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World Darts Championship: The Perfect Leg - All Nine-Dart Finishes
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World Darts Championship: 9-Dart Perfection

Requiring nine perfect darts to take out a score of 501, the nine-dart finish is the ultimate darting achievement.

There's no finer privilege as a darts fan than watching a player execute the perfect leg. A nine-dart finish anywhere is an incredible accomplishment but to do it at the Alexandra Palace is a special feat.

We've ran through the history of the nine-dart finish at the World Darts Championship.

World Championship: Every 9-dart finish

Paul Lim (v Jack McKenna)1990
Raymond van Barneveld (v Jelle Klaasen)2009
Raymond van Barneveld (v Brendan Dolan)2010
Adrian Lewis (v Gary Anderson)2011
Dean Winstanley (v Vincent van der Voort)2013
Michael van Gerwen (v James Wade)2013
Terry Jenkins (v Per Laursen)2014
Kyle Anderson (v Ian White)2014
Adrian Lewis (v Raymond van Barneveld)2015
Gary Anderson (v Jelle Klaasen)2016
James Wade (v Stephen Bunting)2021
William Borland (v Bradley Brooks)2022
Darius Labanauskas (v Mike De Decker)2022
Gerwyn Price (v Michael Smith)2022
Michael Smith (v Michael van Gerwen)2023

World Championship 9-dart history

The iconic Paul Lim was the first player to hit a nine-dart finish at the BDO World Championships, two years before the PDC was formed.

We had to wait 19 years before the second one as Raymond van Barneveld delivered the perfect leg against compatriot Jelle Klaasen. Only Van Barneveld and Adrian Lewis have hit two nine-darters in World Championship history, with Barney repeating the feat a year later against Brendan Dolan to send the Barney Army into a frenzy.

Jackpot recorded his first 9-dart finish in the 2011 final against Gary Anderson and was at it once again in 2015 against Van Barneveld, although the Dutchman did come out on top in their third round clash.

One of the most unforgettable nine-darters came from Dean Winstanley in 2013. Horrendously out of form and trailing Vincent van der Voort by two sets, the Rotherham darter put together the perfect leg to spark wild scenes at Ally Pally.

Winstanley's nickname was 'Over the Top', which you could argue was an appropriate description of his celebration as he sprinted across the main stage with unrivalled glee.

Winstanley was not the only one to hit a nine-darter that year as Michael van Gerwen came within millimetres of achieving the unthinkable. Mighty Mike decided one nine-darter was not enough, leaving James Wade to watch on helplessly as he produced 17 perfect darts before missing double 12.

There were two more in 2014 courtesy of Terry Jenkins and Kyle Anderson, although both players subsequently suffered defeat in their respective matches.

Gary Anderson etched his name into the record books in 2016, producing a nine-dart finish in the semi-final against Klaasen before going on to lift the Sid Waddell Trophy for a second time.

We had to wait five years for the next one. James Wade delivered the 11th nine-dart leg in World Championship history, albeit in front of an empty Ally Pally.

Crowds returned the following year and with it came a flurry of nine-darters. First up was William Borland, who created history by hitting a sensational nine-dart finish to win a deciding leg against Bradley Brooks.

Less than 24 hours of Borland's heroics came the turn of Darius Labanauskas, with the Lithuanian finishing on a 147 to win the opening set.

And darts fans received another early Christmas present thanks to Gerwyn Price, who produced his first-ever televised nine-dart finish and a record-breaking third of the 2022 World Championships.

Last and by no means least, Michael Smith won the greatest leg in darts history when achieving perfection against Van Gerwen in last year's final. The epic tussle concluded with Bully Boy being crowned world champion.

9-dart method

It's a mind-boggling statistic but the total number of different ways you can achieve 501 with nine darts is actually 3,944!

There is the traditional route, which requires a score of 60 (treble 20) with each of the first six throws to leave 141. Players will then take out treble 20 and treble 19 before finishing on double 12.

That method is detailed below:

Treble 20, Treble 20, Treble 20 (321 remaining)
Treble 20, Treble 20, Treble 20 (141 remaining)
Treble 20, Treble 19, Double 12

We have witnessed some professionals hitting treble 19 with their second set of darts before returning to finish with two treble 20s and double 12.

Other unconventional ways to finish 141 are:

Treble 20, Treble 15, Double 18
Treble 17, Treble 18, Double 18

And one other way to hit a nine-darter is scoring 167 with each set of three darts. An extremely difficult route, this would require three consecutive throws of treble 20, treble 19 and bullseye.

9-darter in finals

Until last year, only Adrian 'Jackpot' Lewis had hit a nine-darter in a World Championship final.

Opposing Gary Anderson in the 2011 final, Lewis made history as he produced the perfect leg before going on to win the first of his two world titles.

12 years on, the incredible feat was achieved again in the most astonishing circumstances.

Michael Smith's final against Michael van Gerwen was dubbed one for the ages pre-match and it certainly lived up to the billing. With the contest heating up, we witnessed the most extraordinary piece of darting history.

"They're both on a nine," Wayne Mardle cried as both Smith and Van Gerwen pinned consecutive 180s. Van Gerwen was up first, hitting treble 20 twice but missing double 12.

Then it was the turn of Bully Boy, who went treble 20, treble 19 and double 12 to send the Ally Pally crowd into raptures.

There have been some close calls as well. Phil Taylor, in the 2018 final against Rob Cross, came mightily close to a nine-dart finish in his last ever competitive match, skimming the wire of double 12.

World Darts Championship

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