Gary Anderson wins the Players Championship 2 title but misses double 12 on three occasions for a nine-dart finish

A day after 17-year-old Luke Littler produced fireworks to win the first PDC Pro Tour event of the season, the Flying Scotsman rolled back the years at the age of 53 to win the second in style.

Anderson averaged 101 across his seven matches – which included a personal best 117.12 in a 6-0 thumping of Andy Baetens in the last 16 – while he also wired double 12 on three occasions for a nine-darter.

The first of those came against Peter Wright during a 7-5 semi-final victory in which he averaged 108, while he narrowly missed out on perfection twice during his 8-5 triumph over Ryan Searle in the final.

The second of those came during the decisive 12th leg but despite showing his a mix of amusement and frustration, he subsequently returned to the oche to pin double 12 and wrap up victory.

Anderson, who began the day with wins over Daniel Klose, Adam Gawlas and Daryl Gurney, scoops the £15,000 top prize which sees him rise two places to 25th on the PDC Order of Merit.

“It’s always nice to win these events, especially the way I played today,” said Anderson, who won three Players Championship titles in 2023.

“Yesterday I felt like a kid at a new school, I was nervous but today I felt more settled and it showed in my performances. It’s been a long day and I’m happy to come out on top against a great player in Ryan.”

Searle had finished runner-up to Littler on Monday and Anderson didn’t hold back in his praise for his practice partner.

He added: “We’ve practiced together a couple of times since the World Championship, we spur each other on. He’s a great guy, he just gets on with it and plays darts, he puts the effort in so it’s nice to see him do well.

“I’ll just carry on doing what I do, I’m in a good place in my life and I’m enjoy playing darts.

“I’m looking forward to playing the European Tour events as well this year and I want to keep my form going.”

Littler’s first taste of defeat on the ProTour came in the second round as he went down 6-5 to Radek Szaganski.

Improved displays from Wright saw him reach his first ranking semi-final since October, while it was another day to forget for World Champion Luke Humphries who lost 6-5 to Jurjen van der Velde in round one.

Gideon Canice

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