REIGNING Daventry darts champion Kevin Painter was knocked out of the Cash Converters Players Championship Finals by Michael van Gerwen as the tournament began on Friday, while World Champion Adrian Lewis picked up a first round win on a dramatic day.
Painter, who claimed glory 12 months ago by defeating Mark Webster in the final, lost out 6-3 in an entertaining contest against in-form World Grand Prix champion van Gerwen at the Butlins Minehead Resort.
Van Gerwen came from a leg down to lead 4-1, and though Painter finished 76 and 135 to hit back, the Dutchman sealed the win with a 13-darter.
“We both enjoyed the game and although I didn’t play as well as I wanted to, the most important thing was to win the game and I did that,” said van Gerwen. “I hit my doubles well later in the game and I’ll look forward to the second round now. It’s a new day and I hope I’ll do better.”