Luke Littler’s rise to stardom continued on Monday as he won the first PDC Players Championship event of 2024 on his Pro Tour debut.
Luke Littler has marked his Pro Tour debut by winning the first Players Championship event of the 2024 PDC season.
On the back of his run to the final at the World Championship, the 17-year-old has remained in the headlines by winning the Bahrain Masters and impressing on his Premier League debut.
However, starting the day at 31st place in the PDC Order of Merit, Littler must perform on the PDC Pro Tour in order to qualify for July’s World Matchplay, starting several months behind his rivals on the Pro Tour standings.
Victory on Monday has provided him with every chance of making it to the Winter Gardens, though, with the teenager edging out Ryan Searle by an 8-7 scoreline in one of the highest-standard finals ever seen in the sport.
Incredibly, 14 of the 15 legs were in 15 darts or fewer, the biggest lead being by a two-leg margin for Littler at the start of the match, before Searle came from 7-5 down to force a decider.
Littler would hold in 13 darts, however, and finished the contest with a 109.64 average, Searle recording a 111.71 average in defeat.
LUKE LITTLER WINS AT PC1! 🏆☢️
On his Players Championship debut, 17-year-old sensation Luke Littler, has WON THE TITLE! 🤯
With a 110 average and hitting seven 180s, he comes through a thriller of a final to defeat Ryan Searle in a deciding leg!
Generational talent 🌟 pic.twitter.com/Ehd6rfbtST
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) February 12, 2024
In his first five matches, Littler dropped just 10 legs, hitting a nine-darter to see off the challenge of Italian debutant Michele Turetta – who had knocked out top seed Dave Chisnall in the first round – in the last 32.
Littler came from behind to record a 7-6 triumph over Alan Soutar in the semi-final before getting the better of Searle to end the day in 31st place in the race for the World Matchplay when requiring a top-16 spot.
Many of the sport’s biggest names had been eliminated by the quarter-finals, the highest seed remaining being 18th seed Searle, with Dutch youngster Gian van Veen also getting to the last four.