on Sunday, while Steve Beaton’s late challenge failed when he lost in the last 16 to Michael Smith.

Players Championship 20
(Nuland, Holland – Sunday September 25)

Preliminary Round
Steffen Siepmann 6-1 Wilhelm Schwingenschlogel
Jean-Marie Rubais 6-1 Rudi Minnenbach
Gilbert van der Meijden 6-5 Wichard Knoops

First Round
Gary Anderson (1) 6-1 Rene Lander
Dylan Duo 6-0 Henry Zapata
Nigel Heydon (32) 6-0 Adam Hunt
Mark Dudbridge 6-0 Steffen Siepmann
Mervyn King (16) 6-3 Martino Tagliapietra
Darren Johnson 6-4 John O’Shea
Alan Tabern (17) 6-2 Johnny Okken
Alex Roy 6-1 Jann Hoffmann
Vincent van der Voort (8) 6-4 Mark Lieftink
Kim Huybrechts 6-0 Ryan Harrington
Dave Chisnall (25) 6-2 Jose Antonio Justicia
Steve Hine 6-2 Aodhagan O’Neill
Justin Pipe (9) 6-1 Wilfried Hoburg
Jyhan Artut 6-5 Nick Fullwell
Wayne Jones (24) 6-1 Dennis Kolen
Ian White 6-3 Chris Aubrey
Mark Walsh (5) 6-2 Karsten Koch
Magnus Caris 6-4 Matthew Edgar
John Henderson (28) 6-1 Karsten Kornath
Steve Evans 6-3 Dyson Parody
Colin Lloyd (12) 6-0 Romano Ruggeri
Wayne Atwood 6-4 Rocco Maes
Steve Brown (21) 6-3 Remco van Eijden
Roland Scholten 6-3 Shaun Griffiths
Ronnie Baxter (4) 6-2 Rico Dera
Mensur Suljovic 6-1 Dave Ladley
Kurt van de Rijk 6-3 Tony Eccles (29)
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Kirk Shepherd
Peter Wright (13) 6-2 Maik Langendorf
Mareno Michels 6-1 Adam Smith-Neale
Dennis Smith (20) 6-0 Andrea Guidi
Terry Temple 6-2 Tony Ayres
Wes Newton (2) 6-0 Lucio Rave
Antonio Alcinas 6-5 Michael Mansell
Michael Smith 6-4 Steve Farmer (31)
Adrian Gray 6-3 Jean-Marie Rubais
Steve Beaton (15) 6-3 Danny Schellekens
Andy Jenkins 6-2 Bernd Roith
Colin Osborne (18) 6-2 Wouter Vaes
William O’Connor 6-2 Veijo Viinikka
Mark Webster (7) 6-0 Gino Vos
James Richardson 6-2 Mark Frost
Andy Hamilton (26) 6-1 Mauro Stronati
Per Laursen 6-4 Carlos Rodriguez
Andy Smith (10) 6-2 Mattheus Ziolkowski
Michael Rosenauer 6-4 Mick Todd
Mark Hylton (23) 6-1 Hermie van Orsouw
Steve Maish 6-4 Chris Thompson
Jamie Caven (6) 6-4 Andries Sterk
Matt Clark 6-2 Arron Monk
Scott Rand (27) 6-5 Eduardo Lopes Sales
Kevin McDine 6-0 Andree Welge
Kevin Painter (11) 6-3 Erwin Renkema
Marko Kantele 6-4 John Michael
Co Stompe (22) 6-3 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Boris Krcmar
Paul Nicholson (3) 6-0 Niels-Jan Stuiver
Brian Woods 6-2 Reece Robinson
Jelle Klaasen (30) 6-3 Christian van Overdijk
Gilbert van der Meijden 6-5 Andy Hutchings
Denis Ovens (14) 6-2 Ruzdya Hopic
Joe Cullen 6-4 Steve Grubb
Richie Burnett (19) 6-1 Jerry Hendriks
Dave Smith 6-2 Barrie Bates

