Liverpool’s Stephen Bunting defeated Michael van Gerwen in the Cazoo Masters final to lift his first PDC major title.
“The Bullet” put in a stellar performance to beat Van Gerwen 11-7 at the Marshall Arena in his first major PDC final since the 2014 Sydney Darts Masters.
The Englishman won his long-awaited first major title since joining the PDC in 2014 after winning the BDO World Championships.
Bunting defeated current PDC World Champion Luke Humphries as well as thrashing Peter Wright 10-2 and Nathan Aspinall 11-1 on route to the final.
The 38-year-old continued his fine form in the final averaging 102 and landing eight 180s to deny Van Gerwen his sixth Masters title.
“The Bullet” looked in control early when he produced an 11-dart-leg to break throw and go 5-3 up against the Dutchman.
Van Gerwen responded by winning three straight legs to tie the match at 6-6 but Bunting won the deciding break to take an 8-7 lead.
The Englishman hit back-to-back 180s on his way to an 11-dart hold and finished on tops to secure a memorable victory and £65,000.
Bunting spoke after the match: “I have been in the PDC a lot of years now and this means an awful lot… I am lost for words.
“This just shows my hard work is paying off, and it’s a great start to the season… hopefully I can push on from this.
“My main aim when I moved over from the BDO was to win big titles, but you’re playing the best of the best, and you’re going to be pushed all the way.
“I’ve beaten Luke Humphries this weekend and I’ve beaten Peter Wright and Nathan Aspinall… all Premier League players.
“That is where I want to get my game back to so let’s see what happens in the future, but I really think I deserve this trophy.”
(Featured image – Stephen Bunting – darts – pic by PDC)