World number one Gerwyn Price might not have been able to compete in this year’s Premier League of Darts, but Welsh fans needn’t have worried as The Iceman’s World Cup-winning partner, Jonny Clayton, scooped one of darts’ biggest prizes on Friday night when he won the 2021 PDC Darts Premier League.
Clayton, who considers darts to be a hobby, had been the last player to qualify for this year’s event when he won the 2021 Darts Masters back in January and was the lowest-ranked player in the PDC Order of Merit throughout. The Ferret has now won three PDC titles, two of which have been solo, in the past six months.
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Incredibly, Clayton was only in Premier League because he won the Masters, where he beat Michael van Gerwen and Jose De Sousa along the way, but was only competing in that due to a change of format that extended the field from 16 to 24 players.
Nevertheless, part time Clayton, the first Welsh champion of this event in its 17 year history, insists he will go back to work as a plasterer with Carmarthenshire council on Tuesday despite his recent unranked prize money cash injections courtesy of the PDC.
The 46-year-old took down the biggest prize of his life after he qualified for the playoffs at the last minute thanks to a winner takes all victory over fifth-placed Dimitri Van den Bergh before chalking up superb wins over Michael van Gerwen in the semi-final and then Jose de Sousa in the final at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.
Against MVG in the semis, Clayton beat the five-time champion 10-8 with an average of 103.25 and a checkout percentage of 62.5%. He then met Jose De Sousa, The Special One, in the final after the Portuguese beat Nathan Aspinall in his semi-final. Once at the final, the Ferret recorded an impressive 11-5 victory, posting an average of 100.18 compared to De Sousa’s 100.53. Clayton also pinned six of the match’s 13 180s.
Clayton has now won four titles this season, including the Players Championship, three more than any other darter so he won’t be ranked 17th in the world for very long. The former rugby player is now 10/1 with bet365 to win the Darts World Championships in January.
2021 PDC World Championship Darts Betting Odds
- Michael van Gerwen – 7/2
- Gerwyn Price – 7/2
- Peter Wright – 9/1
- Dimitri van den Bergh – 10/1
- Jonny Clayton – 10/1
- Jose de Sousa – 14/1
- Nathan Aspinall – 20/1
- Michael Smith – 25/1
- Gary Anderson – 20/1
- Dave Chisnall – 40/1
- James Wade – 33/1