PETER WRIGHT etched his name in the history books as he beat Kim Huybrechts 6-5 to clinch the HappyBet International Darts Open in Riesa, Germany, and become just the fourth man to seal ten PDC titles in a calendar year.
In an exhilarating final, Wright posted a 102.65 average as he battled back from 4-2 down before holding off a spirited fightback from the Belgian to win it in a decider.
Huybrechts looked dominant in the opening exchanges as he broke twice on his way to a 3-1 lead.
The pair then traded the next three legs before Wright landed a 101 checkout to level things at 4-4 and take the advantage going into the dying embers.
With Huybrechts forcing a deciding leg, it was here that Wright produced a moment of quality as he landed a 116 checkout for a 12-dart leg to snatch the title and the £25,000 top prize at the SACHSENarena.
The win is Wright’s fifth European Tour title of the year, and his tenth overall – having clinched the Coral UK Open title, Players Championship 11 and three UK Open qualifiers.
His achievement puts him alongside illustrious company in the record books - joining three World Champions in Phil Taylor, John Part and Michael van Gerwen.
Wright has been in imperious form this year, having also reached the final of the Betway Premier League and the BetVictor World Matchplay, as well as the Melbourne Darts Masters and a number of ProTour events.
Huybrechts – hunting his first European Tour title since 2015 - will be frustrated to have fallen at the final hurdle once more, after losing to Mensur Suljovic in the same competition a year previous.
World number three Wright started his run to the final by beating Kim’s brother Ronny Huybrechts in a tetchy third round affair.
As the evening session began, Wright kicked off proceedings by capitalising on missed darts from Dutchman Jelle Klaasen for a 6-4 victory to reach the final four.
And it was here that he really found his form – winning 6-3, averaging a brilliant 103.65 and landing 50 per cent of his doubles as he put a stop to Ron Meulenkamp’s impressive run in Riesa to reach the final.
Thirty-one-year-old Huybrechts started his run to the final as he edged out Ian White 6-5 in the third round.
A strong display of doubling followed in the Quarter-Finals as he beat Wales’ Gerwyn Price 6-4.
And in the final four he clashed with Joe Cullen, running out a 6-2 winner despite Cullen missing D18 for a nine-darter.
Twenty-eight-year-old Cullen can be happy with his weekend’s work nonetheless, reaching the Semi-Final stage on the European Tour for the second time this year, and posting the highest average of the competition – 113.77 in the second round.
Elsewhere, Simon Whitlock put in a strong run to reach the quarter-finals, whilst Sweden’s Dennis Nilsson saw his dream debut on the European stage brought to an end in the final eight by Meulenkamp.
The European Tour comes to its conclusion on October 13-15 with the HappyBet European Darts Trophy in Gottingen, Germany, giving players the last chance to qualify for the Unibet European Championships at the end of October.
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