2018 Unibet Masters
(1) Michael van Gerwen v (16) Kim Huybrechts
(8) Simon Whitlock v (9) James Wade
(5) Daryl Gurney v (12) Gerwyn Price
(4) Gary Anderson v (13) Benito van de Pas
(2) Peter Wright v (15) Alan Norris
(7) Dave Chisnall v (10) Raymond van Barneveld
(6) Mensur Suljovic v (11) Michael Smith
(3) Rob Cross v (14) Ian White
Schedule of Play
Friday January 26 (7pm)
First Round x4
Dave Chisnall 9-10 Raymond van Barneveld
Mensur Suljovic 10-8 Michael Smith
Rob Cross 10-3 Ian White
Peter Wright 10-5 Alan Norris
Saturday January 27 (7pm)
First Round x4
Simon Whitlock 8-10 James Wade
Daryl Gurney 7-10 Gerwyn Price
Gary Anderson 10-4 Benito van de Pas
Michael van Gerwen 10-6 Kim Huybrechts
Sunday January 28
Afternoon Session (12.45pm)
Peter Wright 2-10 Raymond van Barneveld
Mensur Suljovic 10-8 Rob Cross
Gerwyn Price 6-10 Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen 10-2 James Wade
Evening Session (7pm)
Raymond van Barneveld 11-7 Mensur Suljovic
Michael van Gerwen 11-5 Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen 11-9 Raymond van Barneveld
First Round - Best of 19 legs
Quarter-Finals - Best of 19 legs
Semi-Finals - Best of 21 legs
Final - Best of 21 legs
First Round Losers £5,000
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN fought back from 4-1 and 8-5 down to win his fourth successive Unibet Masters title with a thrilling 11-9 win over Dutch rival Raymond van Barneveld at Arena MK on Sunday night.
The Dutchman has reigned supreme in the battle of the PDC's top 16 players for the past three years, but saw his mantle come under serious threat as the five-time World Champion lined up his first individual TV title since 2015.
Van Barneveld followed up his wins over Dave Chisnall, Peter Wright and Mensur Suljovic earlier in the tournament by racing into an early 4-1 lead in the final.
The pair shared the opening two legs before Van Barneveld finished 72, 76 to break and a 13-darter as he opened up a 4-1 cushion at the final's first interval.
That lead was extended to 5-2 before Van Gerwen hit back to level, hitting two 177 scores in an 11-darter to break throw before a 137 finish for a 12-dart leg saw the reigning champion square the contest.
Three more legs for Van Barneveld gave him an 8-5 advantage, only for Van Gerwen to hit top gear as he fought to hold onto his title.
A 124 bull finish saw the world number one level in leg 16, before a 12-darter moved him ahead for the first time at 9-8, and though Van Barneveld battled to stay in the game, an 81 finish for a 12-darter saw Van Gerwen seal his fourth straight Masters title.
"I think this is the perfect start to the year," said Van Gerwen. "I played a good tournament and hit some big averages against some great players.
"Everyone wants a good start to the year and I've started well.
"Raymond had a phenomenal tournament, he played well in the final and he didn't give a lot away. When you give him a finger he takes your hand, but I'm glad that I fought back.
"I'm trying my best all the time and I want to win every tournament that I play in, so I'm really glad that I can take this trophy home."
Van Gerwen had lost his World Championship title with an agonising semi-final loss to Rob Cross a month ago, and the Dutchman was delighted to make a winning return to action.
"I had a big disappointment in the World Championship but you need to be strong," he added. "I went on holiday and came back stronger and I'm really proud of myself. I'd like to have more days like this."
Van Gerwen had earlier defeated James Wade 10-2 in the quarter-finals after storming into an 8-0 lead without giving the 2014 champion a dart at a double, while he was an 11-5 winner over Gary Anderson in their semi-final.
Van Barneveld had opened the quarter-finals with a brilliant 10-2 rout of world number two Peter Wright before he battled past Mensur Suljovic 11-7 to set up a repeat of the 2015 Masters final.
The Dutch duo had also teamed up to win the World Cup of Darts last summer, but Van Barneveld had to settle for the £25,000 runner-up prize this time after losing out to his rival.
"I'm really happy to reach the final," said the 50-year-old. "It's good to be in the final, and that has given me confidence.
"I had a hard game against Dave on Friday and today was a really long day for me. I played really well against Peter Wright but against Mensur I never felt great, and the final was alright.
"I played a good game in the final but I had too many scores of 100 instead of 140s, and Michael was awesome tonight. He was firing some top class darts at the end - his 124 turned the game.
"He's the world number one and it's so hard to beat this man. He never has a bad night, not against me, but hopefully one day it will turn my way."
Anderson had seen off Welshman Gerwyn Price 10-6 in their quarter-final, while World Champion Rob Cross suffered defeat for the first time since his Alexandra Palace triumph as he lost out 10-8 to Suljovic.
Following the conclusion of the £200,000 ITV4-televised event at Arena MK in Milton Keynes, the focus now moves to Thursday's opening night of the 2018 Unibet Premier League at the 3Arena in Dublin.