Darts: 2021’s big winners as the World Championship approaches

The pinnacle of the darts calendar is on the horizon. With thefestive period comes the PDC World Championship and the tournament’s organisers, the professionals and fans of the sport alike will be delighted that the iconic Alexandra Palace in north London will be able to reopen its doors and accommodate a full house of spectators after last year’s turmoil.

Gerwyn Price thrived behind closed doors last year, winning the mammoth event for the first time as he beat Gary Anderson 7-3, and ‘the Iceman’ is the current favourite in the darts odds to defend his World Championship crown and take home the lucrative prize purse again this year. We’re certain he’d love to do it all over again, but this time in front of the boisterous Ally Pally crowd.

So, with another fantastic year of darts action set to draw to a close at the summit of Muswell Hill,let’s take a quick look back at some of this year’s big winners. Read on to find out more!

Premier League Darts – Jonny Clayton

Not one of the most backed players to win the tournament in the darts tips from Betfair, Jonny Clayton upset the odds to win the Premier League Darts back in May — landing just his second televised event in the process. Supposed to take place at venues across Europe, the coronavirus pandemic meant that the whole tournament was held in Milton Keynes, starting a couple of months behind schedule as well.

Clayton, who was making his Premier League debut, finished fourth in the overall standings, but beat Michael van Gerwen 10-8 in the semi-finals before the Welshman got the better of his fellow debutant José de Sousa, beating the Portuguese thrower11-5 in a rather one-sided finale.

World Matchplay – Peter Wright

Moved to Milton Keynes last year due to the effects of the pandemic, the World Matchplay returned to the Winter Gardens in Blackpool this summer and the experienced Peter Wright won the tournament for the first time in his lengthy career.

‘Snakebite’ had to see off some top playersen route to the final, including Michael Smith (16-7) and Michael van Gerwen (17-10), but he was clearly a man on a mission and he went on to beat defending champion Dimitri Van den Bergh to take home the £150,000 prize purse.

World Grand Prix – Jonny Clayton

Not content with just winning the Premier League this year, Clayton secured the first ranking title of his career at the World Grand Prix at the Morningside Arena in Leicester back in early October.

Usually held at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin, the tournament was held in England for the second year in a row due to coronavirus, but Clayton wasn’t complaining as he dispatched of Callan Rydz, de Sousa, KrzysztofRatajskiand Danny Noppert to book his place in the final against fellow countryman Price. It proved to a straightforward affair for Clayton as he won 5-1. He’s certainly one to watch at the World Championship.

Players Championship Finals – Peter Wright

Wright is actually heading into the World Championships on the back of an impressive victory in the Players Championship Finals. Back at Butlin’s Resort in Minehead after being held behind closed doors at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry last year, the Scot edged past Keane Barry, Adrian Lewis and Damon Heta before knocking out two-time defending champion MvG in the quarter finals.

There was to be no fifth title of 2021 for Clayton, who has also won the Masters and the World Series Final this year, as Wright sent him packing with an 11-6 victory in the semi-final and he rounded the tournament off with a slender 11-10 victory over Ryan Searle in the final. Another man on form, it will be interesting to see how Snakebite fares at Ally Pally.


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