“It’s amazing to get this title in front of an audience. We all miss the fans,” says Cullen
Last update: 10/26/20 12:38 pm
Michael van Gerwen was overwhelmed by Joe Cullen in the final of the International Darts Open when the Yorkshireman won his second title on the European Tour on Sunday in Riesa.
Cullen defeated Van Gerwen 8: 5 in the final of the European Darts Matchplay 2019 last September and repeated the trick by winning in front of the German fans after the same number of points in the Sachsenarena.
The win also means that Cullen will lead the final European Tour 2020 Order of Merit and enter the European Championship as number one.
“It was the same score as last time [the 2019 European Darts Matchplay] but the difference this time around was that Michael just wasn’t going, “admitted Cullen.
“It was lucky for me that he didn’t because if he had it would have been a different game.
“I didn’t think I was too great either. It’s a confidence builder, but I honestly don’t think I played this tournament well.
“That means I was most likely against Ross [Smith] in the quarterfinals. I’ve done just enough to win every game.
“It’s amazing to get this title in front of an audience. We all miss the fans.”
GET BEAUTY IN THERE !! ????????
Overjoyed to finally get my first Euro Tour title! And beating the captain in the final makes it even better! Great on and next to the oche @ MvG180 pic.twitter.com/Yx0oSxZRbh
– Joe Cullen (@ rockstar_13_) September 9, 2019
Cullen scored both world number 1 and world number 1 in the finals and finished the game averaging almost six points more than his opponent.
Van Gerwen, who had grown into the tournament after two subpar performances in his first two games, got off to an ideal start with a 116 box office, but it was Cullen who took the first break with a 13-dart leg take a 4 -2 leadership.
It was a lead that Cullen never nearly gave up when he held a throw three times without Van Gerwen attempting to break a double before pausing 14-darts in the final leg and pinning the doubles top for the grand prize of Secure £ 25,000.
Drive home bitterly disappointed in me. My finishing wasn’t good enough and what I’m expecting from myself.
Full credit to @ rockstar_13_ to win his second title. Well done buddy.
Now my focus is on the next weekend and getting it right there.
Thank you for the support ???????? pic.twitter.com/defARCpvRB
– Michael Van Gerwen (@ MvG180) October 25, 2020
Van Gerwen ended the year without a title on the European Tour and finished fifth for the European Championship.
The Dutchman then took to Twitter to pay tribute to Cullen, but admitted he was “bitterly disappointed”.
“I drove home bitterly disappointed. My goal wasn’t good enough and what I expect from myself,” said the world number 1.
Find out about darts news every day at skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts.