STUNNING TAYLOR WINS BACK WILLIAM HILL GRAND SLAM OF DARTS TITLE
PHIL TAYLOR won the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts title for a fourth time with a clinical 16-4 demolition of Gary Anderson at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall on Sunday night.
The Stoke great followed up his 16-9 semi-final triumph over Adrian Lewis earlier on Sunday with another thrilling performance, averaging 109.03 in winning back the trophy.
After Anderson took out 140 and 128 to lead 2-1, Taylor won seven successive legs to pull clear and after Anderson cut the gap to 9-4 he reeled off seven more to seal the £100,000 title.
Anderson kicked off the match with a superb 140 checkout, and after Taylor finished 72 the Scot posted a 128 finish to lead 2-1.
Taylor hit tops in the fourth before a double eight checkout broke Anderson for the first time and put him 3-2 up.
Taylor then hit a 180 in taking the sixth, having enough breathing space despite a miscount when needing 57 to return and hit tops.
Finishes of 86 on the bull, double 16 for an 11-darter which featured two 180s and a 92 checkout moved him 7-2 up before double 18 won Taylor a seventh successive leg.
Anderson hit a 180 and double top to claim his third leg of the match and end that run, and after Taylor posted tops he finished double ten to pull back to 9-4.
Taylor, though, took the next and punished misses from Anderson to move 11-4 up with an 88 checkout.
He then hit a 177 to set up double 16 and finished 81 twice in three legs to move to the brink of victory – also landing a double one checkout in the run.
Anderson landed his fifth maximum of the game as he battled to stay alive, but as Taylor wavered on the finishing line he was unable to land darts at the bull and double eight to allow the Stoke ace in on double two for his fourth Wolverhampton win.
“I’m absolutely over the moon,” said Taylor, who dedicated the victory to Sky Sports commentator Sid Waddell, who is fighting bowel cancer.
“I’d forgotten how heavy this trophy was after losing it last year but it’s great to be holding it again!
“Everything has come right for me this week and it all came together in the final. I wanted to out-score Gary and put him under pressure to make him miss – we say to each other ‘don’t miss’ when we’re up there and it’s true because if you give him an inch he’ll take a mile.
“The start was fantastic for me because to go into the first break 3-2 up was really important. He came back well at me and hits 180s for fun at times but I was so caught up in the match that, at times, I didn’t even know the score!”
The victory sees Taylor win a fifth successive major title after claiming glory in the World Matchplay, European Championship, World Grand Prix and Championship League Darts since the summer, and he added: “It’s a special period for me.
“I was written off earlier this year but this shows that those people were wrong. I’m going to keep trying to win everything and we’ve got the Players Championship and World Championship coming up, and I’m building up to Alexandra Palace now.”
Anderson admitted: “Phil was brilliant and he taught me a lesson in how to play darts, he annihilated me.
“After four legs I thought I was in with a chance but that disappeared pretty quickly! The second session killed the game off and he battered me – every time I looked up he was hitting 180s.
“After I lost my first group game last Saturday I didn’t think I’d make it to the final but it’s done me the world of good to get this far.
“I’m happy with how I played and it’s picked me up. I’ll put this behind me now, move on to play in the ProTour events in Wigan and then the Players Championship and World Championship.”