JEFFREY DE ZWAAN won his first senior PDC title with a 6-5 win over Jonny Clayton in the final of Players Championship Ten at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan on Sunday.
The Dutchman held his nerve in a tense deciding leg against Clayton, who enjoyed another sensational run after victory at the Austrian Darts Open last weekend.
De Zwaan recorded wins over Zoran Lerchbacher, Michael Smith, Justin Pipe, Steve Beaton, James Wilson and Gabriel Clemens en route to clinching the £10,000 top prize.
A winner on the PDC Unicorn Development Tour in 2017, De Zwaan had already reached two other ProTour finals this year before finally going all the way in Sunday's Players Championship.
“I feel wonderful, it means so much to me,” said De Zwaan, who won back his PDC Tour Card on the first day of Qualifying School in January.
“I’ve lost two finals so far this year so I was going into this game thinking ‘I don’t want to lose in the final again’.
“It’s an amazing feeling to win my first ever PDC title, I can’t put my feelings into words.”
Clayton broke the De Zwaan throw in the opening leg of the final with an impressive 13-darter before the Dutchman broke straight back and then held throw to go 2-1 ahead.
The Welsh star pinned double 12 to hold throw before De Zwaan hit back, taking out 80 in two darts to go back in front at 3-2.
Clayton continued the impressive form that saw him win his first ever European Tour event in Austria by firing in another 13-dart leg to level the match once again at 3-3.
The pair exchanged holds of throw once more to make it 4-4 before Clayton moved within one leg of the title with a crucial break of throw, finding double 16 with one dart.
De Zwaan hit a vital double one with his last dart to break straight back and set up a tense deciding leg.
With Clayton ready to pounce sat on 64, De Zwaan hit double nine, once again with his last dart, to take out 36 and claim his first ProTour victory.
De Zwaan was in phenomenal form throughout the day at the Robin Park Tennis Centre, claiming a number of impressive scalps.
The 22-year-old edged out Lerchbacher 6-4 in his opening game of the day, before defeating Premier League star Smith 6-5 in a fast-paced thriller.
Growing in confidence, De Zwaan cruised past Pipe with a 6-2 win and then booked his place in the quarter-finals with a 6-3 triumph over Beaton.
The exciting Dutch star saw off Wilson and Clemens, both by a 6-3 scoreline, as he booked his place in a third ProTour final of 2018.
Clayton, who reached the final of the Players Championship Finals in Minehead last November, claimed the scalp of Michael van Gerwen on his way to reaching a first ProTour final this year.
The Welshman kicked off the day in Wigan with two 6-4 wins over Ron Meulenkamp and Kevin Burness.
A comfortable 6-1 victory over Paul Rowley followed, before a 6-0 thrashing of Robert Owen in the last 16.
The Pontyberem ace produced a sensational display to defeat Players Championship Nine winner Van Gerwen 6-4 in the quarter-finals before overcoming Stephen Bunting 6-3 to reach the final.
Meanwhile, it was a disappointing day for world number two Peter Wright, who lost 6-3 to Clemens in the second round.
World Champion Rob Cross was stunned by a 6-0 loss at the hands of Martin Schindler, while Gary Anderson was edged out 6-5 by Wilson in the last 32.
Daryl Gurney, who still has hopes of reaching the Unibet Premier League Play-Offs, saw his run ended by a 6-4 defeat to Bunting in the last 16.
Mensur Suljovic suffered a shock first round exit at the hands of Brendan Dolan in a 6-3 loss, while Dave Chisnall went down 6-0 to Mickey Mansell in the last 32.
Elsewhere, Simon Whitlock lost 6-5 to Jamie Lewis in round one, James Wade went out to Clemens at the last 16 stage and Gerwyn Price lost 6-3 to Adrian Lewis in the last 32.
The next Players Championship events will be held on May 19-20 at Arena MK in Milton Keynes and will be streamed live on PDCTV-HD across both days.
See full Players Championship Ten results in the Match Centre.
Players Championship Ten
Sunday April 29, Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Mark Webster
Jonny Clayton 6-0 Robert Owen
Stephen Bunting 6-4 Daryl Gurney
Martin Schindler 6-4 Adrian Lewis
Gabriel Clemens 6-2 James Wade
Mickey Mansell 6-4 Danny Noppert
James Wilson 6-4 Steve West
Jeffrey De Zwaan 6-3 Steve Beaton
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Michael van Gerwen
Stephen Bunting 6-4 Martin Schindler
Gabriel Clemens 6-1 Mickey Mansell
Jeffrey De Zwaan 6-3 James Wilson
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Stephen Bunting
Jeffrey De Zwaan 6-3 Gabriel Clemens
Jeffrey De Zwaan 6-3 Jonny Clayton