Michael van Gerwen has reached the second round of the Players Championship Finals on Friday evening. The Dutchman in the English Minehead was too strong for Luke Humphries: 6-3.
Thirty-year-old Van Gerwen initially had little to fear from Humphries. The number one in the world nicely threw 170 in the fourth leg, giving it a 4-0 lead. Humphries fought back nicely by grabbing the three following legs, but a comeback did not materialize.
Van Gerwen hunts for his fifth title in the Player Championship Finals, after he won the tournament in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017. De Brabander is waiting for Adrian Lewis in the second round.
Last year, Van Gerwen lost the final to Daryl Gurney, who saw his title-hunt hunt stranded in the first round. The Northern Irishman surprisingly fell against Luke Woodhouse: 5-6. The 31-year-old Englishman, number 71 on the PDC Order of Merit, made his debut on a television tournament against Gurney.
Noppert and Van der Voort also continue
Earlier on Friday, Danny Noppert and Vincent van der Voort reached the next round. The 28-year-old Noppert was just too strong for Ryan Searle (6-5) and the 15-year-old Van der Voort settled with Arron Monk (6-4).
Jelle Klaasen, Jeffrey de Zwaan and Jermaine Wattimena were eliminated. Klaasen lost 3-6 to the German Max Hopp, De Zwaan had to acknowledge his superior in Simon Whitlock (5-6) after an exciting game and Wattimena was no match for the strong throwing Jamie Hughes (3-6).