Michael Smith sealed his second ranking victory of the year at the Players Championship, while 44-year-old Mickey Mansell won his maiden PDC title.
St Helens star Smith secured a 6-2 win over Adrian Lewis in the final of Players Championship Seven at the Barnsley Metrodome on Saturday while Northern Irishman Mansell claimed the £10,000 prize by beating ‘Jackpot’ Lewis 6-4 in the final of Players Championship Eight on Sunday.
Smith had whitewashed Raymond van Barneveld in the Premier League in Liverpool on Thursday, and maintained that form with a blistering display.
“I think the last Players Championship I won was in Benidorm in 2012 so I’ve had to wait six years for this and I’m over the moon now,” said Smith, after claiming his ninth senior ranking win.
Smith’s success takes him halfway to achieving his aim at the beginning of 2018 of winning four titles, although the St Helens ace is refusing to rest on his laurels.
“I said at the beginning of the year that I wanted to win four titles this year. – the most I’ve ever done before was three,” he added. “I work three to six hours a day, seven days a week non-stop. I might be natural but if you don’t practice and put in the hard work it’s not going to happen.”
Mansell’s victory on Sunday may come as a surprise to some after the 44-year-old had lost in the first round the day before.
“I’ve had some great results against the top players before so I’ve got the experience and I’ve got that mentality that I know I can beat them,” said Mansell, who became the 70th individual winner of a Pro Tour title.
The second final defeat in the space of 24 hours denied two-time world champion Lewis his first ranking title since April 2017, although the 33-year-old’s best finish of this year pushes him closer to a return to the world’s top 16.
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