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  • Michael Smith Claims PDC Players Championship

Michael Smith claims PDC Players Championship 9

Michael Smith beat Ryan Joyce 8-6 to win the PDC Players Championship 9 Pro Tour event in Hildesheim, Germany.

Former world champion Smith revealed he had been suffering from gout which made it difficult to lean to throw, but pushed on in the early rounds before beating Jonny Clayton in the last 16, then seeing off Richard Veenstra and Krzysztof Ratajski to reach the final.

Joyce had threatened to end Smith’s hopes after coming from behind to win four straight legs and lead 5-3.

However, ‘Bully Boy’ dug in to produce a run of his own to move back 6-5 ahead before pulling clear to complete a 8-6 victory and take home £15,000 in prize money after securing a first title of the season.

Earlier in Monday’s opening round, Gary Anderson completed a 6-0 win over Noa-Lynn van Leuven, the first transgender player to compete on the PDC Pro Tour circuit.

Veteran Steve Beaton beat three-time world champion Michael van Gerwen 6-4, while Peter Wright also suffered an early exit after losing to Ian White.

"I've finally got my name back in that winner's circle again and I'm over the moon," said Smith.

"It's been hard. I was so far behind but if he was going to keep giving me chances I had to take them.

"An 88 average in a final is not good, but it's my first title in nearly 12 months."

Smith will return to the Premier League stage in Leeds on Thursday, as he continues his bid to secure a play-off place.

He added: "It's full focus for tomorrow and hopefully I win it again so I'll be flying home on Wednesday, and then [Leeds] is where my focus will be.

"It's in my own hands now, I'm two points behind Michael [van Gerwen] and three behind Nathan [Aspinall]. Wednesday I'll start thinking about Thursday night."



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