There has been a changing of the guard in darts as Scotland’s Peter Wright has dethroned Welshman Gerwyn Price from the number one spot in the PDC rankings, and it is just another indication of the Scotsman heading in the ‘Wright’ direction.
‘Snakebite’ has been outstanding over the last couple of years, as has Price, but when Wright claimed his second World Championship title earlier in the year, it seemed as though it was only a matter of time until Wright took Price’s place. At 51 years of age, the Scot has become the oldest player to hold the number one ranking for the first time. Price was left in tears after he was defeated by Michael Smith in the UK Open quarter-finals which confirmed that he had lost the prestigious ranking, having held it for 14 months following Michael van Gerwen’s spell of dominance.
The PDC rankings began in 1993 and Wright has become the first Scotsman to be crowned number one and the 11th player in total to hold the honour. Wright has continued his fine start to 2022 with strong performances in the Premier League Darts, where he currently leads after four match nights, ahead of Dutchman Van Gerwen by just one point. Wright had the opportunity a week ago to grasp top spot from Price when they met in the final of the International Darts Open, only for Price to deliver one of his masterclasses in an 8-4 victory. Fast forward a week and Wright can now celebrate another milestone in his career, even though he was thwarted from reaching the quarter-finals by William O’Connor, who reached the last eight for the first time.
Following his second World Championship triumph in January, Wright told The Sportsman he understood Phil Taylor’s hunger to win more titles, having not felt it until becoming World champion for the second time. He said: “Phil [Taylor] always had that hunger to win more and a few years ago I couldn’t understand it but now I’ve got that same hunger to add as many titles to my name as I can.”
With the last three World titles being won by Wright and Price, there is definitely an exciting rivalry emerging between the pair and Price will not rest until he regains the number one spot from his peer. There is plenty of darts to come throughout the year, with the Premier League far from over and the World Matchplay to come later in the year.
But this fresh development in the rankings is already stoking the fire ahead of what is already looking likely to be an even more competitive World Championship, with Wright chasing a third and second consecutive, while Price chases his second. The duo are undeniably the best darts players around at this moment in time and they both look like they still have plenty more to give, so this is a rivalry that looks to be the driving force of darts for the foreseeable.
With us being just over two months into 2022, Wright taking the number one ranking is another sign of him heading in the right direction with his new-found hunger that he adopted from Taylor. He may not have been able to add another UK Open title to his illustrious CV, but with some top performances in the Premier League, he is already laying the groundwork for another successful year on the darts circuit.