Darts news: Peter Wright overtakes Gerwyn Price to become new world number one

Peter Wright is the new world number one darts player for the first time in his career after replacing Gerwyn Price at the top of the PDC Order of Merit.

Current world champion Wright was knocked out of the UK Open in the last 16 at the weekend, but when Welshman price failed to reach the final it meant that 'Snakebite' would move to the top of the standings.

The PDC use a two-year ranking system that means players have to defend the money gained over each event, and Price went to Minehead needing to defend £40,000, which he could only do by reaching the final.

His bid was ended by Michael Smith in the quarter-finals, with Price heartbroken at losing the top spot he gained after winning the 2021 World Darts Championship.

"That hurt, but I'll be back," Price posted on Instagram after his defeat to Smith confirmed he'd lost his number one ranking.

Price had to fend off Wright for top spot in the recent International Darts Open final in Germany, where 'The Iceman' emerged with an 8-4 success in that winner-takes-all final.

The 37-year-old could not cling on to his position this time though, although with Wright's lead being £21,250 then there could be plenty of opportunities for the two to trade places again over the coming season at the bigger events.

Price on form but just not good enough

It's a quirk in the rankings system that has been debated and tweaked over the years, as there's little doubt Price is the best player on planet darts right now.

Price hit two nine-darters when winning a Premier League night in Belfast recently and his International Darts Open triumph confirmed he's in superb form, but he'll have to up his game even further to regain top spot.

For Wright, it's an early birthday present as he'll turn 52 on Thursday, March 10, and becomes not only the first Scotsman to sit on top of the rankings but also the oldest player to go to world number one for the first time.

Also in the latest rankings, beaten world finalist Smith, who lost out to Danny Noppert in the UK Open final, at least moves up in the rankings to a career-high fourth.

Michael van Gerwen slides down into fifth place though and that represents his lowest position in the standings for almost a decade.

That UK Open success for Noppert moves him into the top 16 for the first time with the £100,000 windfall putting him into 12th.

Teenager Keane Barry was an eye-catcher in Minehead as he made it all the way into the semis while beating defending champion and new world number three James Wade.

Barry has jumped up 14 places into 54 in the latest PDC Order of Merit and the 19-year-old is one to watch for the rest of this season.

READ MORE: Full PDC 2022 darts calendar and results

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