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Tears, triumphs and Taylor: The top ten PDC Darts moments of 2017

Jamie Shaw 31 Dec 2017
Van Peer came through an emotional clash with Cameron Menzies (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

2017 has proved to be another unforgettable year in the golden era of PDC darts and we look back at ten of its most memorable moments.

Each year, it seems impossible to surpass the standards set in the previous campaign, but 2017 has thrown up some incredible success stories and has witnessed the sport break new ground.

Seven players have picked up their first PDC ranking titles this year, while four players have landed their first televised titles and a share of a record £11.2m prize fund.

The World Series has seen the sport's elite stars touch down in Dubai, Shanghai, Australia and New Zealand, as well as returning to the USA for the first time since 2009.

The 2017/18 World Championship featured 72 players from 24 different countries, including Brazil, Poland, Russia, Japan and South Africa and also saw a Preliminary Round qualifier make it all the way to the Semi-Finals.

Here are the stand-out moments that made it into our top ten for 2017....

Lightning strikes twice for Van Gerwen

Michael van Gerwen produced a brace of spectacular nine-dart finishes during a 6-2 victory over Ryan Murray in the fourth UK Open Qualifying event of the season.

Less than 24 hours after blitzing past Peter Wright in the Premier League, MVG made history at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan by becoming the first player ever to hit two perfect legs in the same match in a PDC ProTour event.

The World Champion kicked off the fourth leg of his Third Round clash with Scotland's Murray with a 180 and a 177, before coolly taking out the 144 finish to move 3-1 up.

He then reversed the route in the eighth leg, following up a 177 start with a maximum and going on to power in the 144 checkout to seal a memorable victory.

The world number one also became the first player since Phil Taylor in 2010 to achieve the feat in professional competition but received no prize money bonus. The video below has been viewed more than one million times...

Wright captures maiden major

Peter Wright ended his long wait for a first televised PDC title in March's UK Open with a memorable 11-6 victory over Gerwyn Price in the final in Minehead.

Wright had fallen short to his nemesis Michael van Gerwen in the 2015 and 2016 UK Open finals, but took full advantage of the Dutchman's absence by landing the £70,000 title.

The world number three produced some exceptional darts, not least his 110 average in a 10-8 Quarter-Final victory over Raymond van Barneveld, as he enjoyed a watershed moment in his flourishing career.

Van Gerwen snatches victory from the jaws of defeat

Michael van Gerwen survived six match darts from Peter Wright as he edged an epic deciding-leg final to claim a third Premier League title at The O2 Arena in May.

The world number one staged a remarkable comeback from 7-2 down to level at 8-8, before watching the colourful Scot squander half a dozen chances at doubles in leg 20 to claim the crown on his Play-Off debut.

A merciless MVG stepped in to force a deciding leg, which he duly dominated with a 180 and a 12-darter to secure the sport's most prestigious invitational trophy for the third time.

The triumph earned Van Gerwen a tournament record £250,000 first prize - plus a £25,000 league leader's bonus after topping the regular season's league table for a fifth straight year.

Taylor makes it sweet 16 in Blackpool

An emotional Phil Taylor culminated his last World Matchplay campaign with a fairy-tale 16th title at the Winter Gardens courtesy of an 18-8 rout of Peter Wright in the final.

Twenty-two years on from his first triumph, the Stoke legend rolled back the years at his favourite venue to claim a crowning glory before bowing out of the sport at the end of 2017.

Having brushed aside three multiple World Champions - Raymond van Barneveld, Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis - en route to the final, 'The Power' surged to the £115,000 top prize after another dominant display in which he averaged 104.2.

Kyle Anderson enters the winner's enclosure

Kyle Anderson secured his first televised title at the Auckland Masters in August after a thrilling 11-10 victory over Corey Cadby in the final.

The world number 29, who picked up his first ranking title at Players Championship 17 in Barnsley a week earlier, culminated a dream seven days in his career by becoming the latest new name on a World Series trophy.

Anderson had kick-started his run with impressive victories over Gary Anderson and Simon Whitlock and duly sealed his spot in the final with an 11-4 rout of James Wade.

