Ian White claimed back-to-back European Tour titles with an 8-7 victory over the newly-crowned Premier League champion Michael van Gerwen in the final of the Dutch Darts Masters on Sunday.
The world number 10, who won the European Darts Grand Prix earlier this month, took his tally of European Tour titles to three, as he defied a partisan crowd at the Igsselhallen, in Zwolle, to scoop the £25,000 top prize.
Victory over van Gerwen, in the final, also ended the world number one’s incredible run of winning last-leg deciders on the European Tour. The Dutchman had won his last 28 games which had gone to a deciding leg, including wins against Raymond van Barneveld and Gerwyn Price earlier in the day.
“It’s a great feeling to win this title, I always wanted to play Michael and beat him in a final so this shows I can do it,” said White, who was appearing in his fourth consecutive European Tour final.
“It was difficult playing in front of the Dutch crowd, but I understand they want Michael to win.
“I’ve been in quite a few finals lately, I’ve been playing well on the European Tour and this will help with my performances in TV events going forward.
“This is still a big stage and hopefully when I go to the World Matchplay I will do it up there as well, then I’ll be flying up the top ten.”
Missed doubles would prove costly in the final for van Gerwen. He finished with an average of 96.95, compared to White’s 93.01, but crucially was only 25 per cent on the doubles, hitting only seven of his 28 attempts.
White punished those misses in the early stages to take a 3-0 lead, but missed a dart at tops and van Gerwen finally got off the mark with his 13th dart at a double.
The next two legs went with throw before van Gerwen broke back with a 170 finish, as White was left on 20, and then the top seed followed up that 12-darter with a 13-darter to level the final up at 4-4.
The two finalists continued to trade breaks of throw. First, White pounced on more missed doubles from van Gerwen to move 6-4 in front, only to then miss two darts for 7-4 and van Gerwen broke straight back.
In leg 13, van Gerwen missed the bull for a second 170 checkout of the game and White found double two with his last dart for 7-6, before van Gerwen responded with double one to force a deciding leg.
Van Gerwen had won his last 28 deciding legs on the European Tour, a streak stretching back to 2014, but White ended that run by hitting double 10 with his last dart to record a third win over the world number one on the European Tour in as many seasons.
Picture: Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe