The race to be world number one: Price poised to reach pinnacle

Gerwyn Price

Gerwyn Price will replace Michael van Gerwen as world number one if the Welshman defeats Gary Anderson in the final of William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace on Sunday. 

Victory in the sport's showpiece showdown would see Price lift the coveted Sid Waddell Trophy and pocket £500,000 of ranking prize money, which would see him move to the top of the PDC Order of Merit.

A triumph for the current world number three would see Van Gerwen's seven-year reign as world number one come to an end, with Price set to become just the fourth player to top the Order of Merit since the PDC moved from a ranking points system in 2007.

Legendary 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor held the position twice in that period, initially from January 2007 to January 2008 and again from June 2008 to January 2014 - when Van Gerwen took top spot after winning the first of his three World Championship titles. 

Dutch great Raymond van Barneveld also topped the Order of Merit for six months between January 2008 and June 2008, while the pre Order of Merit era world number ones were Alan Warriner-Little, Dennis Priestley, Rod Harrington, Peter Manley, John Part, Colin Lloyd and Taylor.

A victory for two-time World Champion Anderson in the semi-finals would see the Scot move to fourth place on the Order of Merit, while defeat would see him rise from his current position of 13th to eighth. 

Price's potential elevation to the top of the world rankings would complete a remarkable rise, considering the former professional rugby player only won through Qualifying School in 2014  - 16 days after Van Gerwen had claimed the world number one spot. 

Since then, the Welsh talent has picked up 15 PDC titles, including televised tournament triumphs at the Grand Slam of Darts in 2018 and 2019, and the World Grand Prix, World Series Finals and World Cup in 2020. 

"I never thought when I stopped playing rugby and became a darts player that I'd be in a World Championship final," said Price, who has made no secret of his ambition to succeed Van Gerwen at the top of the Order of Merit.

"I've thought about becoming world number one every day throughout this tournament. I knew coming into this event that if I won it I would take top spot.

"That's given me extra edge and determination and it would be a proud moment for me."

William Hill World Darts Championship
Sunday January 3 (1930 GMT)

Gary Anderson v Gerwyn Price
Best of 13 sets