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Daryl Gurney v Simon Whitlock: World Grand Prix 2017 Final preview - Superchin and Wizard vie for glory

Gurney celebrates against Whitlock at the UK Open (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Daryl Gurney bids to become the latest new winner of a PDC major by denying a resurgent Simon Whitlock World Grand Prix glory in a fascinating final in Dublin on Saturday.

A new name will be etched onto this prestigious trophy as the two in-form outsiders battle it out for the £100,000 top prize at the Citywest Hotel.

The winner will join an elite group of only six different players to have claimed this crown since the double-start tournament was introduced back in 1998 and will culminate one of the most unpredictable Grand Prixs in PDC history.

Northern Ireland's Gurney has written another chapter in a fairy-tale breakthrough season which has also seen him reach the US Masters final in Las Vegas as well as winning his first Players Championship title.

World ranked number 12 prior to the competition, 'Superchin' has gone a step further than his Semi-Final runs in this year's UK Open and World Matchplay and now stands on the verge of making history by becoming the first player from Ireland to lift a televised PDC title.

Gurney has battled his way through four gruelling ties to seal his spot in the decider - edging out Adrian Lewis 2-1 before defeating Joe Cullen 3-1 and holding his nerve to dismiss Robert Thornton in a deciding leg.

He then powered his way past giant-killer John Henderson by four sets to one in another emotional win for a player who wears his heart on his sleeve up on the stage.

Whitlock has won through to his first major final since the 2013 European Championship and is chasing a second career major title, having won the European Championship a year earlier.

The Australian ace has utilised his clinical double-hitting ability over this unique format; his run to the final has already cemented his place in the world's top 16, and like Gurney, has secured Grand Slam qualification and catapulted him into contention for a place in next year's Premier League.

Whitlock survived a match dart from Christian Kist in the opening round before brushing aside his good friend Richard North in the Last 16.

He then thrashed a below-par Benito van de Pas in straight sets before fending off a gallant Mensur Suljovic fightback to edge through an epic Semi-Final by four sets to three.

Whitlock, however, will need to improve on an inferior head-to-head record which has seen him win just two of his eleven previous meetings with Gurney since 2013.

Gurney has triumphed in their last four contests, including a dramatic 10-9 victory in the Quarter-Finals of this year's UK Open in Minehead.

The final gets underway from around 8pm BST and will be contested over the best of nine sets at the Citywest Hotel, Dublin.

All sets are the best of five legs and there will be no tie-break in any set. All legs must begin and end with a double, meaning that a player must hit a double before he can begin scoring in each leg.

The Unibet World Grand Prix final will be preceded by the final of the Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay between William O'Connor and Jason Cullen from 7pm, with the winner claiming a spot in December's World Championship.


Player's View:


Gurney: "I've been trying my very best since I joined the PDC five years ago and I'm starting to reap the rewards.

"I've got a chance to win this title now, and if I can get in front and stay in front I don't care what my average is as long as I get to the winning post before Simon does.
 
"I'm looking forward to playing Simon and he knows that he's going to be in a battle. I'm going to go out there and try and beat him from the first dart to the very last dart."

Whitlock: "I'm absolutely delighted to be in the final. 

"I've been working so hard on everything, practising for three hours a day and especially on my doubles and checkouts, and it's paying off, finally."


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Daryl Gurney v Simon Whitlock: World Grand Prix 2017 Final preview - Superchin and Wizard vie for glory

Daryl Gurney bids to become the latest new winner of a PDC major by denying a resurgent Simon Whitlock World Grand Prix glory in a fascinating final in Dublin on Saturday.

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