PHIL TAYLOR claimed glory in the inaugural Coral Masters at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh on Sunday night, sweeping aside Stoke rival Adrian Lewis 10-1 with a stunning performance in the final.
The 16-time World Champion picked up the £50,000 winner’s cheque and became the first name on the new Masters trophy as he emerged victorious in the event, which featured the world’s top 16.
Taylor followed up his earlier victories this weekend against Terry Jenkins and Wes Newton with a 10-1 rout of James Wade in their disappointing semi-final, with the left-hander unable to recapture the form which had seen him produce an amazing comeback against Simon Whitlock 24 hours earlier.
Taylor’s merciless charge to the title continued in the final as he took the first nine legs without reply in a remarkable run, hitting a ten-dart finish and punishing missed doubles from Lewis in four of the legs.
The world number three, who had booked his place in the final with a thrilling 10-9 defeat of Raymond van Barneveld in their last four clash, finally got off the mark in the tenth leg after Taylor missed the bull to complete a whitewash win.
The respite, though, was short-lived as Taylor completed an amazing triumph by hitting a fourth 180 in a 12-darter as double 12 gave him the title with an average of 108.50 for the final.
“I’m absolutely over the moon to win this title and it’s special to be the first Coral Masters winner,” said Taylor. “I’m really proud of myself and I’ll give myself a little pat on the back because it wasn’t easy.
“I expected more from James in the semi-final and I was disappointed, and obviously Adrian hasn’t been feeling great and the semi-final with Raymond took a lot out of him, so I knew that I had to put him under pressure from the start.
“I’m very proud of him because he did brilliantly to get into the final, but I knew it would take a lot out of him. I played well in the final, and when he missed a couple of doubles I took advantage of him.
“I’m loving every minute of it and I want to win everything – my time is coming to an end in a few year’s time, and I want to make the most of it while I’m here. I’m going to keep trying hard and pushing myself.”
Lewis took home £20,000 after reaching the final, and despite suffering from a bout of ‘flu throughout the weekend, performed superbly to delight the Scottish crowd in wins over Kim Huybrechts, Robert Thornton and van Barneveld.
The semi-final with van Barneveld proved to be arguably the game of the tournament, with Lewis taking an early 3-1 lead with an 11-darter, and a 104 finish put him 4-2 up before van Barneveld hit back to lead 5-4.
The pair shared the next eight legs, with Lewis’ 154 checkout cancelled out by a 143 finish from van Barneveld as the Dutchman moved to the brink of victory at 9-8 – only for the Stoke ace to force a decider with a 13-dart leg before claiming victory by finishing 116 for a 12-darter.
But despite Lewis then opening the final with a 180, the 28-year-old ran out of steam as Taylor, who averaged over 110 for the first half of the decider, proved simply too strong to defeat his local rival.
“Phil was fantastic,” he said. “I had a couple of chances early on but Phil punished me, and if you don’t take your chances you’ll be out of the game, because you can’t give him chances.
“Phil knew how I felt and he’ll have targeted me tonight. I had no energy in the final – it was a fantastic game against Ray and the 116 to win the match was massive for me.
“I nearly pulled out of the tournament, and because I knew Kim Huybrechts was coming here in great form I’d have been happy to reach the second round, so to get to the final is a massive achievement.
“It means a lot to me because I don’t know where the form came from to go up there on stage and do that. I’m really proud, and though I lost 10-1 in the final I’m not too disappointed because I know I played well.”
The Coral Masters
Sunday November 3
Phil Taylor 10-1 James Wade
Raymond van Barneveld 9-10 Adrian Lewis
Best of 19 legs
Phil Taylor 10-1 Adrian Lewis
Best of 19 legs
Phil Taylor v James Wade
0-0 – James Wade wins the bull and will throw first.
1-0 – Taylor secures an immediate break of throw with a 14-darter, landing double four to take the opening leg.
2-0 – Double ten sees Taylor move two legs up.
2-1 – Taylor hits a 180 in being first to a finish, but misses five darts at double 16 and double eight to allow Wade in on tops to get off the mark.
3-1 – Taylor misses two further darts at double 16, but returns to hit the bed at the third time of asking to deny Wade the chance to level.
4-1 – Taylor hits double 14 to move three legs clear.
5-1 – Taylor returns from the break to win a third successive leg in establishing a four-leg cushion.
6-1 – Taylor opens with a 180 and finishes tops for an 11-darter to pull clear.
