PETER WRIGHT claimed his second European Tour win by defeating Michael van Gerwen 6-3 in the HappyBet German Darts Championship final on Sunday evening at Halle 39 in Hildesheim.
World number three followed up his UK Open three weeks ago with a memorable victory over World Champion Van Gerwen in front of an enthusiastic German crowd.
Wright had been taken all the way by another Dutchman, Christian Kist, in his opening fixture on Saturday, but dropped only two legs in each of his wins over Stephen Bunting and Kim Huybrechts to reach Sunday's semi-finals.
There, he was pushed all the way by Gerwyn Price in a repeat of the UK Open final, only for the Welshman to miss tops for victory in the deciding leg as Wright secured his place in the decider.
Van Gerwen, who won six European Tour events in 2016, followed up his second round romp against Jermaine Wattimena with defeats of Cristo Reyes, Ian White and Jelle Klaasen to reach the final.
Having defeated Wright in three finals on the European Tour last year, Van Gerwen made a confident start as he took the opening leg and then doubled his lead with an 11-darter to break throw.
Wright hit back to level before tops moved Van Gerwen 3-2 up, but legs of 13 and 14 darts from the Scot either side of a 120 finish moved him into a 5-3 lead before he held his nerve with a 60 checkout to complete the comeback.
"My darts room last year was full of runner-up trophies, and after Christmas I cleared it all and said I was going to fill it with winning ones - and I've got two so far!" said Wright.
"The fans were amazing and a lot of it was down to them. Michael didn't play like he can. He started off fantastically but I tried to stay with him."
Van Gerwen takes home £10,000 as runner-up, but said: "I only can be happy with winning the tournament, and I can only blame myself. Peter played well, but I missed doubles and if you miss doubles you need to handle that."
Price had seen off Kevin Painter and Mensur Suljovic on Sunday to win through to his first European Tour semi-final, while Klaasen defeated Premier League rival Dave Chisnall and fellow Dutchman Benito van de Pas on his way to the last four.
White had produced the performance of the third round in the afternoon session as he overcame Darren Johnson 6-2 with a 104.68 average and 60 percent of his doubles, but was unable to repeat the performance against Van Gerwen.
Van de Pas whitewashed another Dutchman, Jan Dekker, in the last 16, while Suljovic saw off Joe Cullen and Huybrechts ended Alan Norris' defence of the German Darts Championship title.
The next PDC European Tour event will be the HappyBet German Darts Masters, to be held from April 15-17 in Jena, with a further £135,000 prize money on offer for 48 competitors.
Coverage of the PDC European Tour is streamed for PDCTV-HD subscribers worldwide and also shown live through a series of bookmakers' websites advertised at www.pdc.tv.
HappyBet German Darts Championship
Sunday March 26
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Cristo Reyes
Ian White 6-2 Darren Johnson
Jelle Klaasen 6-3 Dave Chisnall
Benito van de Pas 6-0 Jan Dekker
Peter Wright 6-2 Stephen Bunting
Kim Huybrechts 6-4 Alan Norris
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Kevin Painter
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Joe Cullen
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Ian White
Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Benito van de Pas
Peter Wright 6-2 Kim Huybrechts
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Mensur Suljovic
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Jelle Klaasen
Peter Wright 6-5 Gerwyn Price
Peter Wright 6-3 Michael van Gerwen