He returned to the stage to face fellow Australian Cadby and held his nerve in a nail-biting climax to deny his young compatriot.

Suljovic secures Champions League success

Mensur Suljovic claimed his first career televised title at the 2017 Champions League of Darts with an 11-9 victory over Gary Anderson in the final in Cardiff in September.

The world number seven, who began the weekend as the 40/1 outsider for glory, finished top of Group B with maximum points before going on to defeat multiple World Champions Raymond van Barneveld and Anderson in the knock-out phase.

Appearing in only his second major final, Suljovic battled his way to a hard-fought win over Anderson to secure the £100,000 top prize at The Motorpoint Arena.

Gurney claims Grand Prix glory

Daryl Gurney secured his first major title at October's World Grand Prix as he came from behind to defeat Simon Whitlock in a deciding set in the final in Dublin.
The Northern Irish ace continued his incredible rise among the sport's elite as he wrote his name into the history books and claimed the £100,000 top prize in the double-start tournament.
Whitlock had come from 3-2 down to lead 4-3 in a highly-charged final, but Gurney claimed the final two sets as he emotionally took the title.

Van Peer battles bravely

Berry van Peer captured the hearts of the darting public as he defied a serious bout of dartitis to reach the knock-out phase of November's Grand Slam of Darts.

The former World Youth finalist followed up his win over Simon Whitlock on his debut in the cross-code tournament with a gutsy 5-4 win over BDO ace Cameron Menzies in their decisive Group H contest.
Van Peer opened the tie with a 78 finish and claimed three legs in a row from 2-1 down to move to the brink of victory at 4-2.

After missing match darts in leg seven, Menzies finished 68 and tops to force a decider, but the Scot missed his chance to claim victory in a tense finale before Van Peer hit double ten to claim an emotional win.

His run was eventually ended by Mensur Suljovic in the Second Round, but Van Peer proved to be the story of the tournament and received invaluable advice from a number of fellow professionals and experts as he bids to conquer the problem.

Lim rolls back the years

Sixty-three year-old Lim enjoyed a historic night at the World Championship as he edged out Mark Webster in a deciding set to reach Round Two at Alexandra Palace for the first time.

Lim captured the hearts of the Ally Pally crowd as he followed up an earlier Preliminary Round win by knocking out the former Lakeside Champion in a gripping encounter.

Lim, who famously hit the first World Championship nine-darter at Lakeside back in 1990, began the night by defeating Hong Kong's Kai Fan Leung by two sets to nil in the Preliminary Round.

He then returned to the stage to come from a set down and defeat the number 30 seed with a 96 average and six 180s to set up a Second Round show-down with Gary Anderson - during which he wired double 12 for a jaw-dropping nine-darter almost 28 years on.

Cross culminates a dream year

Rob Cross held his nerve in a compelling last-leg shoot-out to knock defending champion Michael van Gerwen out of the 2018 World Championship and set up a fairy-tale final with Phil Taylor.

In one of the most pulsating matches in World Championship history, Cross produced the performance of his career to deny the odds-on title favourite in a sudden death leg after the Dutchman had missed six match darts.

The duo each won 27 legs and tallied up a combined total of 31 maximums as they thrilled a capacity Alexandra Palace crowd in a contest which will live long in the memory.

Cross, who ended with an average of 101, becomes only the second player ever to reach a PDC World Championship final in their debut campaign as he continues his meteoric rise.

Cross has been nothing short of a revelation in his first season as a PDC Tour Card holder, storming into the world's top ten and paving the way for a lengthy career in the top echelons of the sport.

After romping the Challenge Tour Order of Merit in 2016, the former electrician lit up the professional circuit in 2017, winning four ProTour titles and finishing runner-up in the European Championship.

A two-time European Tour finalist, 'Voltage'  has enjoyed the best debut season of any player in PDC history, picking up more than £300,000 in prize money and moving to within one win of becoming the latest new name on the sport's most prestigious prize. Will it be destiny for Cross on New Year's Day?

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Tears, triumphs and Taylor: The top ten PDC Darts moments of 2017

2017 has proved to be another unforgettable year in the golden era of PDC darts and we look back at ten of its most memorable moments.

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