Austrian Darts Open: ‘Generational talent’ Luke Littler claims second European Tour title after beating Joe Cullen | Darts News

The Austrian Darts Open is Luke Littler’s fourth title on his debut year; The 17-year-old also sits at the top of the BetMGM Premier League Darts table; watch Night 14 of the Premier League Darts, in Aberdeen, live on Sky Sports on Thursday May 2

Luke Littler cruised to an 8-4 victory over Joe Cullen to win the Austrian Darts Open in Graz on Sunday and claim his second European Tour title, Cullen praising the youngster as a “generational talent”.

The 17-year-old Premier League Darts leader produced another top-drawer display as he swept past ‘The Rockstar’ 8-4 in the final, hitting four 180s with a match average of just over 102.

It was a second PDC European Tour title for ‘The Nuke’, who won the Belgian Open in March on what was his event debut.

Sunday’s final at the Steiermarkhalle had stayed on throw until the eighth leg, when Littler took out 65 on double top to move 5-3 ahead.

Although Cullen immediately broke back, Littler put the hammer down again to take the 10th leg against the throw and regain control.

Littler held the next leg to move one away from victory – which he delivered with another break after a clinical 71 checkout on the bullseye.

“I’m happy to get over the line on this one. we started off well but I stuck at it and Joe started to fall off and I managed to get over the line,” Littler said.

“I said Belgium was good but this crowd is so much better. This weekend has been good, the crowd has helped me so much.

“If I do well and get into the other majors and I’m secure in myself then I can drop out of stuff and take the days off and just chill, so winning this has done me really well.”

Luke Littler came from behind to beat Nathan Aspinall in the semi-final on Night 13 of the Premier League in Liverpool

Cullen was magnanimous in defeat and took time to praise Littler, who he believes will define a generation of darts players.

“To be honest, I was rubbish, he played better than me and did what he had to do at the right time,” Cullen said.

“I was not very good. I’m disappointed with the way I played but congratulations to Luke, he’s a generational talent. I think I’ve practised more in the last hour than he has all week.”

Cullen had earlier held off Masters champion Stephen Bunting to win their semi-final 7-5 while Littler built on two breaks of throw to coast past Ross Smith 7-2 with a match average over 105.

In his quarter-final, Littler had not quite hit top form as he edged past Danny Noppert in a deciding leg following a fightback by the Dutchman.

Luke Littler was enjoying his game against Nathan Aspinall during the semi-final on Night 13 of the Premier League in Liverpool

Elsewhere in the last eight, Cullen landed three 180s and threw an average of 104 in his 6-3 victory over Gian van Veen.

Bunting held off Germany’s Martin Schindler to come through in the final leg before Smith completed an impressive 6-1 win over former world champion Michael van Gerwen.

Luke Littler and Nathan Aspinall were on fire during their semi-final game on Night 13 of the Premier League in Liverpool

In Sunday’s third-round action during the afternoon session, Cullen had beaten top seed Dave Chisnall 6-3 while Schindler put out Welshman Jonny Clayton by the same score.

Littler came from behind to win five straight legs and defeat Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski 6-3 before Dutchman van Gerwen then closed out a 6-4 win over Peter Wright.

Watch Night 14 of Premier League Darts, in Aberdeen, live on Sky Sports Action from 7pm on Thursday May 2 or stream with NOW.

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