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20th Dec 2023

“I’ve told him that” – Michael van Gerwen dismisses Gerwyn Price’s “nonsense” claim about fans

Patrick McCarry

Michael van Gerwen

“With all due respect… “

Michael van Gerwen powered into the last 32 of the PDC World Championship, but not before a mini scare from a County Meath flinger, and a snap back at Gerwyn Price.

Keane Barry was putting it up to MVG in their eliminator but the Irish star’s inability to close out legs by hitting doubles (he was 2 for 16 on double attempts) was his downfall.

Having lost the opening set, Barry was one leg up in the second and had a great chance to double that advantage. He required 124, with van Gerwen back on 167. All he could manage was 52, leaving the Dutch maestro with 167 to get back in the set. Sure enough, MVG hit triple-20, triple-19 and bullseye to steal a classic back-and-forth.

“You are kidding me!” exclaimed Wayne Mardle, on Sky Sports. “Keane Barry, will be thinking, ‘You are kidding me!’

That was the beginning of the end for Keane Barry. He averaged just under 96 for his three-darts but could not get the big check-outs and Michael van Gerwen marches on. He’ll be back after Christmas, when the big field is reduced to 32 players.

The 34-year-old is aiming for his fourth PDC world title and was far from happy with his 3-0 win over Barry. When the Sky Sports presenter started to wax lyrical about how he closed out the game, van Gerwen interrupted, “I wouldn’t say fantastic. I wouldn’t say that.”

“With the finishing I’m pleased and after the first set I felt well and thought I could punish him a bit more,” he added. “But my scoring wasn’t there yet. I could have done a lot more. I’m a little bit disappointed with my scoring but the most important thing is I won my first game.

“I did okay. I’m pleased with my game, the way I threw and I was focused. Don’t get me wrong it’s my first match and no one wants to lose. There’s a lot of pressure on me and the other top boys but most importantly I will see everyone after Christmas again.”

The message was clear – MVG was through to the next stage after nearly averaging 100 for his three darts and being better than 60% on his check-outs, but convinced he could go up several levels yet.

Gerwyn Price

Michael van Gerwen was asked, following his win over Barry, about Gerwyn Price’s recent comments. The Welshman, a former world champ himself, stated that he had been considering skipping this year’s event due to boos and cat-calls he received last year.

“What?” replied van Gerwen. “Next question. That’s nonsense.”

Van Gerwen was told by another reporter that Price had even suggested some of the boos directed at him could be because of how he has been disparaging of him, in the past. He replied:

“With all due respect,” the Dutchman declared, “Gezzy can blame himself a little bit for all the boos. And I’ve told him that.”

Price is in the top half of the 2024 draw, with No.2 seed van Gerwen in the bottom, so we may have to wait until late in the championship to see them potentially collide.

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