Following a successful run at the World Championship and came one leg away from reaching the quarter-final, Searle had successfully defended the £35,000 from his debut appearance two years ago.
Players Championship 1 –
In the first Players Championship event of the year, he took on John Michael in the first round. Searle came from 3-1 down to reel off five consecutive legs to win 6-3 and seal a place in the second round.
Despite averaging a below par 89 in the first round game, he improved his game in the next round where he took on Steve Beaton. Searle raced into a 4-0 lead before Beaton reduced the deficit to one leg at 4-3. However, Searle sealed a crucial 15 dart leg to go one away from winning. The next two legs were shared as he won 6-4.
In the last 32 Searle faced an in-form Gary Anderson. Anderson put his foot on the gas and was 4-1 up, winning each leg in 15 darts or less. Searle tried to mount a comeback charge but a 14 darter from the Flying Scotsman finished the game off and won 6-4, averaging 110, which was 15 points higher than Searle’s 95.
Players Championship 2 –
In a repeat of the first day of the Super Series, Searle took on John Michael. Despite winning 6-3 the day prior, he could not match that feat as this time round he lost in a last leg decider.
Players Championship 3 –
Searle got off to a great start on day three as he took on Karel Sedlacek. A very comfortable win the Devon based player as he managed to win 6-2 with a 97 average.
He then progressed through to the next round and won with the same scoreline. In all but one of the six legs that he won, Searle finished in 15 darts or less as he dismantled his opponent to progress through to the last 32 for the second time in three days and averaged a more than respect 99.
The following game, however, was a disappointment as he struggled to get off the mark and was thrashed 6-1 by Ian White and only averaged just below 82 in the process.
Players Championship 4 –
The Super Series I concluded with another run to the last 32. In two below par performances in his first and second round game, against Josh Payne and Keegan Brown and averaged 80.5 and 85 respectively, Searle progressed through with 6-4 and 6-3 victories.
Searle then bowed out to Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-3 despite averaging higher then the Dutchman.
UK Open –
Searle started his UK Open run in the third round, where he took on new tour card holder Jack Main. Searle recovered from 4-1 down and match darts to seal off a fantastic comeback and win in the last leg decider.
In the next game, however, Searle played one of his best games in the UK Open thus far as he defeated Adrian Lewis 10-7 with a sensational 103.5 average. Searle got out of the gates well and took a 3-1 lead before Lewis won three legs on the spin to lead 4-3. The game reached a 7-7 scoreline as Lewis hit a 14 darter to level up the tie. However, in the last three legs, Searle stepped it up a gear and won each of the last three legs with a 14, 13 and 13 darters to progress through to the fifth round of the UK Open for the first time.
In the fifth round Searle drew Luke Humphries, in what was one of the games of the tournament. Both players never let each other get away with a lead until the fifteenth leg of the match, where Humphries sustained a two leg cushion with an 11 darter. Despite losing 10-7 to Humphries, Searle hit an impressive eight 180’s and won every leg in 15 darts or less, including a remarkable 10 darter.