7-1 – The World Champion finishes 94 on tops to move three legs away from the final.
8-1 – Taylor lands double top to continue his charge.
9-1 – Taylor takes out 96 on double 18 to move to the brink of victory.
10-1 – Taylor seals victory in style with a brilliant 12-dart leg, taking out 121 on double eight to end with an average of 106.35.
|Phil Taylor||10-1||James Wade|
|5||Breaks of Throw||0|
|10/25 – 40%||Checkout %||1/1 – 100%|
Raymond van Barneveld v Adrian Lewis
0-0 – Raymond van Barneveld wins the bull and will throw first.
1-0 – Lewis hits a 180, but van Barneveld finishes tops to take the opening leg.
1-1 – Lewis levels by landing double two as he is given a let-off for earlier misses.
1-2 – Lewis breaks throw to move ahead.
1-3 – Lewis takes out 96 to move two legs clear.
2-3 – van Barneveld responds to cut the gap.
2-4 – van Barneveld hits a 180, but is denied a chance to level as Lewis takes out 104.
3-4 – The Dutch star finishes 68 on double four to hit back.
4-4 – van Barneveld levels by hitting tops to break throw.
5-4 – van Barneveld regains the lead by finishing 84 for an excellent 12-darter.
5-5 – Lewis hits a 180 and finishes 73 to level.
6-5 – The pair trade 180s as van Barneveld holds throw to move back in front.
6-6 – Lewis htis another maximum and takes out 154 with a brilliant combination of two treble 19s and double top.
7-6 – van Barneveld hits a third 180 of the game, and takes out 60 on tops to edge back ahead.
7-7 – Lewis hits two 180s, taking his tally for the game to an amazing eight, before finishing 87 for an 11-darter to level.
8-7 – van Barneveld finishes a sensational 143 checkout to hold throw and move himself back into the lead.
8-8 – Lewis takes out 74 on double 16 to level once more.
9-8 – van Barneveld hits his fourth maximum and finishes 68 on double 16 to move a leg away from victory.
9-9 – Lewis hits double 18 to take the game into a deciding 19th leg.
9-10 – van Barneveld hits a 180, but suffers a bounce-out when needing 156, and Lewis steps in to take out 116 on tops to move into the final with a brilliant victory.
|Raymond van Barneveld||9-10||Adrian Lewis|
|1||Breaks of Throw||2|
|9/18 – 50%||Checkout %||10/24 – 42%|
Phil Taylor v Adrian Lewis
0-0 – Phil Taylor wins the bull and will throw first.
1-0 – Lewis, still on a high following his superb semi-final win, opens the final with a 180 but can only wait on 40 as Taylor takes out 120 to win the opening leg.
2-0 – The pair hit 180s to leave a finish after nine darts, with Lewis missing two darts at tops to allow Taylor in to finish 83 on the bull to break.
3-0 – Double two sees Taylor take the third leg.
4-0 – Taylor hits a 180 in a stunning ten-darter to break once more, this time finishing double eight.
5-0 – Taylor takes out double 12 to win a fifth successive leg, taking his average to 115.62!
6-0 – Taylor misses tops for a 107 finish, but returns after a miss from Lewis to hit the bed for a third break of throw in the final.
7-0 – Double 16 sees Taylor move three legs away from the title.
8-0 – Lewis misses darts at double top and ten, and double eight sees Taylor continue his charge.
9-0 – Lewis misses two darts at double 18, and tops for a 13-darter puts Taylor on the brink of victory.
9-1 – Taylor posts another maximum, but misses the bull for a 135 finish to claim a whitewash win as Lewis finishes tops for a 14-darter to get off the mark.
10-1 – Lewis’ fightback proves short-lived, as Taylor hits a fourth 180 of the game and takes out 81 on double 12 to complete a brilliant triumph.
|Phil Taylor||10-1||Adrian Lewis|
|4||Breaks of Throw||0|
|10/18 – 56%||Checkout %||1/9 – 11%|
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm The Coral Masters
Sunday November 3 (6.45pm-10.45pm) – Semi-Finals James Wade v Phil Taylor Icemans Prediction Wade 5-10 Taylor Most 180s Taylor 6 Highest Finish Above 141 *
Adrian Lewis v Raymond van Barneveld Icemans Prediction Lewis 10-7 van Barnaveld Most 180s Lewis 7 Highest Finish Above 141 All games best of 19 legs
Best of 19 legs