Luke Littler sweeps aside Joe Cullen to claim Austrian Open title

Luke Littler maintained his blistering form with victory over Joe Cullen to win the Austrian Open title in Graz.

The 17-year-old Premier League 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.

Joe Cullen celebrates
Joe Cullen had impressed in his semi-final win (John Walton/PA)

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.

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.

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.