Michael van Gerwen produced a ruthless display to whitewash North American Champion Jeff Smith 8-0 and clinch his second bet365 US Darts Masters title in New York on Saturday.
Van Gerwen stormed to victory on a bumper night of action at Madison Square Garden, scooping the £20,000 top prize and securing a record-extending 18th World Series of Darts title in the process.
The Dutchman arrived in New York fresh from lifting a record seventh Premier League crown last Thursday, and he capped off a memorable ten days by adding to his title tally in the Big Apple.
Van Gerwen kicked off his campaign with a 6-2 win over Canadian newcomer Jake Macmillan, before overcoming Michael Smith’s conqueror Jim Long by the same scoreline in Saturday’s opener.
The Dutchman then fought back from 6-4 down to thwart Rob Cross in a gripping semi-final, defying 170 and 122 finishes from the former World Champion to win a World Series classic.
Cross wired the bull for a spectacular 167 finish in the decider, but Van Gerwen ran out a comprehensive winner in Saturday’s showpiece, demolishing Smith 8-0 to create another slice of history.
The three-time World Champion signalled his intent with a 103 checkout to draw first blood in 12 darts, and that set the tone for a dominant display.
Smith spurned three darts at double to level in leg two and he paid a heavy price, with Van Gerwen converting clinical 89 and 80 combination finishes to stretch his lead to 5-0.
The Canadian veteran squandered further opportunities to open his account in leg six, and he was denied another dart at double, as Van Gerwen sank a two-dart 76 kill in leg eight to complete the whitewash.
“It means a lot to me to win this trophy,” insisted Van Gerwen, featuring in his 50th World Series of Darts event.
“It was our second year here at Madison Square Garden and I have never won a title at such an iconic venue like this, so it’s another one off the bucket list!
“I had three big wins, but the game against Rob Cross was a bit weird.
“You need to try to keep your focus. It’s not easy but I managed to do it, and to finish it off with an 11-darter always gives you a lot of pleasure.
“Jeff definitely ran out of steam in the final. He had a really tough day and that’s part of darts unfortunately, but I took advantage. I am glad I won. I am a proud man.”
Smith celebrated his second North American Darts Championship success on Saturday afternoon, and he continued his dream weekend with a run to his maiden PDC televised final.
The Canadian – who accounted for world number two Peter Wright on Friday night – maintained his winning run with an inspired display against 2019 champion Nathan Aspinall.
Aspinall was on the receiving end of a sublime display of finishing following his own heroics on Friday, as Smith landed a brace of ton-plus finishes and pinned six of his seven attempts at double to triumph.
The 47-year-old then raised the roof with an extraordinary last-leg win over Luke Humphries, conjuring up a majestic 167 checkout to record his fifth win of the day at Madison Square Garden.
Humphries won through a high-quality quarter-final tie against Gerwyn Price to seal a place in his first World Series semi-final, despite a 104 average from the Welshman.
Meanwhile, Cross powered past Dimitri Van den Bergh in their last eight tussle, winning five straight legs from 2-1 down, only to succumb to eventual champion Van Gerwen in a pulsating contest..