Luke Humphries continues stunning rise with Grand Slam of Darts success

Luke Humphries continued his rise to the top of the darting scene by winning the Grand Slam of Darts and proving himself the most in-form player in the world.

Just six weeks after winning a maiden major title at the World Grand Prix, the 28-year-old followed it up with a second after he steamrollered Rob Cross in Wolverhampton, cruising to a 16-8 victory.

‘Cool Hand’ made waves on the European Tour last season but has transitioned that form to the PDC Tour this year and is now a real contender for World Championship glory at the end-of-year pinnacle, which begins next month.

Cross, who was gunning for his biggest title since 2021, will look back and think he did not do a lot wrong other than being unable to match Humphries’ unbelievable standard.

At one point ‘Voltage’ was averaging more than when he beat Phil Taylor to win the World Championship in 2018, and finished with an average of 103.61, but that was bettered by Humphries.

He averaged 104.69, threw eight 180s and operated with a 59 per cent success rate on doubles, which meant he lifted the Eric Bristow Trophy.

Humphries, who earlier beat James Wade in the semi-finals, was happy to prove a few people wrong and says he can get even better.

“It feels just as good, obviously the first one, nothing can ever beat that, the second one does feel good, especially with the way I was playing there,” he said.

“It was a really tough, tough game, it is a long gruelling slog today. We both played really well, it was a contrast from the semi-final to the final, I played much, much, better.

 

“I was just happy to make a second final, so to pick up a second is fantastic. The European Tour is where I get all of my success, apparently I can’t do it on the big stage, but I can I promise.

“I feel like a new player, people have been telling me I have got no personality apparently but I don’t care, as long as I keep picking up trophies.

“I am a lucky boy, I have always dreamed of being up on this stage and winning. I am very blessed and lucky to be a two-time major champion, I just can’t believe it.

“I have been on a journey, it has not been easy. I have lost a lot of weight, battled a lot of things in my head to get these moments, these are the things that make me believe. I think I can get a lot, lot better.”

Cross would have been feeling confident after he landed the big fish in the third leg, with a majestic 170 finish, but Humphries kicked into gear and reeled off five successive legs, sealing a 7-2 lead with a 144 checkout.

Another three legs in a row soon gave him a 10-3 advantage as the triple-20 took a battering and Cross could do nothing but smirk at his predicament.

The lead was extended to 14-5 and there was no way back for Cross and Humphries wrapped it up.

Cross added: “The best man won on the night, he was quality. The best man won, no doubt about that. I’ve had a good week, I enjoyed it and we go again.

“To lose is a little bit hurtful but he was excellent, the best man won and that is all I can say about it.”