Michael Van Gerwen
The current world number one, Dutch ace Michael van Gerwen has enjoyed an extraordinary spell to establish himself as one of the sport’s superstars. A two-time World Youth Championship finalist who honed his skills in the early years of the PDC’s Youth Tour – having initially joined the PDC circuit in 2007 – Van Gerwen has been the dominant player on the PDC circuit since 2013. The Dutchman started 2019 in fine fashion winning his fifth consecutive Masters title followed by a 29th European Tour title in Leverkusen hitting a nine-darter in the process. Van Gerwen continues his strong start to 2019 winning his 30th European Tour Title in April winning the German Darts Grand Prix in Munich after defeating Simon Whitlock 8-3 in the Final. Van Gerwen topped the Premier League table for a seventh straight year in 2019 before claimed his fifth Premier League title in May 2019, defeating Rob Cross 11-5 in the final. Michael will be looking to continue his fine form in 2019 by winning the Paddy Power Champions League of darts after losing out in the Semi Finals last year to eventual Runner up Peter Wright.
Rob’s incredible impact on the PDC circuit saw him complete his first full year as a professional with his stunning triumph in the William Hill World Darts Championship. Cross won his first full ranking title in 2017 winning the Players Championship in March that year, Rob then went on to beat Phil Taylor on his way to securing darts biggest prize topping off his incredible year by being names World Champion. The Englishman then won his first PDC title since being crowned World Champion at the Players Championship in Wigan beating Ian White in the Final. Last year in his first appearance in the Paddy Power Champions League of Darts Cross was unable to get out of the group, something he will no doubt be hoping to better this time around.
Scottish star Anderson joined an elite group of players to win back-to-back World Championship titles with his successes in 2015 and 2016 at Alexandra Palace, marking him down amongst the sport’s most successful players. Anderson has enjoyed a wealth of success across his career winning 17 televised titles and 30 non televised titles. For the sixth time Anderson won the US Darts Masters in July 2018 before becoming the World Matchplay Champion just a couple of weeks later fir the first time in his career. Gary won the 2018 Paddy Power Champions League of Darts dispatching fellow Scot Peter Wright 11-4 in the Final, Anderson will no doubt be looking for more of the same in 2019.
The 2013 World Youth Champion, Smith joined the PDC circuit as a teenager and has since progressed to the top level of the sport. Smith won his first senior ranking title in 2011 alongside a further 5 PDC Development Tour Events. Smith then went on to win the World Youth Championship in 2013 before his first European Tour title in 2014. A Quarter Final berth at the European Championship earned Smith an invite to the 2018 Premier League after a 2 year absence following his debut in 2016. The St Helens native picked up his first World Series of Darts title in July 2018 with a win at the Shanghai Darts Masters. Having previously never made it out the group stage Smith will be looking to push into the Second day of the Paddy Power Champions League of Darts this time around.
Daryl joined the PDC in 2013 and has since emerged as a contender at the top level with some impressive displays, which culminated in his first TV title at the 2017 World Grand Prix. An impressive display in the 2015 Players Championship saw Gurney make his mark on the big stage as he moved into the top 32 in the World Rankings. Daryl made his debut in the U.S Darts Masters in 2017 and followed this up by an impressive run to the Semi Finals of the World Matchplay. Gurney went on to win his inaugural TV title at the 2017 World Grand Prix defeating Simon Whitlock in the Final. Gurney made a strong start to 2019 which saw him competing in his second Premier League campaign before picking up his first European Tour title at the German Darts Championship in March 2019. Gurney was unable to make it out of the group in last year’s Champions League of Darts so will be looking to improve on that this time around.
Welsh thrower Gerwyn Price has made a big impression since joining the PDC circuit in 2014 after winning a Tour Card at Qualifying School. Price made his World Championship debut less than a year after joining the circuit he also went on to to reach his first televised quarter-final at the 2015 World Matchplay, where he knocked out Michael Smith and Adrian Lewis. In 2016 the Welshman won his first PDC titles winning back to back Players Championships meaning he broke into the Worlds top 32. Price made it through to his first Televised final in 2017, losing to Peter Wright in the UK Open Final. In September of 2018 Price won his first European Tour title when he was Victorious against Simon Whitlock 8-3 in the first of the International Darts Open in Riesa. The biggest win of the Welshman’s career so far came in November 2018 as he claimed his maiden televised title with a remarkable Grand Slam of Darts success, overcoming Gary Anderson 16-13. Price is making his debut in the Paddy Power Champions League of Darts so will be looking to impress In Leicester this weekend.
Peter claimed his first televised title at the 2017 UK Open, ending a 20-year wait for one of the circuit’s most flamboyant performers. Originally a qualifier for the 1996 Lakeside Championship, it would be more than a decade before Scottish-born Wright joined the PDC circuit on a full-time basis. Wright rose to third in the World after reaching the Final in back to back UK Opens and also reaching series of darts finals in 2015 and 2016 as well the PDC World Cup of Darts and World Series events in Japan. Having reached the final of the 2018 World Cup of Darts in June, Wright then won a first title of the year at Players Championship 14 in Wigan and then claimed his second World Series triumph at the Melbourne Darts Masters. Wright was runner up in last year’s Paddy Power Champions League of Darts so will definitely be looking to go one step further in 2019.
The sport’s most successful left-hander, James has enjoyed a fine decade at the top level to establish himself amongst the darts’ top stars. Having initially emerged as a teenage mechanic, Wade joined the PDC circuit in 2004 and became a full-time professional two years later, with the decision paying dividends as he reached his first televised final at the 2006 World Matchplay. Wade reached the finals of the 2014 World Grand Prix, 2015 World Matchplay and 2016 Grand Slam of Darts, unfortunately losing out to Michael Van Gerwen on each occasion. In October 2018 Wade eventually won his first Televised PDC Title after a 4 year wait claiming the European Championship crown in Dortmund. In April 2019 Wade won his first floor title in almost four years at Players Championship Ten in Barnsley, once again defeating Smith in the final. Wade picked up his fourth PDC ranking title of 2019 at Players Championship 18 in June 2019, equalling his best ever tally of ranking titles in a calendar year.
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