SIMON WHITLOCK won his second ranking title in a week as he defeated Ronny Huybrechts 6-3 in the final of Coral UK Open Qualifier Five, on a day where the Belgian and Darren Webster landed nine-darters.

Following on from Michael van Gerwen's two nine-darters in one game on Friday, Webster was the first man to achieve perfection against Benito van de Pas, before Huybrechts repeated the trick with the first perfect leg of his career - against Webster - in the quarter-finals.

However, it was Whitlock who tasted success in a dominant display in the final to deny Huybrechts the chance of winning his first PDC title and follow up his success last Saturday with another £10,000 top prize.

An early break gave the Australian a 2-0 lead in the final, but he was quickly pegged back as Huybrechts clinched back-to-back legs.

However, Whitlock - who missed double 18 for a nine-darter himself earlier in the day - was enjoying continued consistency on the trebles and raced away from the Belgian, stretching his lead to 5-2.

Huybrechts clinched a leg back, but the order was too tall as Whitlock chalked off the remaining leg to secure the victory and the £10,000 title.

The former European Champion has enjoyed a brilliant return to form to win four ranking titles since October, including another victory in a final against Huybrechts in a Players Championship and two nine-dart finishes at the back end of 2017.

In reaching the final, Whitlock edged out Michael Rasztovits in his opening game, before whitewashing Mick McGowan to reach the last 32.

There, the Australian squeezed past Brian Woods and followed that win with 6-2 victories over Scott Taylor and Mervyn King to reach the final four.

Standing in his way of the final was the in-form Rob Cross, who only joined the professional circuit this year, but Whitlock proved too tough in a 6-4 victory to set up the clash with Huybrechts.

It was a day of giant-killings for Huybrechts as he reached his second PDC ProTour final in five months. After early wins against Kevin Dowling and Matthew Edgar, he saw off two-time World Champion Gary Anderson in a narrow 6-5 victory.

Reaching the last 32, he then beat Terry Jenkins, Ian White, Darren Webster and came from behind against a resilient Michael Smith to book his spot int he final two.

But it was arguably Cross - who made his name at the 2016 Coral UK Open by reaching the last 32 as an Amateur Qualifier - who claimed the most impressive scalps of the day.

An opening round win against Scott Dale booked him a match with James Wade, but the 26-year-old edged through in a deciding leg thriller against the Betway Premier League star.

He then comfortably saw off Mark Frost to reach the last 32, where his most impressive darts come to the fore as he dropped just five legs in victories over Dave Chisnall, Robert Thornton and Jelle Klaasen before falling to Whitlock.

Smith's strong run saw him beat the likes of Vincent van der Voort, Peter Wright and Gerwyn Price in narrow victories before losing out to finalist Huybrechts.

2016 Players Championship Finals semi-finalist Webster, who is also enjoying a purple patch of late, can be pleased with his efforts as he guaranteed his qualification for the UK Open, including victories over Keegan Brown, Rob Hewson, Van de Pas and David Pallett on the day.

The Coral UK Open Qualifiers come to a conclusion on Sunday with Qualifier Six at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan, as players battle it out for £60,000 and the final opportunity to secure qualification to the Coral UK Open.

Following Qualifier Six, the top 96 players from the UK Open Order of Merit progress to compete in the Coral UK Open TV Finals at the Butlins Minehead Resort from March 3-5, alongside 32 Rileys Amateur Qualifiers.

Fans worldwide can watch coverage of Qualifier Six through two live streams, which will be available at www.livepdc.tv for all PDCTV-HD Subscribers and through a series of bookmakers' websites.

Click below to see Ronny Huybrechts' nine-dart finish

 

Drawboard