Full Name: Michael van Gerwen
Date of Birth: April 25th, 1989
Place of Birth: Boxtel, Netherlands
Michael van Gerwen became the youngest player in history to win a major televised event when he lifted the 2006 Winmau World Masters at just 17 years of age. In 2005, he won youth titles including the German Open, Swedish Open and the Dutch National Youth Championship. He also won the men’s titles in Norway and Northern Ireland.
He quickly got to third in the BDO/WDF World Rankings, reaching the semi-finals of the Bavaria World Darts Trophy in 2006. He won the Winmau World Masters in the same year to become the youngest ever champion at the age of 17 years and 174 days. He made the switch to the Professional Darts Corporation in 2007.
He made his PDC debut at the Stan James Players Championships in Gibraltar and went on to defeat World Champion Phil Taylor 3-0 at the Masters of Darts tournament. He was eventually beaten by Van Barneveld in the semi-final, but not before he had achieved a perfect nine dart finish. Van Gerwen gained his first tournament in the Players Championship in Taunton in 2009.
Van Gerwen was presented with the PDC Young Player of the Year Award for winning four PDC Unicorn Youth Tour events during 2011. He made it to the last 16 of the PDC World Championship for the first time in 2012 before losing to Simon Whitlock. He won the second UK Open qualifier of the season, defeating Dave Chisnall 6-1 in the final. He also won the eighth Players Championship event in June by beating Whitlock 6–1 in the final and won five legs in a row against the same player at the World Matchplay. He then defeated Steve Beaton in the last 16, throwing the fourth nine-dart finish in the tournament’s history during a 13-9 victory. He was beaten in the quarter-final by James Wade.
Van Gerwen claimed his third title of the year came at the 11th Players Championship, where he defeated Ian White 6–1 in the final. He picked up another Players Championship success when defeating Robert Thornton 6–5. He then won his first PDC major title at the World Grand Prix, beating Mervyn King 6-4 in the final after fighting back from 4-1 down. The £100,000 prize saw him rise to number eight in the world rankings, overtaking his compatriot Raymond van Barneveld. The following week he won the Players Championship with victory over Nick Fullwell 6–3 in the final. He won six of his seven league matches only to be defeated 6-5 by Steve Beaton in the semi-finals. He immediately claimed another Players Championship title, fighting back from 4-0 down to beat Ian White 6-5.
Van Gerwen stunned Phil Taylor at the Grand Slam of Darts, beating him 10-5 to end a five-year, 15 game losing streak against the word number one. He then beat Scott Waites in the quarter-finals and Dean Winstanley in the semi-finals before losing 16-14 to Van Barneveld in the final. He won his eighth tournament of the year at the final Players Championship, beating Taylor in the final. Van Gerwen went out of the Finals to Hamilton 10-8 after establishing a 4-0 lead.
In the 2013 World Championship, Van Gerwen defeated reigning two-time world champion Adrian Lewis in the quarter-finals. He then hit a nine-dart finish in his semi-final clash with Wade and just failed with a double 12 in the very next leg. He would have become the first player in history to make back-to-back nine dart finishes. He eventually came through the 6–4 winner to meet Taylor in the final. Van Gerwen led 2–0 and 4–2, but Taylor fought back to win the next five sets to win the title.