109 average Luke Littler edges 111 average Ryan Searle in Pro Tour classic to take debut Players Championship title

The question beforehand was not whether Luke Littler was going to win a Players Championship title this year, but when. After the first Players Championship tournament of the season, Littler could already give a definitive answer to that question. 'The Nuke' had a dream entrance on the Pro Tour circuit and immediately started the floor season by winning his first ranking title.

Littler qualified for the final after victories over successively Jim Williams (6-1), Luke Woodhouse (6-3), Michele Turetta (6-1), Cameron Menzies (6-2), James Hurrell (6-3) and Alan Soutar (7-6). Moreover, the Englishman managed to throw a nine-darter in his third round match against Turetta.

In the final, Littler faced his English compatriot Ryan Searle. This final ended up going into the books as one of the best Pro Tour finals ever. Littler recorded an average of 109.64, while Searle even threw 111.74 average.

Thanks to two 13-darters, Littler took a 2-0 lead. The 17-year-old teenage sensation held that break for a long time, until Searle broke back with a 12-darter in the 14th leg. That made it 7-7 and moreover 'Heavy Metal' could start the last leg.

Searle could find only one treble in the first two visits, while Littler was off to a good start with scores of 180 and 125. Searle came back well, but could not prevent Littler from taking the title with a 13-darter.

Littler can put this title to good use because despite his spot in the World Championship final, he was still at zero in the qualifying race for major tournaments such as the World Matchplay and World Grand Prix. With this title, Littler has already bridged more than half the gap on the final spots in the qualifying race.

Results Players Championship 1

Last 16

Luke Littler (108.99) 6 | 2 (95.31) Cameron Menzies

James Hurrell (93.75) 6 | 3 (89.23) Jamie Hughes

Alan Soutar (92.04) 6 | 1 (91.88) Lee Evans

Nick Kenny (97.62) 6 | 5 (88.62) Mickey Mansell

Ryan Searle (99.10) 6 | 0 (86.83) Mike De Decker

Jose De Sousa (93.28) 6 | 5 (94.08) Nathan Aspinall

Brendan Dolan (86.93) 6 | 4 (81.38) Ricardo Pietreczko

Gian van Veen (92.87) 6 | 5 (89.17) Kim Huybrechts


Luke Littler (100.65) 6 | 3 (91.52) James Hurrell

Alan Soutar (93.95) 6 | 5 (90.40) Nick Kenny

Ryan Searle (93.10) 6 | 2 (93.38) Jose De Sousa

Gian van Veen (97.20) 6 | 5 (95.62) Brendan Dolan


Luke Littler (89.70) 7 | 6 (88.85) Alan Soutar

Ryan Searle (92.00) 7 | 3 (81.57) Gian van Veen


Luke Littler (109.64) 8 | 7 (111.71) Ryan Searle

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