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Players Championship 11: Alan Soutar claims maiden ranking title in Germany

Alan Soutar said people “do not understand” how tough PDC darts is after he defeated Daryl Gurney in the deciding leg to secure a maiden ranking title in the Players Championship 11 in Hildesheim.

The Scot, who is the 11th different winner from as many events held in 2024, won out thanks to a series of fine displays as he continued his recovery from a poor 2023 that placed his Tour Card status in jeopardy.

A landmark victory saw him put in a composed 11-darter to deny Gurney in a last-leg shoot-out amidst high drama to shore up his credentials.

“To win a ProTour in this room against 127 other players that I respect so much, it’s unbelievable,” said Soutar.

“This is possibly the best thing I’ve done in darts, apart from winning the World Cup with Scotland in the WDF system.

“Last year was a disaster for me and I’ve been in danger of losing my Tour Card, so to produce the darts I have all day, I’m absolutely delighted.

“I don’t think some people understand how hard it is (in the PDC). I can play darts, I’ve played darts for 30 years, but this is tough.”

The 46-year-old made a strong start against Gurney, weighing in with an 11-dart hold, but his opponent from Northern Ireland turned the match on its head with a three-leg spell to go into a 5-3 lead.

Soutar quickly made it 5-5 and after the next four legs were shared, he scored back-to-back 180s in the decider before closing out the win with his second 11-darter.

“I had a good couple of seasons in my first two years on tour,” said Soutar. “Last year was terrible, but this year has just got a whole load better.”

Earlier in the day he had seen off Steve Beaton in his opener, winning out 5-3 despite having falling behind, before accounting for Martin Lukeman and Danny Noppert each by a 6-2 scoreline.

Next he shot to a 107.73 average in defeating Ritchie Edhouse before Niels Zonneveld was also dispatched, and there was a similarly impressive 102.15 to eliminate Dirk van Duijvenbode in the semi-finals.

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