Peter Wright’s latest bid for a second major title ended at the last hurdle after losing 16-12 to Michael van Gerwen in the bwin Grand Slam of Darts final on Sunday.
The world number two, who has recently moved house from Mendham to Belton with Browston, claimed his first TV title at March’s UK Open among 11 tournament wins so far in 2017.
Wright shared the opening 20 legs with van Gerwen in the final, held at the Civic Hall, in Wolverhampton, but was powerless to stop the Dutchman from pulling away for glory.
Wright took out an early 120 and hit back after van Gerwen went 3-2 and 4-3 up by regaining the edge as the pair traded legs, with the world number one hitting two 12-darters, a 13-darter and six perfect darts in response.
The former Mendham resident took out finishes of 156 and 149 as he led 10-9, but van Gerwen crucially checked out 146 and 100 in a run of four successive legs to finally assert his dominance.
Second seed Wright hit back on tops and double one to claim two of the next three, but tops moved van Gerwen 15-12 up before he sealed the title with double 16.
Earlier in the day, Wright had made a brilliant comeback from 14-8 down to win his semi-final against Gary Anderson 16-15 before losing out in the decider, and conceded: “I’m gutted.
“I had my chance and didn’t take it, and that’s why he is number one in the world. Neither of us played our top game in the final and I was struggling throughout the match, but the best player won on the day.
“I had plenty of chances and didn’t play well in the final. I wasn’t good enough and I’m disappointed with the way I played — but I got to the final.
“I played some really nice games this week, and I can take positives from this.”