Gerwyn Price, the man they call the Ice Man, kept his cool while others melted away to win a first World Darts Championship and usurp Michael van Gerwen as world No.1. But is the Welshman here to stay?
Price Right For Another Bumper Year
The crowds weren’t there to share the moment, no cheers rang out to acknowledge the triumph, but no one would deny that Price, the 11/2 pre-tournament second favourite, was a worthy world champ.
At an eerily quiet Alexandra Palace the fiery Welshman milked the virtual applause of millions after capping a brilliant fortnight with an emphatic 7-3 dismantling of twice champ Gary Anderson in the final. But for some last-gasp wobbles on match darts, the scoreline would have been even more clearcut.
Michael van Gerwen had gone to the Palace as world No.1 and 5/2 favourite, Peter Wright as defending champion, Dimitri van den Bergh and Jose de Sousa as newly-crowned ranking event winners and genuine dangers, but Price had been the man of 2020 and he wasn’t to be denied his destiny.
Now a multiple major winner and with the big one under his belt, surely there will be no stopping Gezzy who has the mental strength to go with the game to dominate again in 2021 – whatever 2021 looks like.
Hell Hath No Fury Like Van Gerwen Scorned
Van Gerwen will be smarting at missing out on a fourth world title and losing his top spot in the rankings in the process. After seven years as Van The Man, a 5-0 quarter-final drubbing at the hands of a typically inconsistent Dave Chisnall left the Dutchman declaring that this means war.
Mighty Mike’s tournament average at the Palace – 102.03 – was the highest of any player who went beyond round two and he has committed himself to working hard to win back his place at the top of the game.
Van Gerwen will bounce back and it’s a short price he’ll have a better year than the likes of Anderson, Peter Wright or Chizzy or a whole host of senior pros whose places in the elite are being threatened by more new names to have emerged in 2020.
Euro Fighters Have Sights Set on the Top
Dimitri van den Bergh’s arrival over the past six months suggests that the young Belgian is going to be a darter you’ll want on your side over the coming months.
Dancing Dimitri became World Matchplay champion in the summer and despite going to the worlds with his knee in a brace, the 22/1 shot was confident he could become only the fifth man in history to win the PDC’s two marquee majors.
An inspired Chizzy ended his hopes in round four but the 26-year-old is tipped for more big things. Jose de Sousa, the shock Grand Slam winner, ended 2020 playing as well as anyone and better than most and his super-smooth throw, coupled with dollops of self-belief, mean he too can be a major contender going forward.
As to the future and staying in Europe, look out for young German ace Nico Kurz, who had the best win percentage on the Development Tour last year and just needs to play more. And if he does he can start winning some big titles.
*All odds correct at time of writing