Michael Smith’s hopes of reaching the final stages of the Unibet Premier Darts League are still alive despite losing one of his two games in the Rotterdam double header on Wednesday and Thursday.
The St Helens star of the oche bounced back from a 7-2 defeat at the hands close friend and mentor Gary Anderson to crush Aussie Simon Whitlock 7-1 and maintain fourth spot in the table - two points adrift of Anderson and Rob Cross and three behind leader and world no. 1 Michael van Gerwen.
Whitlock took the first leg but paid for missed doubles in two of the next four as Smith, helped by a 160 finish, pulled clear before landing a 12-darter and finishes of 65 and 86 to seal a comprehensive triumph.
“Losing to Gary the previous night knocked me back a bit and I knew I had to get the better of Simon,” said Bully Boy, who finishes seven of his 14 doubles in a powerful display.
He added: “I was a bit nervous and feeling a bit under pressure but the 180s started to flow and the doubles weren’t too bad either and I’m now a step closer to the play-offs.”
Smith’s next match will be against Peter Wright in Manchester on Thursday.
Finals night will be held at The O2, London, on Thursday, May 17, when the top four play-off for the title - the winner picking up £250,000 in prize money.
The runner-up will receive £120,000 and beaten semi-finalists £80,000.