A week of double crazy darts will draw to an end inside the Citywest Hotel in Dublin on Saturday night when Daryl Gurney takes on Simon Whitlock in the final of the World Grand Prix. Both men have battled through to this point and are a win away from the £100,000 loot.
These two would have been filed in the dangerous contender drawer heading into the week and it has proved to be that way. They have both taken advantage of big names being beaten by others but they are here in this best of nine set final on merit.
It has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for Daryl Gurney this week. It is clear to see how much he wants to win this and just when you think those emotions are hampering him and his opponent is getting the better of him he kicks into life again and comes up with some amazing darts. He needs to find his best one more time.
Gurney is going in search of his first PDC major in this final but he has the advantage of being the best starter in the tournament this week and that often counts for something. We know he is a fantastic scorer so if he keeps on getting in and has no demons on his finishing double he will take some beating.
In the first couple of rounds I thought Simon Whitlock was teetering on the edge of something quite special and in the last two rounds we have seen it. He demolished Benito van de Pas in the quarter final and then came through a really good semi-final against Mensur Suljovic. He was asked to raise his game by the Austrian and it will be a huge confidence boost that he managed to do so when required.
Whitlock goes into this final with the edge on experience of these really big matches. He has a PDC major behind him and he has secured his Grand Slam spot by making this final. The pressure comes in the form of the Premier League. The winner of this will definitely be in while the loser faces an anxious three months or so.
Head to Head
Whitlock might have the edge on experience but he certainly doesn’t on the past meetings between these two. Gurney leads the head to head 9-2 and four of those wins have been in their five matches this year.
Whitlock’s two wins have been in a deciding leg and 6-4 while a good number of Gurney’s wins, especially recently, were fairly comfortable. They were all in the usual 501 format though which should not be forgotten.
Sometimes we can get to the final of this and get a one-sided match because a player has had an easy run through after the draw has opened up like this always does. This does not look like one of those finals to me though.
We saw Simon Whitlock really raise his game when under duress in the semi-final while Gurney did that against Lewis and Thornton earlier in the tournament. It is clear both men are desperate to win this title and I don’t see either of them giving up without a big fight. I would be very surprised if this doesn’t go over 7.5 sets.
In the end I fancy Gurney might just have the edge. When things get tight his superior checking in could be the difference so I’ll burn a point on him winning a deciding set, something he has done twice this week already.
WON – Back Over 7.5 sets for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Betfair
Back it here:
WON – Back D.Gurney to win 5-4 for a 1/10 stake at 7.00 with Boylesports
Back him here: