Peter Wright has been cut to
11/2 from 9/1 for world championship glory after claiming his first World Matchplay title in sizzling style at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.
Snakebite capped a phenomenal week by crushing reigning champion Dimitri van den Bergh in Sunday’s final, averaging almost 106 on his way to an 18-9 win.
The Scot, who had outclassed Michael van Gerwen a day earlier in the semi-finals, shed tears of joy after lifting the Phil Taylor Trophy for the first time – and if he can reproduce that level of darts in London at the end of the year, he’ll be a warm order to collect a second world title.
Record-Breaker Wright in a Different League
Wright, the second seed in Blackpool, looked like he meant business when he crushed Danny Noppert 10-2 in his first-round match.
He averaged 53 percent with his checkouts and boasted a three-dart average of 99.75 – incredibly, that was to be his lowest average of the week. Even more surprising perhaps, Wright described his display against the Dutchman as “garbage”.
But there was to be nothing whiffy about his next effort, an 11-5 dismantling of Joe Cullen with a 105-plus average. Michael Smith was his next victim in the quarter-finals, hammered 16-7.
And then came the big one, the grudge match against Van Gerwen. It should have been a classic except that Wright was simply far too good for the Green Machine, running out a 17-7 winner with a 110.37 average, the seventh highest single-match average in the 27-year history of the tournament.
Van-Tastic Effort From New Lowlands Hero
MvG, of course, had gone off favourite for the Matchplay but yet again he was frustrating, leaving the stage clear for another Lowlands hero, Van den Bergh, to further enhance his blossoming reputation.
Van Gerwen has yet to win a title in 2021 and never looked the winner after stuttering past Damon Heta and Ian White in his two openers. He was better against Nathan Aspinall in the last eight and played well in patches against Wright, but rarely looked like he had the consistency to beat the Scot.
And Van den Bergh, though understandably devastated to fall at the last in defence of a title he won in front of no fans in Milton Keynes 12 months ago, had no reason to reprimand himself.
Van den Bergh has yet to get beyond the last eight in six visits to the world championship and last winter was bundled out in round four by Dave Chisnall.
But 14/1 for this year’s worlds a couple of months back, he’s now a
10/1 chance and given the form he showed at the Winter Gardens going into a busy autumn schedule, you wouldn’t bet on his odds being shortened further come December.
*All odds correct at time of writing