PDC European Tour: Joe Cullen defeated William O’Connor 8-2 in the Hungarian Darts Trophy final on Sunday to earn his third European Tour championship and fourth tournament of 2022.
The BOK Sportcsarnok witnessed some incredible darts over the course of three days of play during the PDC European Tour second visit to Budapest.
Cullen, the Premier League runner-up and Masters champion, took home the £25,000 top prize, securing his third European Tour victory and his first victory since the 2020 International Darts Open.
In order to advance in his challenge, “The Rockstar” had defeated Martin Lukeman in the second round on Saturday and Jim Williams in the third round on Sunday afternoon.
He then defeated Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 6-4 in the quarterfinals and outlasted Dave Chisnall’s three missed match darts in their semifinal before launching a 12-darter to win 7-6.
The final was where Cullen put on his most commanding performance, winning the first five legs without opposition and twice punishing O’Connor for missing doubles. He also posted a 13-dart leg, two 14-darters, and a 100 finish.
In response, “The Magpie” delivered a double 10 and a 124 finish to break with a brilliant 12-darter, but five more missed doubles in the following game let Cullen in to take a 6-2 lead.
After making 96 with an 11-darter, the World Series star moved closer to victory. Four more misses from the previous World Cup finalist then allowed him to win on double eight.
“I didn’t expect to come to Budapest and win, but I’m over the moon,” said Cullen.
“In my first three games I was terrible and a bit lucky to get through all three of them. Then I turned it on a little bit in the semis and I think I was pretty decent in the final.
“I kept Willie at bay, because I’d seen how well he played over the weekend and that’s what I had to do.”
After defeating Jose de Sousa and Nathan Aspinall on Sunday afternoon to go to his first European Tour final since 2018, O’Connor overcame a 5-3 deficit to upset Michael Smith in the third round.
“The fantastic crowd in Budapest is one of the best crowds I’ve ever seen,” said O’Connor. “If you told me before the weekend that I’d get to a final, I’d be absolutely ecstatic.
“Although it’s a disaster to lose in any final – it’s not nice – I don’t mind losing to Joe. He’s one of the best guys in the game and I wish him the very best in the future.”
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