NEW Cazoo Masters champion Stephen Bunting has posted a picture of himself waking up with the trophy he won last night in Milton Keynes.

The St Helens arrows ace delivered the performance of his lifetime to end his Michael van Gerwen hoodoo and finally claim a first major PDC televised title with victory at the Cazoo Masters.


It has been a long time coming for the 38-year-old former BDO World Champion, who has never previously got past a semi-final since switching to the PDC and has endured a particularly torrid time against Van Gerwen.

This morning he posted a picture of himself on X (formerly Twitter) and wrote: “It wasn’t a dream. Honestly woke up every hour through the night to keep checking the trophy was still there.

“So proud of my performances this weekend. I would just like to thank all the fans, my family, management and all my sponsors. Without you guys this would never be possible. Love you all xxx Bunting defeated van Gerwen in the Milton Keynes final, securing an 11-7 victory in a career-high moment.

He had laid a marker down with a stunning 11-1 win over Nathan Aspinall in the semi-final and returned to boss a pulsating final, landing eight 180s and averaging 102.5.

"It means a lot, I have been in the PDC for a lot of years now, I promised myself I wasn't going to cry again on telly, this means an awful lot, the practice is paying off," he said. "I am lost for words.

"To eventually get over the line in a major tournament is surreal. I'll wake up tomorrow and think it's a dream. I have put a lot of hard work in over the years.

"Everything I have been doing behind the scenes has paid off. You have always got to dream and believe, even in the darkest days.

"Michael had won so many games against me, he smashed me in the worlds. It shows now that the belief is there and I have a never give up attitude."

It is just the sort of success Bunting needs as he presses on with his aim of getting back in the Premier League.