Danny Noppert wrapped up an emphatic 8-3 win over Simon Whitlock to seal his fourth PDC title at Players Championship 2 in Barnsley on Sunday.

The Dutchman produced a series of classy displays to scoop the £12,000 top prize at the Barnsley Metrodome, as the opening weekend of ProTour action drew to a close.

The UK Open champion was rarely troubled en route to glory, and he produced his best performance of the day in Sunday’s showpiece to deny Whitlock a first ProTour crown since 2017.

Noppert punished a lacklustre start from Whitlock to race into a 3-0 lead, but the Australian responded by reeling off back-to-back legs in 15 and 14 darts to reduce the arrears to 3-2.

However, a clinical 107 combination in leg six saw Noppert restore his two-leg buffer, and he continued his charge in the latter stages, registering legs of 14, 13, 15 and 15 darts to triumph.

“It was a good day. I wasn’t at my very best level, but my finishing was brilliant,” reflected Noppert, who celebrates his third Players Championship success.

“There are 128 good players here and sometimes you don’t play your best game, but against Simon in the final, I produced a good performance and I’m very happy with the win.

“Last year I had a really good year and I am really proud of my performance here. I feel really emotional. I am speechless.

“When you win games and tournaments like I have on the big stage, I have more belief and I think my son being born last year gave me a really positive feeling. I am always feeling positive.”

Noppert, the world number eight, opened Sunday’s action with a 6-3 win against Saturday’s semi-finalist Dylan Slevin, which he followed with a whitewash win over Connor Scutt in round two.

The 32-year-old edged out Danish trailblazer Vladimir Andersen in a hard-fought third round tie, before posting a ton-plus average to sink Saturday’s runner-up Jamie Hughes and seal his spot in the last eight.

The Dutch star then accounted for Callan Rydz – who reached back-to-back quarter-finals in Barnsley this weekend – before capping off a stunning display of combination finishing to defeat Brendan Dolan 7-3 in the semi-finals.

Noppert was too strong for Whitlock in the final, but the Australian rolled back the years in Barnsley to reach his first ProTour final in over five years.

The reigning World Cup champion kicked off his campaign with victory over fifth seed Dave Chisnall, and advanced into the last 16 with wins over Mario Vandenbogaerde and Rowby-John Rodriguez.

Whitlock defeated fellow veteran Raymond van Barneveld to seal his spot in the quarter-finals, and after dumping out another Dutchman in Richard Veenstra, he crashed in nine 180s to topple top seed Luke Humphries in the last four.

Humphries survived five match darts in his opening round win over Ted Evetts, and he also edged out Dimitri Van den Bergh and James Wade in last-leg shoot-outs to reach the semi-finals.

Dolan also enjoyed a memorable day at the Barnsley Metrodome, claiming the scalps of Gary Anderson, Michael van Gerwen and Michael Smith in reaching the same stage.

World Champion Smith, Rydz and Wade were joined in the quarter-finals by former Dutch Open winner Veenstra, who came through European Qualifying School last month to claim his PDC Tour Card.

Saturday’s winner Ryan Searle was beaten by Czech star Karel Sedlacek in his first round tie, with Masters champion Chris Dobey succumbing to Van Barneveld at the same stage.

Elsewhere, Premier League trio Van Gerwen, Peter Wright and Jonny Clayton bowed out in round three, alongside fourth seed Rob Cross.


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