Michael Smith’s golden run of form continued as he claimed glory at the 2023 Bahrain Darts Masters, defeating Gerwyn Price 8-6 in Friday’s final.
The inaugural Bahrain Darts Masters, in partnership with the Bahrain Tourism & Exhibition Authority, has seen 16 players competing in The Dome at the Bahrain International Circuit across two days.
While the eight PDC stars defeated the eight Asian representatives on Day One, it was World Champion Smith who went on to scoop the £20,000 title and a third World Series triumph.
The success was also Smith’s third televised title in as many months, after the Grand Slam of Darts and World Championship victories which have catapulted him up to the top of the world rankings.
Smith had shone in his first round win over Abdulnasser Yusuf on Thursday, but had to come from 3-1 down to defeat Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 in the quarter-finals and was also behind early on in his semi-final with Raymond van Barneveld.
The St Helens star showed his quality to battle back for a 7-5 win, and then overcame Price in an entertaining final.
The pair shared the opening four legs – which included Price landing six perfect darts in leg three – before Smith broke for the first time to lead 3-2.
The next two legs also went with throw before Smith posted legs of 11 and 13 darts in a burst to surge into a 7-3 advantage.
Price fired in an 11-darter and punished missed match darts from Smith in leg 12 as he hit back to trail just 7-6, but he was unable to finish 97 to force a deciding leg which allowed his rival in to post double five and finally seal glory.
“I’m delighted,” said Smith. “I’ve got my third World Series title and my wife told me to bring this trophy back, and I’ve finally got it.
“I was far from perfect tonight but I’ve got to take my chances when they come.
“I thought it might not be my time but I dug deep and came back. Thankfully for me, Gez missed and I managed to hit the double five.
“I’ve got to keep taking the rough with the smooth and keep riding this wave – hopefully it continues. I’m so happy to win this and it’s been a great week to visit Bahrain for the first time.”
Price had defeated Jonny Clayton 6-4 in the quarter-finals – landing a superb 144 checkout during the all-Welsh contest – before seeing off Rob Cross 7-3 in the semis.
Van Barneveld produced an outstanding comeback from 5-1 down to defeat Luke Humphries 6-5 in their quarter-final tie, while Cross also won in a deciding leg against Peter Wright – who had hit back from 5-2 down to take their tie all the way.
The 2023 World Series of Darts continues on January 20-21 with the Nordic Darts Masters at Forum Copenhagen. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.dk.
2023 Bahrain Darts Masters
Friday January 13
Michael Smith 6-4 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Raymond van Barneveld 6-5 Luke Humphries
Rob Cross 6-5 Peter Wright
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Jonny Clayton
Michael Smith 7-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Gerwyn Price 7-3 Rob Cross
Michael Smith 8-6 Gerwyn Price