TAYLOR COMPLETES WEEKEND DOUBLE WITH WITH VICTORY “FOR JOCKY”
PHIL TAYLOR completed a brilliant weekend double of victories in the Speedy Services UK Open Qualifiers in Barnsley by defeating Dennis Smith 6-3 in Sunday’s final.
The world number one claimed his second £6,000 first prize of the weekend, and won his third final in the last four events as he continued an amazing run of form which has also see him remain unbeaten in the first seven weeks of the McCoy’s Premier League Darts.
Fittingly, Taylor dedicated the victory to the memory of two-time World Champion Jocky Wilson, who passed away on Saturday evening and was a former Pairs partner of the Stoke great.
Taylor’s victories in Barnsley ensure that he will be amongst the top seeds for June’s UK Open televised finals in Bolton, when the leading qualifiers from the UK Open Order of Merit following eight events enter ‘The FA Cup of Darts’ at the third round stage.
“The main objective for me was to come here and qualify for Bolton, and I’ve done that,” said Taylor, who did not play in the first two Qualifiers in February.
“I’ve got to be honest that I didn’t expect to win both tournaments but I’m very pleased for Dennis. He got beaten in the first round on Saturday but today he dug in and he’s made the final.
“Both him and Dennis Priestley have now qualified for Bolton and that’s what we’re here for, and I’m chuffed for them.”
Taylor dedicated the win to the memory of Jocky Wilson, and said: “That’s for Jocky.
“He was my Pairs partner for many years and I loved him to bits. We used to have a lot to do with each other, I’m gutted.
“I’ve got a lot of good memories about Jocky and he’s one of those people that when you mention his name it brings a big smile to your face.
“He was a great character and I’m going to miss him. I missed him anyway but I’m going to celebrate Jocky’s life.”
Taylor began the day in superb fashion, dropping only one leg in wins over former World Championship qualifiers Mark Stephenson and Steve Hine before defeating Michael van Gerwen and Stuart Kellett 6-3.
He then saw off South African ace Devon Petersen 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals, where he overcame long-standing rival Raymond van Barneveld 6-4.
Taylor then enjoyed a 6-1 win over PDC newcomer Dean Winstanley in the semis before defeating experienced rival Smith in the final.
Taylor initially led 3-0, opening the game with back-to-back 13-dart legs and finishing double four to take the third.
Smith hit back to level by taking the next three, which included a superb bullseye checkout to complete a 121 combination for a 12-dart break of throw.
After Taylor regained the lead with a 14-darter in the seventh, Smith crucially missed four darts at double 16 to level as the Stoke great finished 62 in two darts to lead 5-3 and landed another 14-dart finish to secure the victory.
Smith’s run to the final saw him reach that stage for the first time since October 2010 in Killarney, and earned him £3,000 prize money.
He enjoyed a tense 6-5 semi-final win over two-time World Champion Dennis Priestley, and also defeated Prakash Jiwa, Colin Osborne, Michael Smith and McCoy’s Premier League Darts star Simon Whitlock on the day.
Priestley, 61, showed that he can still live with the sport’s biggest names despite scaling down his appearances on the professional circuit in his run to the semis, which ensures that he will return to the television screens in Bolton in June.
Yorkshire’s Winstanley, who won a PDC Tour Card at the Barnsley Metrodome in January, reached his first semi-final in the PDC on the day, seeing off Saturday’s runner-up Brendan Dolan and Andy Smith as well as York’s Terry Temple in the last eight.
Temple enjoyed a 6-5 win over World Champion Adrian Lewis as he reached the last eight for the first time on the professional circuit, while Warwickshire’s Jiwa reached the quarter-finals for the second time in the four UK Open Qualifiers held so far this year.
Norfolk’s Darren Webster and Dutch ace van Barneveld were the other quarter-finalists, while Welshman Richie Burnett followed up a nine-dart finish in the preliminary round by winning through to the Last 16, where he lost to Priestley in a deciding leg.
Burnett’s perfect leg saw him win a £400 bonus, while the achievement was the seventh of 2012 so far on the PDC circuit and amazing means that a nine-darter has now been hit in five successive PDC ProTour events.
The tournament was preceded by a minute’s applause in memory of the late Jocky Wilson, with 194 players giving a standing ovation to one of the sport’s most famous characters.
The Speedy Services UK Open will be played from June 7-10 in the Premier Suite at the De Vere Whites in Bolton, with tickets going on sale on Monday morning through SeeTickets either by calling 0844 871 8807 or visiting www.seetickets.com.
