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WATCH: 'The Greatest Leg' with Michael Smith

Ahead of the bet365 US Darts Masters, Michael Smith reflects on the greatest leg of his career, a nine-darter that spring boarded him to the 2023 World Championship title.

Under the brightest of lights at London’s Alexandra Palace with a World Championship on the line, Michael Smith and Michael van Gerwen produced one of the greatest legs in darts history.

After dropping the first set, Smith needed a special performance to claw back and avoid the same heartbreak he felt losing the world final in 2019 and 2022, the former of which came against the Dutchman. 

‘Bully Boy’ responded with a nine-darter, just the second perfect leg in World Championship Final history, en route to a comeback victory and first-ever world title. 

How it happened

After losing the opener, Smith split the first two legs of the second set with van Gerwen.

On the third visit of the second set, Smith achieved perfection.

van Gerwen Smith
60, 60, 60First three darts60, 60, 60
60, 60, 57Darts 4-660, 60, 60
T20Dart No. 7T20
T20Dart No. 8T19
D12 (missed)Dart No. 9D12

Smith and van Gerwen's first visits each resulted in three treble 20s, the highest possible score in one visit. MvG then used two treble 20s and a treble 19 to set up a nine-dart finish, while Smith followed it up with another 180 to set himself up for the same. 

After van Gerwen missed double 12 on his final throw, 'Bully Boy' hit a treble 20, treble 19, and double 12 to cap off his perfect leg, and never looked back on his way to an elusive World Championship title.

What is a nine-darter?

Considered a 'perfect leg,' a nine-darter is the term used when a player scores 501 points - the target score for a single leg - in just nine throws across three visits to the oche.

There are many combinations that can result in a nine-darter, but the most common route is the one Smith took above. He hit six-straight treble 20s to leave a 141 outshot - the points needed in his final three throws to complete the nine-darter and win the leg. van Gerwen left a 144 outshot, meaning he needed a slightly different combination - two treble 20s and a double 12 - to achieve a nine-darter of his own. 

van Gerwen missed double 12 on his final throw to leave the door open for Smith, who required perfection to win the leg.

'Bully Boy' was perfect, making World Championship history and sending Ally Pally into a frenzy.

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