By Alex Moss
5 MARCH 2017 •11:36PM
The wait is finally over. Peter Wright has won his first major title after beating Gerwyn Price 11-6 in the Coral UK Open final tonight.
For all the talk from Wright during the tournament about this year’s UK Open not being a ‘major’ because of the absence of Michael van Gerwen (back injury) and Phil Taylor (did not enter), you could see just how much winning this event means to him.
The promise he made to himself not to cry was broken. As Wright tried to hold back the tears moments after winning the final, his emotions got the better of him as years and years of hard work and dedication were rewarded with his maiden TV title.
As a Wright fan myself, it has been equally both pleasing and frustrating to see his rise in the PDC over the last three or four years.
Pleasing because of the journey he has gone on to get to where he is now. Few people know that before the start of the 2014 PDC World Championship, a tournament in which he reached the final of to kick start his rapid climb to the upper echelons of the sport, it really was make or break for Wright.
If he didn’t reach the latter stages that was it. The money he was using had ran out and this was his last chance to break through and announce himself on the world stage.
Of course, we all know how the tournament unfolded, with Wright going all the way to the final, where he was beaten by van Gerwen. Wright took home a life-changing cheque for £100,000 for finishing as the runner-up, was selected as a wildcard for the Premier League, and has been one of the top players in the PDC ever since.
The only thing missing for Wright has been a major title victory. The frustrating part has been the numerous defeats he has suffered, most of which at the hands of van Gerwen, over the last few years.
The World Championship final defeat has been followed by defeats in the finals of the UK Open (twice), World Series of Darts Finals (twice) and the World Cup of Darts, as well as finishing second best in World Series events in Japan and Dubai.
But the unwanted moniker of being ‘the best player never to win a major’ is no longer in Wright’s possession. Many critics and fans have said it was only a matter of time before he won his first title on television, well now the question will be: now that he has won his first, how many more can he win?
Yes, van Gerwen, the world number one and best player on the planet, was not at Minehead this weekend. But when MVG does return to action he will come up against a much different Peter Wright.
Instead of facing Peter Wright: the perennial bridesmaid in TV finals, van Gerwen will be taking on Peter Wright: major winner. And a major winner who is producing the best darts of his career right now.
Aside from a disappointing weekend in the Masters and the disastrous defeat to van Gerwen in the Premier League, Wright has otherwise consistently produced some excellent darts so far in 2017.
This UK Open is already the fourth title Wright has got his hands on this year, adding to three UK Open Qualifier victories last month. Now that he has ended his search for a first TV title, expect Wright now to go on and win plenty more before his colourful Mohawk is replaced by a wig!