Gerwyn Price produced a scintillating comeback against Damon Heta to win 8-7 and secure his 20th PDC title at Players Championship 21 in Barnsley.
Kicking off the sixth PDC Super Series of the year, Price was in inspired form as he secured his first title since March.
But in the final it was Heta who started superbly and had Price worried early on as he moved into a 4-0 lead.
Price managed to get a foothold in the game but things were looking ominous for the World Champion as Heta moved to within two of the title at 6-2.
It was here that Price’s incredible comeback really kicked into gear.
The world number one won three legs in succession in just 35 darts as he closed the gap to just one leg at 6-5.
Heta again took a step closer to the winning line at 7-5, meaning Price was forced to win all three remaining legs to secure the title.
Seven perfect darts followed from Price in leg 13, as he once again went out in 11 darts, before repeating that in the next leg to break the Heta throw and force a decider.
And a 13-dart break in the final leg ensured Price completed a remarkable comeback
“I got off to a bad start. He probably deserved to be 2-2 as I missed a couple of doubles, and was kicking myself,” said Price.
“When I started playing I wasn’t as good as I am now, and I have learnt to never give up.
“If I find my game, I will always get myself back in. Even if I was 7-0 down now I have the belief that I will get myself back into it.
“Everyone wants to win and win tournaments, but I know that I have been playing well. I’m back in the winners circle, I dug in and it would have taken something special to beat me today. “
Despite the 107.8 average from Price in the final, it wasn’t his best display of the day. He averaged a staggering 112.51 in his 7-3 semi-final victory over Ian White.
The Welshman averaged 103.94 for the day, blowing away William O’Connor 6-3 in his opening match, before seeing off Lukas Wenig 6-1 in his second.
He then squeezed past Martin Schindler 6-4, before dealing with Luke Humphries 6-2 and Callan Rydz 6-5 to book his spot in the final four.
Heta – playing in his fifth PDC final – started his run with an accomplished 6-2 win over Ryan Murray.
This was followed by a 6-3 win over Luc Peters, before beating Scott Waites 6-2 and Max Hopp 6-3 to reach the Quarter-Finals.
A 6-3 victory over Ritchie Edhouse followed, before a 7-2 dismantling of Poland’s number one Krzysztof Ratajski to set up the clash with Price.
It was a day of impressive performances at the Barnsley Metrodome in the first of three days of Players Championship action.
Keegan Brown posting the highest average of the day with a staggering 115.24 in his opening round victory over Dirk van Duijvenbode, with the likes of Dave Chisnall and Ratajski hitting the 109 mark.
Elsewhere, the wait for a title in 2021 for Michael van Gerwen goes on.
He will perhaps be left pondering how he didn’t progress past the Last 32 stage despite averaging 112.58 in a 6-5 defeat against Daryl Gurney, who posted 108.68 himself in a thriller.
The action continues in Barnsley tomorrow, with Players Championship 22 offering another £75,000 in prize money, with PDC Tour Card Holders joined by PDPA Associate Members in competing once again.
Gerwyn Price 8-7 Damon Heta
Gerwyn Price 7-3 Ian White
Damon Heta 7-2 Krzysztof Ratajski
Ian White 6-5 Lewis Williams
Gerwyn Price 6-5 Callan Rydz
Damon Heta 6-3 Ritchie Edhouse
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-3 Rob Cross