Peter ” Snakebite ” Wright became the 2022 World darts champion in a thrilling Alexandra Palace final, overcoming 31 year old Michael Smith 7 sets to 5.
Despite losing, the St Helens prodigy enjoyed a superior 3 dart average ( albeit small ) of 99.2 against Wright’s 98.34, the latter achieving his 2nd World success.
The winners spoils of £ 500,000 takes the champions career earnings to £ 3,800,000. Asked prior to the final my choice of champion my response was Smith providing his finishing was up to scratch, as his scoring is phenomenal, well illustrated by his 24 maximums in the final, taking his overall competition tally to 83, totally eclipsing Gary Andersons previous best of 71 in 2017.
Unfortunately his finishing again let him down at vital times and he ended ” Bridesmaid ” for the 8th time in 9 televised finals.
Back in July last year Wright suggested any ” armchair ” gamblers should consider a 50p or £1 bet on him winning the World Matchplay and PDC Worlds, if you had done so, your odds would have been around 80/1,in hindsight not a bad bet.
Selco Builders Merchants offered a £100,000 bonus for any player in the last 4 to manage 2 nine dart finishes, very generous but it never materialised. Three did however in earlier rounds, 1 from World no.1 Gerwyn Price in his losing quarter final to Smith, the remaining 2 from William Borland and Darius Labanauskas, previously.
Wright is now only £15,250 behind Price for the coveted P.D.C. Order of Merit, World no 1 spot, a position l would expect him to attain mid year. Smith moves to no 5, just behind Wade (4) and van Gerwen (3).
Wright also joins an elite group of multiple PDC world champs, Taylor 14 successes, MvG 3, Adrian Lewis and John Part, two each. And finally to all our O.W.S. players and darts players worldwide, even pros have dodgy games.
l refer to the final where Smith’s winning 2nd leg in the 1st set arrived in a deplorable 28 darts. Keep practising, there’s still time for some of you.