Gerwyn Price enjoyed a stunning return to ProTour action last weekend, becoming the first player to win back-to-back Players Championship titles in 2023.
The 38-year-old defeated young duo Josh Rock and Gian van Veen in the respective finals to cap off a memorable weekend in Hildesheim, which saw him win 14 consecutive matches across two days.
It marked a welcome return to form for the Welshman, who made a terrific start to the year, winning consecutive European Tour titles in March before topping this year’s Premier League table.
Price then steered Wales to a second World Cup of Darts title alongside Jonny Clayton in June, although he endured an underwhelming World Series campaign Down Under earlier this month.
However, he responded by defeating World Youth Champion Rock 8-5 in Saturday’s Players Championship 17, before dispatching Rock’s potential successor Van Veen 8-1 in Sunday's decider.
“I had to teach them a lesson,” joked the Welshman, who has now won five PDC titles in 2023, a tally matched only by Michael van Gerwen.
“Josh is still a youngster. He’s a fantastic player and hopefully we meet in a couple more finals! Gian is a great player too. He missed a couple of chances, and I didn’t let him off.
“I scraped through a few games. I wasn’t anywhere near my best, but I played some good darts when it mattered.
“When there are ranking points at stake, it means a little bit more, and luck was on my side this weekend."
Price is no stranger to winning back-to-back ProTour titles, having completed the feat in Barnsley in February 2019, before doing the double in Niedernhausen in September 2020.
Nevertheless, Price is the first player to win successive Players Championship events since Michael Smith's incredible hat-trick of wins in May 2022.
“I came here and didn’t know where my game was at, because I haven’t been in many ranking events over the last couple of months,” conceded the world number four.
“My game wasn’t the best apart from a couple of games at the end [of each tournament]. I was scoring well, missing loads of doubles but getting away with it.
“If I’m winning tournaments when I’m playing my C-game, when my A-game comes out, hopefully that’s good enough as well, because some people turn me over when I’m playing my best!”
Price will be aiming to continue his winning run in next weekend’s Players Championship treble-header, with Events 19-21 taking place in Barnsley from September 3-5.
The 2021 World Champion will then set his sights on defending his World Series Finals title in Amsterdam in September - one of several televised events on the horizon over the coming weeks.
“These [ProTours] are the events you need to play in if you want to win major tournaments,” insisted Price, who plans to step up his participation on the circuit once he’s finished building his own property.
“I’ve been so up against it over the last two years. As soon as the house is finished, I’m going to be hitting everything. I will be going to all the ProTours and the European Tours.
“I’m going back to where I used to be, and that’s getting as sharp as I can and hopefully back to world number one.”