Teenage sensation Luke ‘The Nuke’ Littler continues to set the darts world ablaze by claiming his first ever PDC title in an exciting closing towards Michael van Gerwen on the Bahrain Masters.
Littler, taking part in in his first event since his run to the ultimate of the PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace earlier this month, needed to overcome two knockout matches towards Nathan Aspinall and Gerywn Price earlier than reaching the showpiece towards Van Gerwen.
The 16-year-old took a 5-3 lead towards the three-time world champion and will need to have felt the nerves when the Dutchman clawed the match again to 5-5.
From there although Littler surged to victory, breaking Van Gerwen’s throw by taking out double 10 earlier than holding his personal to assert the title with a double prime end after he had initially left himself a 170 checkout.
The teenager, who turns 17 in two days time, had already made historical past earlier within the day after touchdown a nine-darter towards Nathan Aspinall in his quarter-final match.
He grew to become the youngest participant to realize the feat within the World Series, scoring the right leg throughout his 6-3 victory over the fourth seed. The solely different participant to throw a nine-darter within the World Series, which began in 2013, is Phil Taylor.
Littler’s nine-dart leg was the very first of the match and noticed him landed triple 20s together with his first seven darts adopted by treble 19 and a double 12. His opponent, Aspinall, joined within the congratulations as the gang erupted.
Littler went on to take the second leg towards the darts to guide 2-0 lead, just for Aspinall to interrupt again within the third and maintain throw to make it 2-2. The teenager gained momentum although and claimed 4 of the following 5 legs earlier than tidying up with a 116 checkout to arrange a semi-final encounter with Gerywn Price.
Price ended a 20-game successful run for newly topped world champion Luke Humphries by defeating him 6-4 of their quarter-final however he was no match for the assured Littler.
The teenager picked up the place he left off, touchdown a most 170 end on his strategy to a 7-3 semi-final win over the Welshman, who himself hit 124 and 146 checkouts.
Littler then powered his well beyond Van Gerwen to clinch his first PDC title.
“I’m happy to win, I played well yesterday and I’ve played well again tonight,” he advised ITV4 following his victory, “No one probably believes me but I’ve not threw a dart since the world final.
“Michael [Van Gerwen] is one of the very best and I’m happy to win on my debut. It’s been unbelievable this week and I’m happy to come out as the winner.”
Van Gerwen was filled with compliments for the teenager following his defeat including: “It’s never going to be a good week when I’m not winning but Luke had a fantastic performance. Everyone knows what he is capable of – let him grow, let him do his thing.
“I couldn’t produce what I produced in the earlier games and you get punished and that’s the way sport works. Of course I’m disappointed but you win some, you lose some.
“I’ll get him, don’t worry!”