Van Barneveld claims first PDC ranking title since 2013 as dream comeback continues with PDC Super Series Day Three win over Cullen
The dream comeback continues for the five time World Champion as he won through 8-6 against 'The Rockstar' who has been in brilliant form over recent months.
But the day belongs to the doyen of the Dutch darts who won through at Q-School and has proved his doubters wrong by doing it when it matters on the ProTour today.
To begin the tie, 136 left Cullen on double 14 and he pinned it after Van Barneveld missed a dart at 116 and an early break went the way of the Bradford ace.
A 174 left 40 for Cullen to hold with Barney unable to hit his signature 156.
Van Barneveld hit double 10 though to halve the deficit and hold his throw early on but needed to look at the Cullen throw to level.
But he couldn't do so with Cullen throwing a 180 and double four for a 3-1 lead.
Van Barneveld missed double 16 for a 143 checkout to hold but was back for double eight which he pinned to make it 3-2.
Cullen went for a 170 checkout when he didn't need to but wasn't made to pay as he pinned double four last dart in hand to restore a two-leg cushion at 4-2.
Van Barneveld missed double 16 for a 146 when he was under pressure to hold but Cullen missed three clear at double 16 himself.
As a result, the Dutch legend made it 4-3 to hold. Cullen wired tops for a 160 finish, before Van Barneveld stepped in to pin D16 for a break of throw and to make it 4-4.
A stunning 119 checkout on the bull with Van Barneveld sat on 24 saw the break of throw ironed out and momentum in the favour of Cullen again.
Van Barneveld returned though with a showstopper of his own with a 144 checkout to make it 5-5.
A 180 all in the bottom corner saw Van Barneveld look to hit the front and despite messing up off a 61, he was offered a reprieve which he took on double one to go 6-5 up.
Six darts were missed at double 12 by Cullen but two at double 16 from 52 saw 'The Rockstar' handed a lifeline of his own which he took on double two.
Cullen began 180-140 on Van Barneveld's throw and was first to a finish after a 134 left 47 with Van Barneveld on 180.
The Bradford ace couldn't capitalise though missing two darts at double 16 and an 80 checkout saw Barney go one away.
Van Barneveld missed double 12 for a 104 checkout to win on Cullen's throw but he was given three more as Cullen missed two at double five.
Barney missed three more though but Cullen was tense as well and the five-time World Champion returned for double three.
PDC Super Series Day Three (Players Championship Three) Results
Joe Cullen (100.2) 6 | 0 (91.3) Daryl Gurney
Devon Petersen (96.3) 4 | 6 (98.7) Krzysztof Ratajski
José de Sousa (92.1) 3 | 6 (95.7) Jonny Clayton
Eddie Lovely (89.4) 0 | 6 (93.9) Danny Noppert
Darius Labanauskas (91.0) 1 | 6 (105.7) Raymond van Barneveld
Alan Soutar (94.7) 6 | 4 (90.6) Keane Barry
Peter Wright (98.7) 4 | 6 (87.9) Glen Durrant
James Wade (98.9) 3 | 6 (103.7) Ian White
Joe Cullen (104.9) 6 | 2 (97.3) Krzysztof Ratajski
Jonny Clayton (103.0) 4 | 6 (96.7) Danny Noppert
Raymond van Barneveld (98.6) 6 | 2 (91.3) Alan Soutar
Glen Durrant (86.3) 1 | 6 (96.6) Ian White
Joe Cullen (95.7) 7 | 3 (94.2) Danny Noppert
Raymond van Barneveld (100.5) 7 | 3 (97.7) Ian White
Joe Cullen (95.5) 6 | 8 (94.4) Raymond van Barneveld