Emotional Humphries vows to build on BoyleSports World Grand Prix win

Luke Humphries (Simon O'Connor/PDC)

Luke Humphries declared ‘the world is my oyster’ after producing the performance of his life to claim his maiden televised ranking title at the BoyleSports World Grand Prix on Sunday.

Humphries produced an inspired display to defeat Gerwyn Price in a high-quality final in Leicester, denying the Welshman a second double-start crown to scoop the £120,000 top prize.

Price stormed to the opening set without reply, although Humphries came roaring back with a stunning three-set burst, winning nine of the next 11 legs to establish a 3-1 cushion.

Price defied a 170 finish from Humphries to claim a fifth-set decider, but the next two went the way of the Englishman, who sealed a landmark triumph with a magnificent 138 checkout.

“I’ve imagined this moment for my whole career,” said an emotional Humphries, who remarkably averaged 100.47 across the last six sets of the double-start showpiece.

“That 138 finish is going to live with me for the rest of my life. I couldn't have picked a better ending for my first major title. 

“I think a lot of people wrote me off; they thought Gezzy would steamroll me, but I've got a bit of bottle about me, I have got the ability to play well.

“Sometimes in my career, my Achilles heel has been my doubles and it's quite funny that the major championship I pick up is the double-start!

“Regardless of anything else I've done in my career, that was the greatest game I've ever played in my life.”

Humphries conceded just four sets throughout the tournament, the joint-fewest since Phil Taylor celebrated his 11th and final World Grand Prix triumph a decade ago.

The 28-year-old defeated four TV title winners on his way to glory at the Morningside Arena, which included straight-sets wins over 2017 winner Daryl Gurney and former Masters champion Joe Cullen.

Humphries also fought back from 2-0 down in sets to stun 2018 runner-up Peter Wright in an epic quarter-final tussle, surviving three match darts before demolishing Cullen in the last four.

“I said after the semi-finals, we will see what Luke Humphries is made of; whether I’ve got it or I haven’t,” added the former World Youth Champion, who has overcome considerable adversity in his young career.

“I think I have now proved to myself that I have got it, and I hope this is the first of many that will come over the years.

“I want to dedicate this to my dad, because without him I wouldn't be here right now. This trophy will be sat on his mantelpiece, because there is nobody who deserves it more.

“It’s been a long time coming. It's been 13, 14 years since I first picked up a dart and now I'm a major champion. There is nothing better than making your parents proud!

“I've worked extremely hard in the last few years, lost a lot of weight, battled many things in my head to get to this point and it makes it all worth it having this trophy.”

Humphries’ World Grand Prix victory moves him above Price to a career-high of fourth on the PDC Order of Merit, as he continues his rapid rise at the elite level.

The Newbury-born star has made sustained progress over the last 18 months, winning five European Tour titles and reaching the semi-finals in five of his last seven televised events.

Humphries, a UK Open runner-up in 2021, is the 13th different winner of a premier televised event within the last two years, and he believes his maiden title can provide the platform for further success.

“The world is my oyster. It’s up to me now. I will probably work even harder, because when you get the taste of it [winning], you want more and more,” Humphries continued.

“When you make the top 32 you think: ‘This is amazing’. Then you break into the top 16 and top eight and you think: ‘It can’t get any better’. You have to keep pushing and pushing.

“Now I’m in the top four of the world. I have exceeded all my expectations on how I saw my career going, but there’s one place left for me, and it’s at the top.

“Winning titles like this – it gives you that momentum and confidence to win anything, because I know I can win under the most intense pressure.

“The next goal for me now is to be world number one and win the world title. They are the two things left for me to accomplish in my career.”