Danny Noppert has sealed his first TV Major victory with a win over Michael ‘Bully Boy’ Smith in the Final of the UK Open.
In an event started with 156 players aiming for a final spot and a shot to pocket the £100,000 first place prize, it was left to a Dutchman and an Englishman to settle the result. Both players stepped up to the oche with the hope of achieving their first TV major win.
Smith managed to reach his 8th final in four years but could not convert his doubles, letting Noppert into the game. The game went right to the final leg, where Noppert kept his calm and precise manner to break the throw and win the event held at Butlin’s resort, Minehead with double tops.
‘The Freeze’ started his Sunday campaign against a formidable opponent, the giant killer Damon Heta. Heta was on form beating darts titans, Jonny Clayton and MvG on his way to the quarter-final. Noppert kept Damon quiet with a 10-5 win and progressed into the semis against the Irishman, William O’Connor.
Noppert began the game slow, going down 5-1 but managed to break down ‘The Magpie’ and see out the game 11-9. On to the final game of the event. Danny allowed the World Champion runner up to get a 3-0 lead in the first few legs. After settling down, Danny brought it back to 5-5 with 5 consecutive breaks. The end game resulted with both players staying within 1 leg of each other until the final leg, where Noppert came up trumps with an 11-10 victory.
With the birth of his first child in February, Danny made a start on what is the best year of his life moving to 12th in the world with the addition of the £100,000 prize money. Danny can enjoy adding his first trophy to his cabinet. He will be returning to the oche on the 11th March in the next European tour event to be held in Hildesheim, Germany.
After the game Danny said –
“I am over the moon, this is a special moment for me,” said Noppert, who defeated Damon Heta and William O’Connor in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.
“I can’t believe it; I have said before that I want to lift a trophy but I never thought it would be at such a big tournament like the UK Open.
“It was a hard game at the end of a long day, we both wanted to lift this trophy so much and neither of us played like we can.
“I think I can take big steps forward in my career now.”
Full Sunday Results below –
2022 Cazoo UK Open
Sunday March 6
Keane Barry 10-4 James Wade
William O’Connor 10-9 Sebastian Bialecki
Danny Noppert 10-5 Damon Heta
Michael Smith 10-7 Gerwyn Price
Michael Smith 11-6 Keane Barry
Danny Noppert 11-9 William O’Connor
Danny Noppert 11-10 Michael Smith