New Record Average For van Gerwen
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN wrote his name into the history books with a world record average in Thursday's Betway Premier League in Aberdeen, surpassing Phil Taylor with his incredible display against Michael Smith.
The Dutch superstar blew Smith away with a stunning 123.40 average in his 7-1 victory during a ten-minute demolition of the former World Youth Champion.
Van Gerwen's average smashed Phil Taylor's previous record of 118.66, which was set at the 2010 UK Open against Kevin Painter, as he produced a phenomenal display of scoring.
He twice landed 87 checkouts to finish 11-darters in the first three legs, before taking out 132 with a spectacular bullseye, bullseye, double 16 finish in the fourth to hit a second 12-dart leg.
The fifth leg saw van Gerwen tee up a possible nine-darter with two 180s, taking that leg in ten darts and hitting another ten-dart finish for a 6-0 lead.
He was also first to a double in the seventh leg, and had he hit double 18 with his first of three off-target darts, van Gerwen would have ended with an incredible 136 average!
Smith stepped in to take out 116, but van Gerwen went on to win leg eight to seal his record-breaking victory.
Former two-time World Matchplay champion Rod Harrington, who commentated on the match for Sky Sports alongside Nigel Pearson, said afterwards: "It was incredible. I couldn't believe what I was watching at times.
"Phil Taylor set the bar and I personally didn't think that the bar could be set much higher, but what Michael has done has proven to me and everyone else that the bar can go a lot higher."
Ironically, Taylor later went on stage and recorded a 115.25 average as he defeated Dave Chisnall 7-5 - with that average the 11th highest in history and the seventh best in 12 seasons of the Premier League.
Former Premier League star Wayne Mardle believes that Taylor will respond to van Gerwen's achievement by targeting another record of his own as he continued his revival with a third straight win.
Mardle said on Sky Sports: "I was talking to Phil's right-hand man, and he said Phil is absolutely adamant that he can play like that as well. It's good that someone else is now showing Phil how it's done.
"He's shown everyone for the last 25, 26 years and now Phil is watching someone else who can play, on his day, better than him - which I never thought I'd ever say in my lifetime. Michael van Gerwen has raised the bar.
"It was one of those performances that we may never see again. It was an absolutely mind-boggling performance - and it could have been better!
"I could watch that time and time again. He knows he can better - he can hit a 136 average because he had a chance at it."
Taylor dominates the top ten record averages with seven incredible displays, which included a 117.35 average against Simon Whitlock and two averages above 116 - with all coming in the Premier League - alongside last year's record losing average of 115.80 in Glasgow.
Van Gerwen, meanwhile, averaged 116.90 in a Premier League whitewash against James Wade last year, and also partnered Raymond van Barneveld to a 117.88 average in the 2014 World Cup for the Netherlands against Nothern Ireland, albeit in a four-leg whitewash.
Top Ten Televised Averages
|123.40||Michael van Gerwen (v Michael Smith, 2016 Betway Premier League)|
|118.66||Phil Taylor (v Kevin Painter, 2010 UK Open)|
|117.88||Michael van Gerwen & Raymond van Barneveld (v Brendan Dolan & Mickey Mansell, 2014 World Cup of Darts)|
|117.35||Phil Taylor (v Simon Whitlock, 2012 Premier League)|
|116.90||Michael van Gerwen (v James Wade, 2015 Premier League)|
|116.10||Phil Taylor (v James Wade, 2012 Premier League)|
|116.01||Phil Taylor (v John Part, 2009 Premier League)|
|115.80||Phil Taylor (v Raymond van Barneveld, 2015 Premier League)|
|115.62||Phil Taylor (v Mark Lawrence, 2009 UK Open)|
|115.51||Phil Taylor (v Ken Mather, 2009 UK Open)|
NB: Phil Taylor also averaged 118.14 against Gary Anderson in 2009 European Championship, however the tournament was not televised.
See Rod Harrington discuss Michael van Gerwen's record average here...