The Dutchman followed up his recent run to the Viaplay Dutch Darts Masters final with a second ProTour success of 2022, scooping the £12,000 first prize in the first of four Players Championship events at the Barnsley Metrodome.

Van Duijvenbode was in sensational form throughout Friday’s event, averaging over 100 in five of his seven victories and sealing the title with a ruthless whitewash of Clemens.

In the first meeting between the pair, Dutchman Van Duijvenbode asserted his dominance from the off, clinching the final’s opening leg in just 11 darts.

He then raced into a 3-0 lead with Clemens yet to be afforded a dart at double, before the German eventually missed one in the fourth leg as Van Duijvenbode broke and moved halfway towards victory.

A beautiful 122 finish – the highest of the final – put Van Duijvenbode into a 6-0 lead, before he wrapped up the remaining two legs to seal a stunning whitewash victory.

“The top three at the moment are not in the best form they have ever been, and so the rest start fancying their chances,” said the Dutchman.

“Luke Humphries has won loads of titles recently and I can do it too. I beat him today, and I have gone on to win the title.

“If you want to beat me now, you have to play well.”

With little over a week to go until the Betfred World Matchplay, it is the perfect preparation for Van Duijvenbode – who stands as one of the outside shouts for the title in Blackpool.

And the 30-year-old now thinks he has the experience to go on to lift the Phil Taylor Trophy.

“In all the other interviews I would have said no, but now I think I am capable [of winning the World Matchplay],” he said.

“I think the PDC is a great road to becoming a top player. You play in events like this, and then you go to European Tours with the cameras and crowd and start winning there, and then it’s a small step to the big stage.

“I used to be bothered by those sort of things, but the experience now means I am used to it and now I am here as a winner.”

Van Duijvenbode’s run to the title started with a 6-1 win over Connor Scutt, before he claimed narrow 6-5 victories over Ritchie Edhouse and Chris Dobey – with both players missing darts for the match.

He then started to play his best darts and posted a huge 107 average in beating World Champion Peter Wright 6-4, before following this with a 105 average in seeing off Humphries 6-2 in the quarter-finals.

Another ton-plus average followed as he saw off Adrian Lewis 7-4 in the last four, with the two-time World Champion’s run ensuring him a safety net from the chasing pack in the race for World Matchplay qualification.

In the final, it was much the same from Van Duijvenbode as he again averaged over 100 in his scintillating victory over Clemens.

For Clemens, defeat means he has now reached six PDC finals without yet getting over the line to secure a maiden title.

He started the day in electric form, seeing off Adam Hunt and Gordon Mathers without dropping a leg and averaging a huge 114.15 against the latter.

The power scoring continued as he averaged 104.86 in seeing off Dutchman Geert Nentjes 6-4.

Comfortable victories followed over Ryan Meikle (6-2) and Daryl Gurney (6-3) as the German reached the last four, where he squeezed past Nathan Aspinall 7-6, before running out of steam in the final.

Elsewhere, it was a birthday to remember for Dimitri Van den Bergh as he pinned an incredible nine-dart finish against Ryan Meikle in the third round.

Andrew Gilding also produced some breath-taking early displays, averaging 118.33 – the highest of the day – in victory over Brett Claydon, before backing this up with a 111.52 average as he saw off Berry van Peer during a run to the quarter-finals.

The action continues on Saturday with the second of four Players Championships at the Barnsley Metrodome, as the race for World Matchplay qualification continues and another £12,000 top prize is up for grabs.

2022 Players Championship 18
Friday July 8
Last 16

Luke Humphries 6-4 Scott Mitchell
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Mickey Mansell
Andrew Gilding 6-5 James Wade
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Cameron Menzies
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Joe Cullen
Daryl Gurney 6-0 Mario Vandenbogaerde
Gabriel Clemens 6-2 Ryan Meikle

Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-2 Luke Humphries
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Andrew Gilding
Nathan Aspinall 6-2 Dave Chisnall
Gabriel Clemens 6-3 Daryl Gurney

Dirk van Duijvenbode 7-4 Adrian Lewis
Gabriel Clemens 7-6 Nathan Aspinall

Dirk van Duijvenbode 8-0 Gabriel Clemens


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