Humphries ‘over the moon’ after lifting World Youth Championship
Luke Humphries will head to December’s World Darts Championship as the World Youth champion after producing a clinical whitewashing of Adam Gawlas at Butlin’s Minehead Resort.
Humphries, who lifted ten Development Tour titles during his eight-year youth career, bowed out with a bang ahead of making the full-time switch to the senior circuit as of next year.
After coming through the 96-strong field in Wigan, denying the likes of Berry van Peer, Jeffrey de Zwaan and Keane Barry, Humphries was clinical in seeing off Czech youngster, Gawlas.
17-year-old Gawlas first threw an arrow in February and reached the semi-finals in just his second PDC tournament in August, but the occasion seemingly got to the youngster in a one-sided final.
The 24-year-old, Humphries, boasted a 92.97 average, pinned three maximums and nailed 46 per cent of his attempts at the outer ring on his way to an emphatic triumph.
Gawlas squandered multiple darts at double in the opening leg – which proved to be the only opportunities he would receive against the vivacious Englishman.
Back-to-back 17-darters and a 112 checkout was enough to hand Humphries a hefty 3-0 advantage, before a maximum opened the fourth leg for the Berkshire thrower.
After coming close to a blistering 161 outshot, Humphries kept his cool, pinning successive 14-darters to move on the cusp of his biggest win to date. Yet another maximum followed as well as a perfectly timed 136 to leave double tops – which he missed prior to nailing double ten to seal the deal.
“It’s been a dream of mine so I’m over the moon,” Humphries told pdc.tv. “In the last three years, in my opinion, I’ve been the best youth player and this has been a long time coming.
“There was a lot of pressure on me and I had to be ruthless. To win 6-0 is amazing and it was a great win for me. I played well but maybe the scoreline is a little bit harsh on Adam.
“He’s a great talent and it’s amazing to think that he’s only been playing the game for nine months, and I’d love to see where he is in five years.”
Humphries added: “This is my last ever youth tournament and it’s time to take the step up, but it’s a fitting end. It’s special to lift this trophy in my last ever youth tournament.
“I worked hard to win this and I think it’s my destiny to win this in my final year as a youth player. It’s my ambition now to be the first player to win the World Youth Championship and then the World Championship so the hard work starts now.”
Humphries becomes the first Englishman to lift the prestigious crown since Keegan Brown in 2014, having overcame a well-documented battle with anxiety throughout the year.
Photography: Lawrence Lustig/PDC