Michael van Gerwen has reached the second round of the Players Championship Finals on Friday evening. The Dutchman in the English Minehead was too strong for Luke Humphries: 6-3. Raymond van Barneveld also survived his opening game.
Van Gerwen initially had little to fear from Humphries. The number one in the world nicely threw 170 in the fourth leg, giving it a 4-0 lead. Humphries bounced back surprisingly by grabbing the three subsequent legs, but his comeback also remained.
Thirty-year-old Van Gerwen hunts for his fifth title in the Players Championship Finals, after he won the tournament in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017. De Brabander is waiting for Adrian Lewis in the second round.
Last year, Van Gerwen lost the final to Daryl Gurney, who saw his title-hunt hunt stranded in the first round. The Northern Irishman surprisingly fell against Luke Woodhouse: 5-6. The 31-year-old Englishman, number 71 on the PDC Order of Merit, made his debut on a television tournament against Gurney.
Noppert and Van der Voort also continue
Van Barneveld reached the second round by beating Nathan Apsinall. De Hagenaar threw a nice average of almost 99 per three arrows and awarded the 28-year-old Englishman only two legs: 6-2. In the second round, he faces Joe Cullen.
52-year-old Van Barneveld is in his last months as a professional darter. The upcoming World Cup, which will be held in London from December 13 to January 1, is the last tournament in his career.
Danny Noppert and Vincent van der Voort reached the next round at the Players Championship Finals earlier on Friday. The 28-year-old Noppert was just too strong for Ryan Searle (6-5) and the 15-year-old Van der Voort settled with Arron Monk (6-4).
For Jelle Klaasen, Jeffrey de Zwaan, Jermaine Wattimena and Ron Meulenkamp, the first round was the final station. Klaasen lost 3-6 to German Max Hopp, after which De Zwaan had to acknowledge his superior in Simon Whitlock (5-6) after an exciting match.
Wattimena proved unable to cope with the throwing Englishman Jamie Hughes (3-6) and Meulenkamp had no chance against Rob Cross, who won the world title in 2018 (2-6).