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Van Barneveld ends three-year wait for PDC ranking title

Raymond van Barneveld ended his three-year wait for a PDC ranking title as he stormed to victory in Players Championship 5 in Hildesheim.

The 56-year-old Dutchman thrashed Stephen Bunting 8-1 to wrap up a victory which is also likely to secure his qualification for the World Championship later this year.

Van Barneveld eased through a one-sided contest against Bunting but had been forced to battle hard for his place in the final.

He beat former world champion Michael Smith 6-3 in the last 16 despite Smith summoning a barely-acknowledged nine-darter in the fourth leg of the match.

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During the last 16 of the Players Championship 5, Michael Smith hit nine perfect darts against opponent Raymond van Barneveld but neither of them celebrated Bully Boy’s amazing feat! Credit: @OfficialPDC

Van Barneveld then beat James Hurrell 6-3 before edging a 7-6 win over old foe Gary Anderson in the semi-final, saving two match darts in the process.

After his victory, Van Barneveld tweeted saying: “Thank you for all the congratulations on the win of PC5 today.

“I have worked extremely hard for this and to see the results today finally pay off feels amazing.

“Don’t think they wanted to give me the [mic] after last time.”

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