Luke Littler dealt snub by Stephen Bunting after darts star wins maiden PDC title

Luke Littler dealt snub by Stephen Bunting after darts star wins maiden PDC title

WATCH NOW: Luke Littler reacts to hitting a nine-darter at the Bahrain Masters

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 06/02/2024

- 20:14

Bunting believes there is still another player out in front of the teenager

Stephen Bunting does not yet think Luke Littler is the player to beat on the professional darts tour.

Bunting instead believes Michael van Gerwen is still the top player after overcoming the Dutchman to win his maiden PDC title on Sunday.

Littler has won the hearts of the nation in recent weeks and taken the sport of darts to a whole new level.

He reached the final of the World Championship at Alexandra Palace at just the age of 16, beating former champions Raymond van Barneveld and Rob Cross along the way.

Luke Littler and Stephen Bunting

Stephen Bunting doesn't think Luke Littler is the player to beat just yet


Littler proved that was no fluke, hitting a nine-darter on his way to winning his first professional title at the Bahrain Masters.

He then reached the final of the Dutch Darts Masters a week later, where he lost to Van Gerwen.

The teenager, now 17, has also earned a wildcard spot for the Premier League, where he beat Luke Humphries on the opening night last week.

But despite Littler's incredible rise to stardom, Bunting does not think he is the player to beat just yet.

Bunting finally won his first PDC title at the Cazoo Masters on Sunday with an 11-7 win over Van Gerwen.

Asked if his opponent is still the player to beat on tour, Bunting told talkSPORT: "Yeah you would have to say so. Obviously he's a multiple world champion, he demands massive respect.

"And he's still very, very dangerous. If you give him a chance, he'll take it. Fortunately for me, my scoring was on par with some of the best I've played and my finishing was really good.

"I think I finished the final with 55 per cent [on doubles] and a 102 average, which is very good."

Littler drew in huge TV viewing figures for his World Championship final in early January and has brought new fans to the sport.

Bunting admits the youngster's emergence has played a part in the increase in attention on darts.

However, he believes there has been a gradual growth across the last decade.

Bunting added: "It's just blown up really over the last 10 years I would say.


Stephen Bunting and Michael van Gerwen

Stephen Bunting says Michael van Gerwen is still the player to beat on the darts tour


"I think Matchroom have really shaken things up with the brilliant walk-ons, the dancing girls.

"Obviously the standard of play [has improved] as well I think.

"They're obviously doing something right but the likes of Luke Littler coming through, Fallon Sherrock the other year, there's always a storyline. Obviously me winning my maiden title in 10 years in the PDC.

"It keeps people interested because back in the day it was boring wasn't it.

Luke Littler

Luke Littler has taken the darts world by storm


"You would tune in and you knew who would win - it was Phil Taylor, Phil Taylor, Phil Taylor.

"But now there's always the few different people and I think what Matchroom have done is phenomenal for our sport."

Littler and Van Gerwen will be back in action on Thursday on the second night of the Premier League in Berlin.

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