Van Duijvenbode claims maiden PDC ranking title at PDC Super Series 3 with hard fought win over Kleermaker
It was the first time since February 2019 that two Dutch players have faced off in a Players Championship final and it delivered with a hard fought 8-6 win for 'The Aubergenius'.
Today he claimed victories over David Evans (6-3), Jelle Klaasen (6-2), Jeff Smith (6-4), Krzysztof Ratajski (6-4), Scott Mitchell (6-4) and Andy Boulton (7-5) before reaching the final where he met his compatriot.
Van Duijvenbode started on Kleermaker's throw with a 180 and pinned 56 on double nine last dart despite fluffing his lines initially on 80.
He followed that up with a hold to double his lead in the early going as despite messing up from 70, Kleermaker didn't offer resistance.
A 128 set up saw Van Duijvenbode first to a finish on Kleermaker's throw and he left double 20 with Kleermaker needing 109 but he pinned it in rapid fashion to halve the deficit.
He kicked into gear with a first 180 and pinned double 10 to break back and make it 2-2.
But Kleermaker's return to the foray was halted for the time being with double eight pinned by Van Duijvenbode to break straight back and take the lead at 3-2.
He watched as Kleermaker missed double 20 on 145 and Van Duijvenbode reopened the gap to 4-2.
Kleermaker responded with a hold on double six to make it 4-3. But he needed a break with Van Duijvenbode extending his lead to 5-3 with double eight pinned last dart in hand.
Van Duijvenbode missed 128 on double 10 for another break in a potentially pivotal moment and Kleermaker hung on hitting double 10 to make it 5-4.
The Aubergenius left 80 and blocked himself on double 20 for a hold but Kleermaker hit the wire of the bull and was made to rue the miss again as Van Duijvenbode went 6-4 up.
The latter left 66 meaning Kleermaker had to take out 78 and he made no mistake to make it 6-5.
Legs were running out and Kleermaker was first to a finish on Van Duijvenbode's throw with a 162 set up. He smashed in a 140 from there to break back and level it at 6-6.
He had the darts in two of the remaining three legs but Van Duijvenbode swung back with a 180 and was down to 128 to break back.
Kleermaker though hit a 180 and had a shot at 111 on double 20 and again Van Duijvenbode broke back and punished the mistake.
The Dutch Giant hit a 180 and 134 to leave 128 on Van Duijvenbode's throw to attempt to send it all the way.
He had seven chances from there to force a decider but was unable to take advantage and Van Duijvenbode finally pinned double 16 with his third match dart to claim victory.
Chas Barstow (85.2) 1 | 6 (88.5) Andy Boulton
Chris Dobey (102.8) 5 | 6 (102.6) Damon Heta
Scott Mitchell (96.1) 6 | 2 (88.1) Robert Thornton
Krzysztof Ratajski (89.6) 4 | 6 (93.0) Dirk van Duijvenbode
Jason Lowe (96.7) 5 | 6 (91.1) Rob Cross
Mensur Suljovic (95.1) 5 | 6 (95.0) Brendan Dolan
Michael Smith (85.2) 3 | 6 (93.3) Martijn Kleermaker
Lewis Williams (88.0) 1 | 6 (106.3) Ritchie Edhouse
Andy Boulton (96.4) 6 | 5 (96.2) Damon Heta
Scott Mitchell (95.7) 4 | 6 (92.5) Dirk van Duijvenbode
Rob Cross (90.9) 5 | 6 (93.2) Brendan Dolan
Martijn Kleermaker (88.5) 6 | 5 (96.1) Ritchie Edhouse
Andy Boulton (91.1) 5 | 7 (95.7) Dirk van Duijvenbode
Brendan Dolan (95.9) 5 | 7 (89.4) Martijn Kleermaker
Dirk van Duijvenbode (92.4) 8 | 6 (92.2) Martijn Kleermaker