Michael van Gerwen returns to winning ways at the Auckland Darts Masters

Van Gerwen lifts his 12th World Series title (credit:Photosport NZ/PDC)

Michael van Gerwen secured his first World Series title of 2018 at the Auckland Masters after an 11-4 victory over Raymond van Barneveld in the final.

After suffering a shock First Round exit at the recent World Matchplay, 'Mighty Mike' roared back to winning ways at the Trusts Arena, dropping just 13 legs on his way to taking the £20,000 title.

The world number one had thrashed rival Gary Anderson 10-4 with a 105.8 average in Saturday's Quarter-Finals and picked up from where he left off on Sunday, averaging 102.7 in a 10-3 rout of Peter Wright.

He then brushed aside his Dutch rival Van Barneveld with a 97.7 average in the final, punishing Barney's ten missed darts at doubles.

"I'm delighted to win this title for the first time," said Van Gerwen.

"There have been a few tournaments since I have won and I know I don’t need to send any messages but sometimes it is nice to let everyone know who is boss.

"The standard of darts is getting better and better on this side of the world and it is important for the sport that it keeps growing."

Van Gerwen began the final in blistering fashion, racing to the opening three legs before Van Barneveld hit double eight to get off the mark.

The Premier League champion then reeled off the next three consecutive legs to go 6-1 ahead before Barney rallied back with three on the spin to grab a lifeline.

Van Gerwen, however, resumed normal service after the interval by hitting double eight and double 16 to make it 8-4 before powering in a terrific 156 checkout.

He then converted double eight for a 14-darter before making it five consecutive legs to wrap up the title on double top.

Van Barneveld was forced to settle for the runner-up spot for the fourth time in a World Series event and admitted: "I felt better in the final than I did in the semis but when Michael gets on a roll you can't stop him.

“He’s ruining everything for us, he keeps winning everything!"

Van Gerwen's scintillating Semi-Final display saw him storm into an 8-0 lead over Wright with back-to-back checkouts of 170 and 164 along the way.

Wright averted a whitewash with finishes of 81 and 68 as won three of the next four legs to trail 9-3 but MVG made no mistake in getting over the line by clinching the win on double nine.

Van Barneveld enjoyed a commanding 10-5 victory over Simon Whitlock in the opening Semi-Final, averaging 102.8 and landing four ton-plus checkouts in the process.

The five-time World Champion reeled off five of the last six legs to deny the Australian - who converted five of his six attempts at doubles in a high quality contest.

Auckland Darts Masters 2018 Results


Sunday August 5

Semi-Finals
Simon Whitlock 5-10 Raymond van Barneveld
Michael van Gerwen 10-3 Peter Wright

Final
Michael van Gerwen 11-4 Raymond van Barneveld


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Michael van Gerwen returns to winning ways at the Auckland Darts Masters

Michael van Gerwen secured his first World Series title of 2018 at the Auckland Masters after an 11-4 victory over Raymond van Barneveld in the final.

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