“It’s amazing to pick up this title in front of a crowd, we all miss the fans,” says Cullen
Last Updated: 26/10/20 12:38pm
Michael van Gerwen was stunned by Joe Cullen in the final of the International Darts Open as the Yorkshireman claimed his second European Tour title in Riesa, Germany, on Sunday.
Cullen defeated Van Gerwen 8-5 in the final of the 2019 European Darts Matchplay last September, and repeated the trick by winning by the same scoreline at the Sachsenarena in front of the German fans.
The win also means Cullen tops the final 2020 European Tour Order of Merit and heads into the European Championship as number one seed.
“It was the same scoreline as last time [the 2019 European Darts Matchplay] but the difference this time was Michael just didn’t get going,” Cullen admitted.
“It was lucky for me that he didn’t, because if he did, then it would’ve been a different game.
“I didn’t think I was too great either. It is a confidence-builder but I honestly don’t think I played well this tournament.
“That said, the closest I came to losing was against Ross [Smith] in the quarter-finals. I just did enough to win every game.
“It’s amazing to pick up this title in front of a crowd, we all miss the fans.”
GET IN THERE YOU BEAUTY!! 🏆🎯
Over the moon to finally get my first Euro Tour Title! And beating the main man in the final makes it even better! Brilliant on and off the oche @MvG180 pic.twitter.com/Yx0oSxZRbh
— Joe Cullen (@rockstar_13_) September 9, 2019
Cullen both out-scored and out-finished the world No 1 in the final, ending the match with an average of almost six-points more than his opponent.
Van Gerwen, who had grown into the tournament after two below-par displays in his first two matches, got off to an ideal start with a 116 checkout, but it was Cullen who struck the first break of throw with a 13-dart leg to take a 4-2 lead.
It was a lead Cullen never came close to relinquishing as he held throw three times without Van Gerwen attempting a double to break, before producing a 14-dart break of throw in the final leg, pinning double top to seal the £25,000 top prize.
Driving home bitterly disappointed with myself. My finishing wasn’t good enough and what I expect of myself.
Full credit to @rockstar_13_ on winning his second title. Well done mate.
Now my focus is on next weekend and getting it right there.
Thank you for all the support 💚💚 pic.twitter.com/defARCpvRB
— Michael Van Gerwen (@MvG180) October 25, 2020
Van Gerwen ends the year without a European Tour title to his name and is seeded fifth for the European Championship.
The Dutchman took to Twitter afterwards to give full credit to Cullen but admitted he was ‘bitterly disappointed’.
“Driving home bitterly disappointed with myself. My finishing wasn’t good enough and what I expect of myself,” said the world No 1.
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Source : Sky Sports