Michael van Gerwen almost had a perfect weekend in Barnsley.

The world number one blew the field away at Players Championship 1 and 2 at the weekend. Victory in both events earned van Gerwen his fourth and fifth ranking title of 2018, and £20,000 more to add to his formidable earnings. But it could have been even better. The Dutch ace narrowly missed out on a nine-darter twice. An attempt at perfection went awry in a win over Ryan Searle. As shown in the below video, Mighty Mike almost hit the nine against Adrian Lewis.

Van Gerwen blasted in consecutive 180s to set up a 141 finish for the fabled nine. Treble 20 and treble 19 were found, but his ninth dart fell well short of the double 12. He did not live to regret the miss. Double six went in for a ten-dart leg, as he thrashed Lewis 6-2. The Green Machine has already hit one nine-darter this year, at UK Open Qualifying 3 against Jermaine Wattimena.

Based on his reaction, the two-time world champion was not remotely bothered by his near miss. He now switches his attention to a meeting with Daryl Gurney in Berlin on Week Four of the Premier League.

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Author: Edward McCosh