Second Round
Gary Anderson 6-1 Dylan Duo
Nigel Heydon 6-2 Mark Dudbridge
Mervyn King 6-5 Darren Johnson
Alan Tabern 6-4 Alex Roy
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Vincent van der Voort
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Steve Hine
Justin Pipe 6-5 Jyhan Artut
Wayne Jones 6-1 Ian White
Magnus Caris 6-3 Mark Walsh
Steve Evans 6-2 John Henderson
Wayne Atwood 6-5 Colin Lloyd
Steve Brown 6-2 Roland Scholten
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Ronnie Baxter
Kurt van de Rijk 6-4 Brendan Dolan
Peter Wright 6-2 Mareno Michels
Terry Temple 6-3 Dennis Smith
Wes Newton 6-3 Antonio Alcinas
Michael Smith 6-4 Adrian Gray
Steve Beaton 6-5 Andy Jenkins
Colin Osborne 6-3 William O’Connor
Mark Webster 6-0 James Richardson
Per Laursen 6-5 Andy Hamilton
Michael Rosenauer 6-4 Andy Smith
Mark Hylton 6-4 Steve Maish
Matt Clark 6-2 Jamie Caven
Kevin McDine 6-4 Scott Rand
Kevin Painter 6-5 Marko Kantele
Co Stompe 6-3 Michael van Gerwen
Paul Nicholson 6-1 Brian Woods
Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Gilbert van der Meijden
Denis Ovens 6-3 Joe Cullen
Richie Burnett 6-2 Dave Smith
Losers £200

Third Round
Nigel Heydon 6-2 Gary Anderson
Mervyn King 6-3 Alan Tabern
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Kim Huybrechts
Justin Pipe 6-4 Wayne Jones
Steve Evans 6-3 Magnus Caris
Steve Brown 6-3 Wayne Atwood
Kurt van de Rijk 6-5 Mensur Suljovic
Peter Wright 6-3 Terry Temple
Michael Smith 6-4 Wes Newton
Steve Beaton 6-1 Colin Osborne
Mark Webster 6-2 Per Laursen
Mark Hylton 6-2 Michael Rosenauer
Matt Clark 6-4 Kevin McDine
Kevin Painter 6-3 Co Stompe
Paul Nicholson 6-2 Jelle Klaasen
Richie Burnett 6-2 Denis Ovens
Losers £400

Fourth Round
Nigel Heydon 6-3 Mervyn King
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Justin Pipe
Steve Evans 6-1 Steve Brown
Kurt van de Rijk 6-5 Peter Wright
Michael Smith 6-4 Steve Beaton
Mark Webster 6-3 Mark Hylton
Kevin Painter 6-2 Matt Clark
Richie Burnett 6-4 Paul Nicholson
Losers £600

Quarter-Finals
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Nigel Heydon
Kurt van de Rijk 6-2 Steve Evans
Mark Webster 6-2 Michael Smith
Richie Burnett 6-5 Kevin Painter
Losers £1,000

Semi-Finals
Dave Chisnall 6-0 Kurt van de Rijk
Richie Burnett 6-2 Mark Webster
Losers £2,000

Final
Richie Burnett 6-4 Dave Chisnall
Winner £6,000
Runner-Up £3,000

Final – Leg-By-Leg
Dave Chisnall v Richie Burnett
0-0 – Richie Burnett wins the bull and will throw first
0-1 – Burnett hits two 140s to be first to a double, but is given a reprieve for two missed doubles when Chisnall misses tops, allowing him back on double four.
1-1 – Chisnall nails double 18 at the first time of asking to level.
1-2 – Chisnall misses double 18 and nine to break and Burnett is again let off, returning to hit double 12 at the second time of asking.
2-2 – Chisnall opens with scores of 180, 137 and 136, and eventually wins the leg on double five in 15 darts.
2-3 – Burnett hits a 180 of his own in a 13-darter to regain the lead, hitting tops for the leg.
3-3 – Chisnall again kicks off with a 180, and finishes 73 on tops for another 15-dart leg.
3-4 – Burnett misses double 18 for a 156 finish, but Chisnall is unable to make him pay for subsequent misses before the Welshman returns to hit double one.
4-4 – Chisnall opens with back-to-back 140s and posts double top for a 13-darter in levelling once more.
4-5 – Burnett opens with a 180 and follows that with a 140 before posting double six for a 13-darter in reply.
4-6 – The Welshman lands another 180 and seals victory with an 86 finish for an 11-darter.

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