Michael van Gerwen has not exactly joined the pantheon of Masters champions. As one of only three winners, it is more of a well-furnished shed.

Van Gerwen has well and truly stamped his mark on this tournament. An 11-8 win over Raymond van Barneveld made it four Masters titles in a row for Mighty Mike. A 105 average, his 23rd straight ton-plus TV average, sealed the deal. The world number one expressed his delight at kicking off 2018 in style.

“I think this is the perfect start to the year. I played a good tournament and hit some big averages against some great players,” he said.

“Everyone wants a good start to the year and I’ve started well.”

Van Gerwen paid tribute to compatriot van Barneveld, who led 4-1 and 8-5 in the final.

“Raymond had a phenomenal tournament, he played well in the final and he didn’t give a lot away. When you give him a finger he takes your hand, but I’m glad that I fought back,” van Gerwen said.

“I’m trying my best all the time and I want to win every tournament that I play in, so I’m really glad that I can take this trophy home.”

The Masters was the first event of the 2018 major calendar, and the first major since the World Championship. Van Gerwen’s dreams of a third world title were shattered in a thrilling semi-final defeat to Rob Cross. But the Green Machine insists he is now over the pain of failure.

“I had a big disappointment in the World Championship but you need to be strong. I went on holiday and came back stronger and I’m really proud of myself. I’d like to have more days like this,” he said.

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Author: Edward McCosh