'Bully Boy' Michael Smith bang on form in back-to-back ProTour title wins

Michael Smith powered his way to victory in the Players Championship 15 in Wigan on Wednesday to secure back-to-back ProTour titles in 24 hours.

Fresh from his first title success on Tuesday, 'Bully Boy' roared his way to a 14th victory in two days and the £12,000 top prize with an 8-3 success over Callan Rydz in the final.

He kick-started his day with a 6-5 last-leg decider over Mario Vandenbogaerde in the last 16 before averaging 114.90, his highest of the day, in a 6-2 quarter-final victory over Florian Hempel.

The St Helens thrower made light work of Alan Soutar next as he stormed to a 7-3 semi-final win and a showdown against Rydz, who thumped Ryan Joyce 7-1 for a place in the final.

The two-time world darts championship runner-up showed his class when recording an 81 per cent doubles accuracy to deny 23-year-old Newcastle thrower Rydz any hope of an upset.

Rydz, a quarter-finalist at this year's world darts championship, produced ton-plus averages in all but one of his six matches, including a 104.13 in the final, in an eye-catching run to the Wigan showpiece.

Another highlight from the day was Scottish youngster Nathan Girvan hitting a nine-darter in his first-round defeat to two-time world darts champion Adrian Lewis.

The ProTour action returns this weekend with the Gambrinus Czech Darts Open, taking place in Prague from May 13-15.

2022 Players Championship 15

Wednesday 11 May, 2022

Last 16

Alan Soutar 6-4 Steve West

Josh Rock 6-4 Martijn Kleermaker

Michael Smith 6-5 Mario Vandenbogaerde

Florian Hempel 6-1 Jamie Hughes

Callan Rydz 6-1 Rob Cross

Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-1 Robert Owen

Damon Heta 6-2 Adrian Lewis

Ryan Joyce 6-5 Stephen Bunting

Quarter-Finals

Alan Soutar 6-4 Josh Rock

Michael Smith 6-2 Florian Hempel

Callan Rydz 6-4 Dirk van Duijvenbode

Ryan Joyce 6-4 Damon Heta

Semi-Finals

Michael Smith 7-3 Alan Soutar

Callan Rydz 7-1 Ryan Joyce

Final

Michael Smith 8-3 Callan Rydz

READ MORE: Darts legend James Wade 'recovering' in hospital after falling ill at a European Tour event

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