Michael van Gerwen continues excellent form at latest UK Open qualifier
Last Updated: 18/04/13 10:17pm
Picture of Michael van Gerwen courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Michael van Gerwen won his fourth UK Open qualifier of the year with a 6-5 victory over Kim Huybrechts in the final.
The Dutchman's success in Wigan means he has now picked up £29,000 in prize money from the six qualifiers held so far.
He came from 5-2 down in the quarter-finals to defeat Andy Hamilton 6-5 and averaged 112.67 in a 6-1 semi-final demolition of Michael Smith.
Huybrechts, with the advantage of throw, made the early running in the final as he led 2-1 before two breaks from Van Gerwen, with legs of 13 and 14 darts, helped him to move 5-2 up.
The Belgian hit back with a 14-darter of his own and a 108 finish to pull back to 5-4 before punishing two missed match darts from Van Gerwen by pinning double 16 to force a decider.
Van Gerwen, though, was the first to a finish as he left 164 after nine darts, and though he missed the bullseye to complete the combination, he had enough cushion to return and land double eight for the title.
"It feels so good to get another win," said Van Gerwen. "I'm very confident at the moment and that has a lot to do with it because I'm even winning bad games, and I'm doing very well at the moment.
"I made it a bit difficult in the final for myself with some poor scores at times and missing the two match darts, but to be the winner is the most important thing.
"I'm very proud of myself but I can still do better than this."
Van Gerwen's triumph denied Belgian World Cup finalist Huybrechts his first PDC ranking title, but he still took home £3,000 for his efforts.
After whitewashing Mareno Michels, he defeated Matthew Dennant 6-1 and edged out Nigel Heydon in a deciding leg before seeing off Mark Hylton and Wayne Jones 6-3 to reach the last eight.
There, he saw off Peter Wright 6-4 before holding off John Bowles' fightback from 3-0 down to level in the semi-finals as he took a 6-3 triumph.
Bowles' run had seen him reach his first ProTour semi-final, and including a superb 108 average as he defeated Mervyn King 6-4 in the last 32, before he later defeated Brendan Dolan and Germany's Jyhan Artut.
St Helens youngster Smith was the other semi-finalist, having seen off former World Championship finalist Kirk Shepherd, Stuart White, Ian White, Colin Lloyd and Ronnie Baxter on the day.
Artut, Wright, Hamilton and Baxter all picked up £1,000 for reaching the quarter-finals, while Hong Kong's Royden Lam gave himself a chance of qualifying for the televised finals in Bolton in June by progressing to the last 16.
World champion Phil Taylor, a quarter-final loser to Van Gerwen on Saturday, lost out 6-3 to PDC Youth Tour product Josh Payne in the third round of the event, with the Stoke ace defeating Simon Whitlock and Dave Chisnall before going down to a player who picked up victory on the PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour in March.
World number three Adrian Lewis lost out in the second round to Ewan Hyslop, with his McCoy's Premier League Darts rival Robert Thornton - the reigning UK Open champion - going out at the same stage to Roland Scholten.
The final two UK Open Qualifiers will be held at Wigan's Robin Park Tennis Centre on April 27 and 28, after which the top 96 players, plus ties, from the final UK Open Order of Merit will qualify by right for June's televised finals in Bolton.