Chris Dobey produced a brilliant display to defeat Rob Cross 11-7 and clinch his first televised title in Sunday’s Cazoo Masters final.
Dobey, featuring in his maiden televised final, continued his big stage progress to scoop the £65,000 top prize with a hard-fought win over former World Champion Cross.
The 32-year-old – who dumped out reigning champion Joe Cullen and fifth seed Luke Humphries to reach the last eight – continued his fine form on Sunday to create history in Milton Keynes.
Dobey dispatched Dirk van Duijvenbode in Sunday’s opening quarter-final, winning seven of the last eight legs to complete a convincing 10-5 victory.
The Bedlington thrower then produced another late surge to claim the scalp of World Champion Michael Smith in the last four, wrapping up an 11-7 win to break new ground on the big stage.
Dobey punished a sluggish start from Cross to establish an early cushion in Sunday’s showpiece, but Cross replied with legs of 15 and 12 darts to draw level at two apiece.
The next four legs went with throw – featuring a classy 126 combination from Cross in leg six – before Dobey fired in back-to-back 14-darters to restore his two-leg buffer at 6-4.
The pair then traded holds before a brilliant two-leg burst from Dobey moved him to the brink of a victory, as he followed up an 11-dart hold with a brilliant tops-tops finish to complete a 100 kill.
Cross conjured up a majestic 144 finish to reduce the deficit to 7-9, but Dobey was undeterred, registering a 13-dart hold before pinning double 16 to prevail, having almost sealed the deal with a spectacular 170 outshot.
“This means the world to me. My first TV title – I’ve got no words really,” reflected Dobey, who defeated three TV title winners en route to glory at the Marshall Arena.
“I’ve played pretty consistently all tournament. I think I deserve this title but I’ve got it now, and nobody can take this away from me.
“I think I’ve beaten all the lads that are in form. Obviously Joe won this title last year, Luke has been in form, Dirk has been in form. Michael Smith – World Champion. You can’t pick a tougher line-up than that.
“I believe I can go on to win more titles. My finishing has been brilliant and I’m just delighted to get this win. It means a lot.”
Cross was unable to lift his sixth televised title in Milton Keynes, but he produced a string of impressive displays to claim the £30,000 runner-up prize.
The 2018 World Champion accounted for three multiple World Champions in his run to the final, posting a sensational 112.32 average – the second highest in Masters history – in his opening round win over Gary Anderson.
Cross then produced a high-quality display to dump out five-time Masters winner Michael van Gerwen in the last eight, before edging out 2020 champion Peter Wright in the semi-finals.
The sixth seed converted 110 and 127 finishes in consecutive legs to move 10-8 ahead, but Wright recovered to force a last-leg shoot-out, only to squander three match darts in a dramatic deciding-leg.
The Scot was unable to make it back-to-back televised titles following his Nordic Darts Masters success last weekend, despite powering past 2021 champion Jonny Clayton in the quarter-finals.
Sunday’s other quarter-final clash saw Smith avenge his defeat to Danny Noppert in last year’s UK Open final, courtesy of a 103 average, seven 180s and a 50% doubling success rate.
2023 Cazoo Masters
Sunday January 29
Chris Dobey 10-5 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Michael Smith 10-5 Danny Noppert
Peter Wright 10-6 Jonny Clayton
Rob Cross 10-7 Michael van Gerwen
Chris Dobey 11-7 Michael Smith
Rob Cross 11-10 Peter Wright
Chris Dobey 11-7 Rob Cross