The Second Auckland Darts Masters 'A Huge Success'
The Second Auckland Darts Masters, Presented by TAB and Burger King, 'A Huge Success'
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: The second Auckland Darts Masters, presented by TAB and Burger King, has been hailed a huge success following Gary Anderson's triumph over Adrian Lewis in Sunday's final.
Auckland's Trusts Arena had staged the inaugural PDC World Series of Darts event in New Zealand in August 2015 when Lewis picked up the title in thrilling fashion, live on Sky Sport.
The second staging of the event proved an even more dramatic three days, with world number one van Gerwen and the legendary 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor being knocked out in Saturday's quarter-final by top-class performances from James Wade and Lewis respectively.
Lewis, though, was unable to retain his title as he lost 11-7 to World Champion Anderson in the final, as the Scottish hero took the win.
With over 11,000 supporters attending the Auckland Darts Masters across the three days, Anderson said: "It's been absolutely brilliant and the fans have been fantastic.
"I loved it in New Zealand last year and again this time - and I'll be back next year too."
Lewis also paid tribute to the fancy-dress clad New Zealand crowd, adding: "The fans were fantastic and I want to thank them.
"Everybody played well and it was a great tournament, and I think everybody's happy with their performance."
Focus has already turned to the third Auckland Darts Masters, which is set to be held in August 2017 as the PDC prepare to return to New Zealand.
Former world number one Rod Harrington, who was commentating at the tournament, said: "It been an absolutely sensational tournament and there's no question that the standard was up there with anything we've ever seen before.
"The four quarter-finals were games of the highest quality, and in the semi-finals and finals it felt like every other throw was a 180! The fans responded to that too and you could see that they loved every minute of the game.
"The World Series of Darts is about growing the sport internationally, and not only was this great experience for the eight New Zealand and Australian qualifiers, but it also showed them and everyone else down here the standard you need to reach to compete at the top level."
The Auckland Darts Masters has also led to a nationwide offer from sponsors Burger King giving New Zealanders a special offer of $2 Cheeseburgers and $3 Whoppers from Monday-Friday (June 20-24) as a result of over 80 maximum 180s being hit during the event - with the final tally being a whopping 108!