MICHAEL VAN GERWEN clinched the first Players Championship title of the year as he beat James Wade 6-4 in the final of Event One at the Barnsley Metrodome.
The 28-year-old was dominant throughout and averaged 103.8 in the final as he scooped the 101st PDC title of his career, and the £10,000 winner's prize.
The win was a fourth title of the year for the Dutchman, having previously won the Unibet Masters and two Coral UK Open Qualifiers.
Wade, playing in his first ProTour final for over a year, started the final brightly as he broke throw on double 12 for a 1-0 lead.
Van Gerwen responded immediately however, landing his first 180 of the clash and an 81 checkout to restore parity.
He then held throw before breaking again on tops to move into a 3-1 lead.
But his finishing then started to evade him, allowing Wade to recover and level at 3-3.
The Dutchman then landed six perfect darts as he teased a nine-dart attempt, missing the seventh before landing a 48 checkout to lead once more.
Again, the requisite doubles escaped Van Gerwen, and Wade levelled on tops for 4-4.
But there was no stopping the Dutchman from then on, as he landed a fifth 180 before a 68 checkout, and then sealed the title on double 18.
Despite dropping only 12 legs across the course of the day, Van Gerwen still wasn’t happy with his performance.
"I didn’t play my best game today," said the Dutchman. "The first two rounds were poor - I won both 6-0 but that doesn’t mean anything.
"For the rest of the day I played okay. I am really glad I won but I did miss too many doubles in the final. It’s a long day and I am only human."
Van Gerwen started the day with whitewash victories over Terry Temple and Jermaine Wattimena.
A 6-1 victory over Josh Payne was to follow, before his first big test came in a 6-4 win over fellow countryman Danny Noppert.
Another whitewash came against Dave Chisnall in the last 16, and he then booked his place in the final in style with a bull-14-bull finish to beat Gerwyn Price 6-3.
Wade’s run to the final started with a last leg victory over Paul Rowley. He then comfortably dealt with Toni Alcinas 6-2 and Chris Dobey 6-1.
The left-hander then averaged a sensational 111 in a 6-0 victory over John Henderson, but arguably his best performance of the day came as he beat World Champion Rob Cross 6-5 to reach the semi-finals.
There he enjoyed a 6-4 win over Ryan Joyce, who was enjoying a great run in his first Players Championship event, to reach the final with Van Gerwen.
Joyce, a 32-year-old from Newcastle who secured his PDC Tour Card back in January, beat Steve West, Ryan Harrington, Wayne Jones, Michael Barnard and Ron Meulenkamp to scoop £3,000.
Elsewhere, it was a good day for Premier League star Price, who beat Paul Nicholson, Martin Atkins, Stephen Bunting, Michael Smith and Ian White before running into an in-form Van Gerwen in the final four.
It was a disappointing day for world number two Peter Wright as he crashed out in the second round, whilst Adrian Lewis, Raymond van Barneveld and Gary Anderson were all third round casualties.
The action continues on Sunday in Barnsley with Players Championship Two, with all the action streamed live on PDCTV-HD from 12pm.
Full results can be found here: Match Centre
Players Championship One
Saturday February 17, Barnsley Metrodome
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Danny Noppert
Dave Chisnall 6-5 Keegan Brown
Ian White 6-1 James Wilson
Gerwyn Price 6-5 Michael Smith
Ryan Joyce 6-5 Michael Barnard
Ron Meulenkamp 6-4 Terry Jenkins
James Wade 6-0 John Henderson
Rob Cross 6-1 Benito van de Pas
Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Dave Chisnall
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Ian White
Ryan Joyce 6-4 Ron Meulenkamp
James Wade 6-5 Rob Cross
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Gerwyn Price
James Wade 6-4 Ryan Joyce
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 James Wade