ST HELENS darter Stephen Bunting has won his first ever televised PDC title after defeating Michael van Gerwen 11-7 to win the Cazoo Masters final in Milton Keynes.

The former BDO World Champion has been hunting a big prize ever since switching to the PDC - and after so many near misses and heartbreaks he finaly has one.

The Windle-based thrower has been on form for several months and attacked this tournament with confidence.


After beating World Champion and World number one Luke Humphries yesterday, The Bullet continued his fine form today.

He demolished Peter Wright 10-2 in the quarter finals before an even more emphatic win over Nathan Aspinall in the semis, winning 11-1.

That set up a finale with the multi-world title winner van Gerwen.

St Helens Star:

Bunting - featuring in his first televised PDC final since the 2014 Sydney Darts Masters - has enjoyed an impressive resurgence over the last 18 months, and crowned that revival with a superb 11-7 victory over Van Gerwen at the Marshall Arena.

Bunting had recovered from 5-2 down to deny Ross Smith in Friday’s first round, and he produced a quartet of ton-plus checkouts to topple World Champion Luke Humphries in Saturday's second round.

The former Lakeside Champion continued his clinical combination finishing on Finals Day, sweeping aside Peter Wright and Nathan Aspinall in emphatic style.

Bunting produced 104, 121 and 122 checkouts to dispatch 2020 champion Wright 10-2 in Sunday’s opening quarter-final, averaging almost 101 to send the Scottish veteran packing.

The 38-year-old then put in another dominant display to demolish World Matchplay champion Aspinall, reeling off ten consecutive legs to celebrate a milestone 11-1 win.

However, he saved his best performance for Sunday’s showpiece, averaging 102 and landing eight 180s to topple Van Gerwen in a high-quality final.

“I’m lost for words,” admitted an emotional Bunting, who had only won four of his previous 26 meetings against the three-time World Champion.

“To do it front of a crowd that were chanting my name from the minute I stepped foot in Milton Keynes means so much to me.

“I’m really happy. This just shows my hard work is paying off, and it’s a great start to the season. Hopefully I can push on from this.

“My main aim when I moved over from the BDO was to win big titles, but you’re playing the best of the best, and you’re going to be pushed all the way.

“Michael is a multiple World Champion. He’s a fantastic player. I’ve beaten Luke Humphries this weekend, and I’ve beaten Peter Wright and Nathan Aspinall - all Premier League players.

“That is where I want to get my game back to so let’s see what happens in the future, but I really think I deserve this trophy.”

Sunday’s decider began with five comfortable holds of throw, which included Bunting pinning an 81 combination on the bull for a 12-darter in leg five.

Following two further holds, Bunting secured the game’s first break of throw in leg eight, converting a two-dart 88 finish to move 5-3 ahead inside 11 darts.

The Bullet then created a three-leg buffer with a crucial 83 finish on the bull, although Van Gerwen responded superbly with three straight legs of his own – including a double-double 92 – to level at six apiece.

The pair exchanged holds before Bunting edged back ahead, following up a terrific 177 set-up shot by rounding off a 13-dart hold on tops to make it 8-7.

Bunting extended his lead after Van Gerwen squandered three darts to restore parity at 8-8, before firing in back-to-back 180s and completing an 11-dart hold to move to the cusp of glory at 10-7.

The St Helens star did surrender a 9-6 lead against the Dutchman in November’s Players Championship Finals, but there was no repeat on this occasion as he wrapped up a famous victory with a 14-darter on tops

2024 Cazoo Masters.

Sunday, February 4 Quarter-Finals.

Stephen Bunting 10-2 Peter Wright.

Nathan Aspinall 10-9 Daryl Gurney.

Michael van Gerwen 10-4 Dave Chisnall.

Dimitri Van den Bergh 10-7 Damon Heta.


Stephen Bunting 11-1 Nathan Aspinall.

Michael van Gerwen 11-2 Dimitri Van den Bergh.


Stephen Bunting 11-7 Michael van Gerwen.