White denies Van Gerwen to win second consecutive Euro Tour
Ian White ended Michael van Gerwen’s five-year streak in the Dutch Darts Masters, beating him 8-7 in the final to win his second Euro Tour title in successive events and also end the Premier League champion’s incredible 28-game winning streak in last leg deciders on the European circuit.
In a tournament with ten home favourites, four of them making it to the final day in Zwolle, it looked like it would be a fairytale ending for the locals with MVG winning an incredible sixth Dutch Darts Masters running after narrow wins over Raymond van Barneveld, Dave Chisnall and Gerwyn Price, but a tense final saw White take a 3-0 advantage and hang on by his fingernails at the end to win his third European Tour title.
Sunday’s last 16 began with a blockbuster clash between two Dutch World Champions, MVG and RVB, and the retiring ‘Barney’ produced a 13-darter to lead for the first time at 4-3. However, it was a similar story to their meeting in Saarbrücken at the same stage as Van Gerwen rallied to win 6-5 and book a meeting with Dave Chisnall, who won another tight affair against Ricky Evans, 6-5 with an average of just over 100.
Glen Durrant received a bye in the second round to move through to the final day of a Euro Tour for the first time, but he took full advantage of that luck against Dennis Nilsson with a superb performance – a 103 average without a single leg dropped saw ‘Duzza’ move over £50,000 on the Order of Merit and set up a clash against Gerwyn Price. ‘The Iceman’ carried on his brilliant form from the last 32 in the early stages against Brendan Dolan, but struggled to get over the line having led 5-0, eventually winning 6-3.
Ian White’s quest to make a fourth consecutive European Tour final continued with a mostly routine 6-2 win over the Netherlands’ Jermaine Wattimena, which was only dampened by a water spillage onto White’s darts equipment. The Dutch fans were pleased in the next match, though, Vincent van der Voort sealing his spot in the final session of a European Tour for the first time in over two years thanks to a 6-4 success over Max Hopp.
Neither Peter Wright or Simon Whitlock really got going in the seventh last 16 match of the afternoon but it was ‘Snakebite’ who progressed 6-3. Rowby-John Rodriguez was reportedly set to win a cow if he was to go all the way in Zwolle but fell short against Mervyn King despite the former World Master suffering from a migraine in the latter stages of the match. 60% on the doubles and a 96.5 average from ‘The King’, who seems pretty secure for World Matchplay qualification now while it was a very promising weekend from ‘Little John’.
Dave Chisnall threatened a comeback against Michael van Gerwen after the world number one stormed into a 5-1 lead in the opening quarter-final, winning three legs on the spin only for MVG to post a 12-darter in the tenth to seal his semi-final berth. Glen Durrant’s first Euro Tour quarter-final ended in disappointment as Gerwyn Price ran riot with a 104.5 average to finally win a last eight match on the continent this year, at the fifth time of asking.
Ian White saw off Vincent van der Voort 6-3 with a 100 average, while Peter Wright completed a pretty familiar semi-final line-up with a 6-4 win over Mervyn King. The last four got underway with an absolute belter, Van Gerwen and Price going at it for 13 legs of darting brilliance with the match tightly poised at 3-3, 4-4 and 5-5 until the home hero smashed in a 143 to break with Price sat on double 10 after 12 darts.
The sublime 140-hitting of ‘The Iceman’ put him back in the game, though, sending it all the way, but MVG’s brilliance in deciding legs continued as he found a 13-darter to progress to a fifth European Tour final of 2019. It would be a repeat of the finals in Saarbrücken and Graz as Ian White punished just 15% on the doubles from Peter Wright in their semi-final, winning 7-3.
‘Diamond’, looking to exact revenge on Van Gerwen for those two defeats earlier in the season, got off to the ideal start in the all-important final as the World and Premier League champion missed darts at doubles and White found his targets to lead 2-0. There was then a brief interlude, not for the first time in the weekend, as the board had to be changed for being too soft.
It didn’t stop White’s progress, however, with Stoke’s number one extending his lead to 4-1. It looked like he would make it 5-2 to move ever closer, leaving 20 after 12 darts but Van Gerwen had other ideas, producing a stunning 170 checkout, the second of the tournament, to break throw and close the gap to one leg. ‘Mighty Mike’ missed five darts to level for a second time at 5-5, and ‘Diamond’ went two clear with a 72 finish.
Despite that sucker punch, MVG won the next two legs to equalise at 6-6, and then missed the bull for a 170 in the next leg, allowing White to find double 2 and go within one of winning the second consecutive Euro Tour in the Netherlands. It went all the way to the fifteenth leg, and Van Gerwen could only find one visit of 100 or more, which meant White had 18 darts to hold throw, and he just about did so, finishing off 56 to silence the partisan crowd and add yet another £25,000 to his rapidly-growing Order of Merit totals.
On the ProTour Order of Merit, White is now closer to #1 than he is to #3, while he’s on the verge of moving back into the top ten of the world overall thanks to a third European Tour success in less than a year despite not playing brilliantly that often in Zwolle. He goes to the next event in Denmark as top seed due to Van Gerwen’s withdrawal, and may well be the favourite to make it five finals running and a hat-trick of titles this season. Before then, the likes of Van Gerwen, Wright and Price head to Hamburg for the ninth World Cup of Darts.
2019 Dutch Darts Masters
Sunday May 26
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Dave Chisnall 6-5 Ricky Evans
Glen Durrant 6-0 Dennis Nilsson
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Brendan Dolan
Ian White 6-2 Jermaine Wattimena
Vincent van der Voort 6-4 Max Hopp
Peter Wright 6-3 Simon Whitlock
Mervyn King 6-5 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST)
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Dave Chisnall
Glen Durrant 3-6 Gerwyn Price
Ian White 6-3 Vincent van der Voort
Peter Wright 6-4 Mervyn King
Michael van Gerwen 7-6 Gerwyn Price
Ian White 7-3 Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen 7-8 Ian White