Darts: Former pro rugby player Gerwyn Price keeps his cool to win world title
LONDON (REUTERS) – Welshman Gerwyn Price won darts’ world championship on Sunday (Jan 3), beating Scot Gary Anderson 7-3 in the final to earn his biggest career victory since swopping a career in professional rugby for the ever-more lucrative pub game.
Price, 35, earned a lucky break to take the first set after Anderson had missed three darts and he proceeded to outclass the more experienced Scot to take a 6-2 lead in the showpiece at an empty Alexandra Palace, which was missing the usual hum of boisterous supporters due to coronavirus restrictions.
But Price lost his composure in the ninth set, squandering 11 match darts before eventually clinching the championship in the 10th with a double five after Anderson had also been wasteful and passed up three chances to win the set.
Price, who had grown ever more frustrated with each clinching dart he had wasted, bowed his head in a release of emotion when he finally sealed victory and pocketed £500,000 (S$902,000) in prize money.
“I’ve never ever felt pressure like that in my life,” he told Sky Sports.
Anderson, a two-time winner and now three-time runner-up, will collect £200,000 for coming second.
Price played rugby in the Welsh Premier League until quitting in 2014 to focus on darts after earning his place on the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) as a qualifier.
The two players had a frosty relationship in the past, with Anderson accusing Price of deliberately slow play after losing the 2018 Grand Slam of Darts to the Welshman and declining to shake his hand.
But there was no ill feeling on this occasion and Anderson admitted he had been well beaten.
“I just could not get the darts, my doubles were atrocious and that’s what happens when you do that, you get thumped,” he said.
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