Michael Smith picked up his eighth PDC ranking title on Sunday afternoon in Wigan as he won PDC UK Open qualifier 3. The St Helens ace dropped just ten legs all day, he picked apart Michael van Gerwen as he defeated the World no.1 6-1.
Smith’s bullseye hitting was particularly impressive, he defeated David Pallett 6-4 in his Semi-Final with a spectacular 132 (Bull,Bull,D16). Then, in the Quarter-Final victory over Van Gerwen, he fired in a 120 finish, in which he used two bullseyes. There was a visit earlier on in the match which he hit two bullseyes to leave D16. Smith has been showing signs of prominence for a few months now, he missed two darts to knock out Rob Cross in the last 16 of the World Darts Championship in December. But, Smith dusted himself off from that particular setback as he was selected for the 2018 Unibet Premier League. Smith came from 5-1 down to defeat Gary Anderson 7-5 last Thursday in Dublin. He then went on to reach the final of the first PDC UK Open qualifier as he was defeated by Van Gerwen 6-3.
But, today Smith was relentless in his play as he dropped just ten legs as I mentioned earlier. The St Helens star enjoyed victories over Mark Wilson (6-0), Adam Hunt (6-2), Steve Beaton (6-0), Gabriel Clemens (6-3), Michael van Gerwen (6-1), David Pallett (6-4) before of course whitewashing Lerchbacher in the final.
Following the win in the final, Smith admitted that Pallett was the player that pushed him the most throughout the day as both players held throw in the first eight legs before Smith broke his throw in the ninth leg before firing in that phenomenal 132 finish. Smith also mentioned that he is really hungry for success this year, and I’m sure we will see Bully Boy go on to lift more titles in 2018.
Smith’s stats for the first three events are also quite impressive, with an overall average of 98.40, 43 maximums and a 68% leg win ratio, It’s certainly been a very successful weekend at the office.
PDC UK Open – Qualifier Three
Robin Park, Wigan
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Jermaine Wattimena (Van Gerwen hits a nine-darter)
Michael Smith 6-3 Gabriel Clemens
Joe Cullen 6-4 Mervyn King
David Pallett 6-4 Kim Huybrechts
Jamie Hughes 6-1 Michael Rasztovits
John Henderson 6-3 Dave Prins
James Wilson 6-5 Keegan Brown
Zoran Lerchbacher 6-3 Dave Chisnall
Michael Smith 6-1 Michael van Gerwen
David Pallett 6-4 Joe Cullen
John Henderson 6-3 Jamie Hughes
Zoran Lerchbacher 6-1 James Wilson
Michael Smith 6-4 David Pallett
Zoran Lerchbacher 6-4 John Henderson
Michael Smith 6-0 Zoran Lerchbacher
Photo : Taylor Lanning