Martin Adams joined an exclusive club of three times winners as he won a 131-minute thriller against debutant Dean Winstanley 7-5.
But the 54-year-old veteran from Peterborough, the 1/2 on favourite was made to work for his victory after seeing the third seed reverse a 2-0 deficit and twice lead the match.
After firing home the title-winning double eight he declared: “I am still the old geezer of this tournament and Deano had me under the cosh but the job of a pro player is to find a way back, which I what I did.
“I said to myself, this is not over yet. You have done it before and you can do it again.
“This win means so much. It is title number three which equals people like Eric Bristow and John Lowe. Now I want to win it three times in a row next year to equal Eric’s record.”
Winstanley admitted: “The best man won on the night but I gave it my best fight. The crowd have been fantastic all week and I would like to thank them for their support.
“However it was nice to see the man with the beard shake,” said Winstanley, a broad smile on his face.
Adam’s victory places him in the same bracket as Bristow, Lowe and Raymond van Barneveld, who have all won three of more BDO world titles.
Adams produced a 14-darter to start the final and then took the next against the throw, nervous Winstanley finishing the third on double five. Both hit maximums, Adams repeating the 161 he hit in his semi final clash against Phillips to clinch the first set.
Adams took the opening leg of the second set against the throw, holding his throw on double 20 and then smashing in an 80 finish, completed on double five as he fired in his second maximum of the set.
But Winstanley who was being watched by his family – including brother Richard – had an opportunity in the third to prevent Adams from collecting his fifth successive leg but nervously he missed his favourite double tops. The Doncaster demolition man gained consolation by holding his throw in the next and fired in 180 in the third, Adams having a wayward dart finishing in double five, recovering to hit single one, double one to lead the set. Adams missed his favourite double 16 for set-winning 101, Winstanley pouncing to level.
Needing 120 for a 3-0 match lead, Adams fired in a perfect 60 but then gasped as his second dart strayed into single one, the Doncaster man again stepping in to clinch double eight with his second dart to pull back a set.
The Yorkshireman missed bull for 86 in the opening leg of the fourth, Adams firing in double 18 and then producing another of his showpiece checkouts, hitting 151, finished on double tops. Winstanley took the next and then clinched the fourth leg after Adam’s precision finishing deserted him when he wired double eight for 136. The third seed swept home his favourite double tops to level the match on double tops.
Winstanley missed bull for 161 to level up the fifth set and missed darts for double two as Adams recovered from missing bull for a 95 finish, to strike home double 16 to move ominously 2-0 ahead in the set. Adams fired in double 20 for a set-winning 85 checkout.
The next set saw Winstanley move 2-0 ahead after Adams missed bull for a 128 finish.Adams motored down to the double in the next, leaving 36 after nine darts. But he then missed an agonising eight doubles, opening the door for the Yorkshireman to exit on double five – his third dart for a double – for a 3-3 mid-match break.
The opening three legs of the seventh set remarkably went against the throw as Winstanley smashed in double 10 to exit on 80 after notching his 26th 180 of the week to move 2-1 ahead. He took the next with single 16 double 20 to lead the match for the first time – 4-3.
In the next Adams nipped in on double 16 after the Doncaster player missed two for his favourite double tops. In the next, lack-lustre scoring from Adams was punished with Winstanley’s fifth 180 of the match and double 10. Despite the third maximum in three legs he missed his favourite double 20 to level the set, Adams not believing his luck to fire in a set winning double to level the match.
The opening legs of the ninth went with the throw, Winstanley sneaking the third with double – his fifth attempt for a double. Adams clinched double seven in the next after the Yorkshire ace had pressurised the shot being sweeping in 177 to leave 24. Winstanley’s 10th 180 of the match set him up for a set-winning single nine and double eight, after Adams wired double 18 for a set-winning 110 checkout.
Adams “stole” the opening leg of the next set against the throw and double 16 edged him 2-0 ahead, Winstanley taking the third leg with his second attempt for double 20. But battling Wolfie took the set 3-1 to level the match at 5-5.
The opening three legs went with the throw in the 11th set, despite another maximum from Winstanley who grimaced as he missed three doubles for a psychological boost. But the Doncaster man pinched the next with treble 20 double six after Adams missed his favourite double 16. Adams defended his throw firing in a two-dart 62 finish, completed on double 16 to lead the match 6-5.
Adams hit his first 180 since the sixth set to lead the 12th set and then blazed in another – his sixth of the final – as he checked out on double 16 for a 2-0 match lead. On form Adams left himself 161 as exhausted Winstanley struggled to reply.
Bidding for a showpiece finale, Adams hit treble 20, treble 17 and agonised as the third dart hit the green bit in the middle of the board, just millimetres away from the bull. On his return he smashed in single nine and double eight for the title.
Adams final match average was 30.71, maintaining his 30 plus average throughout the week – the only player to achieve the feat.
Although he hit 24 maximums during the week he was eclipsed by title runner up Winstanley, who notched 33, finishing the week with a 29.69 average.