Jonny Clayton became a PDC TV event winner for the first time on Sunday evening as he defeated Mervyn King to win the 2021 Masters. Clayton, who defeated Michael van Gerwen in the event for the second consecutive year in the second round of the competition, will become the tenth player in the Premier League line-up as a result of his victory.
Clayton capped off what was a very impressive few days in which he averaged 102.66 across the tournament with a win in the final against the 2014 finalist. Many backed King to finally get over the line and win his first PDC major after impressive showings against Glen Durrant, Rob Cross, Nathan Aspinall and Gerwyn Price, but it wasn’t to be as Clayton hit 65% of his doubles in an impressive showing. Clayton won a team TV event, the World Cup of Darts, last year along with Gerwyn Price, but this was his first singles crown. As well as joining an elite group of major winners, he bags himself £60,000 and a place in the 2021 Premier League, where he will join world champion Price and 8 others. The two finalists were not told until after the game that the match was a de-facto knockout for the tenth spot in the competition, so it was an added bonus for the Welshman.
In his first event since becoming world champion, Gerwyn Price certainly didn’t look to be adversely affected by his new status and performed well, falling victim to King in one of 9 matches in the event to go all the way. His next test will come in a series of Players Championships later this month, before the UK Open in March. For Michael van Gerwen, however, it was more disappointment as he lost out in the second round of the event to Clayton. Preparing to try a new setup on the floor later in February, MvG may not have placed too much pressure on this one, but a strong showing would have been a good marker for 2021 as he fights to regain his world number one spot.
Nonetheless, the story of the weekend was Jonny Clayton, and his success proves a great advert for the upcoming Qualifying School, with Clayton a graduate of the 2015 Q-School. Hopefully, he will get something which resembles the Premier League experience when the event begins later this year.
Image Credits: PDC