Michael van Gerwen fired a warning to his rivals last night with a 13-2 victory over Jamie Lewis in the second round of the World Matchplay at Winter Gardens.
"Mighty Mike" was in devastating form averaging 110.93, the fourth-highest in the tournament's history, as he swept aside his Welsh opponent.
The bookies' favourite for the title hit an 11- dart finish, two 12-darters and four 14-dart legs on his way to the next round. He also narrowly missed a 170 checkout in the eleventh but still looked as formidable and ruthless as ever.
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And after the tie van Gerwen told the PDC's official website: "It's a statement to myself and the rest of the players. Jamie was scoring okay but I didn't give him any chances and my finishing went in brilliantly, and I want to keep going like this.
"You don't do this average every day and it makes it a bit special - but it was only one game."
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The Dutchman will now face Ian White after the "Diamond" beat Aussie Simon Whitlock 13-9. After trailing 9-6, White won seven successive legs to secure his place in the quarter finals.
"I thought I was dead and buried at 9-6 and it just wasn't going right for me," said White.
"But I wanted to take one leg at a time, and when I got back to nine-all I knew I could do it."
And van Gerwen said he won't be getting complacent ahead of Thursday's quarter final:
"I'm already looking forward to Thursday against Ian White and I want to concentrate on that and make sure I perform really well."
Meanwhile Adrian Lewis was sent crashing out of the tournament, losing 13-10 to Welshman Gerwyn Price. The number four seed was beaten by the "Iceman" whose darting career is only 18 months old having become a professional after quitting rugby.
Price hit eight maximums and held his nerve on a number of occasions to set up a quarter final with Peter Wright who had earlier beaten Andrew Gilding 13-7.
Tonight Phil Taylor will look to extend his 36 match winning streak in the competition when he faces Andy Hamilton in an all-Stoke affair the before the 2007 champion James Wade takes on Brendan Dolan. Gary Anderson and Dave Chisnall are also in action, they take on Mensur Suljovic and Keegan Brown respectively.
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