Speedy Services UK Open Qualifier Four
Anthony Littleton 6-2 Toon Greebe
Dyson Parody 6-3 Dave Honey
Adam Smith-Neale 6-2 Christopher Dale
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Kevin Dowling
Dennis Smith 6-4 Matthew Edgar
Andy Relf 6-2 Keith Rooney
John Part 6-1 Mark Jodrill
Peter Hudson 6-4 Matthew Dicken
Steven Clews 6-5 Matt Clark
Richie Howson 6-2 Andrew Gilding
Liam Kelly 6-5 Arron Monk
Prakash Jiwa 6-3 Steve Beaton
Mark Dudbridge 6-4 Terry Jenkins
Robert Thornton 6-0 Norman Fletcher
Mark Walsh 6-0 Joey Palfreyman
Tony West 6-0 Dave Ladley
Kim Huybrechts 6-0 Joe Thompson
Justin Pipe 6-2 Jack Hill
Joe Murnan 6-4 Mick McGowan
Steve Farmer 6-3 Kevin McDine
Co Stompe 6-1 Adrian Bolitho
Magnus Caris 6-3 Peter Evison
Johnny Haines 6-0 James Stoneley
John Scott 6-4 Scott Rand
Darren Webster 6-4 Patrick Pace
Simon Burt 6-5 Mick Todd
Paul Nicholson 6-2 Sam Hill
Richie Burnett 6-5 Michael Barnard – Richie Burnett hits nine-dart finish.
Ian White 6-1 Martyn Turner
Gaz Cousins 6-3 Dylan Duo
Antonio Alcinas 6-5 Jamie Caven
Mervyn King 6-0 Damien Sherwood
Alan Tabern 6-3 Dave Smith
Dennis Priestley 6-4 Jelle Klaasen
Matt Padgett 6-2 Philip Wathen
Jerry Hendriks 6-0 Lee Butler
Devon Petersen 6-3 Stuart White
Michael Mansell 6-5 Nigel Heydon
Kevin Painter 6-5 Denis Ovens
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Lee Whitworth
Steve Hine 6-2 Scott Coleman
Phil Taylor 6-0 Mark Stephenson
Jimmy Mann 6-2 Stuart Woodmore
Martino Tagliapietra 6-0 Darren Williams
Mark Lawrence 6-5 Martin Whatmough
Wes Newton 6-2 Mark Hylton
Andrew Palmer 6-5 Mark Frost
Joe Cullen 6-4 Les Wallace
Dave Chisnall 6-1 Ian Moss
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Andy Pearce
Darren Johnson 6-2 Daniel Day
William O’Connor 6-5 Peter Manley
Jason Crawley 6-5 Stephen Hardy
John Henderson 6-2 Aaron Turner
Darren Latham 6-5 Gary Butcher
Terry Temple 6-0 Geoff Whitworth
Steve Grubb 6-1 Steven Pearson
Fred Smith 6-4 Paul Barham
Kurt Van De Rijck 6-4 Jim Walker
Mareno Michels 6-3 Nick Fullwell
Jamie Lewis 6-5 Jyhan Artut
Dean Winstanley 6-5 Mike Veitch
Daniel Starkey 6-5 James Young
Brandon Walsh Bye (Chris Mason withdrew)
Steve Maish 6-1 Ian Jopling
Mark Jones 6-0 Ian Lever
Michael Smith 6-5 Vincent van der Voort
Anthony Littleton 6-3 Steven Barrow
Adam Smith-Neale 6-5 Dyson Parody
Dennis Smith 6-5 Simon Whitlock
Matthew Tedstone 6-3 Josh Jones
Colin Osborne 6-4 Lee White
John Part 6-2 Andy Relf
Peter Hudson 6-4 Steven Clews
Gino Vos 6-2 Tony Tasker
Connie Finnan 6-5 Paul Rowley
Liam Kelly 6-2 Richie Howson
Prakash Jiwa 6-4 Mark Dudbridge
Gary Anderson 6-2 Brian Woods
Andy Brown 6-3 Andy Turnbull
Mark Walsh 6-3 Robert Thornton
Kim Huybrechts 6-1 Tony West
Roland Scholten 6-5 James Richardson
Justin Pipe 6-3 Ted Hankey
Joe Murnan 6-2 Steve Farmer
Co Stompe 6-4 Magnus Caris
Reece Robinson 6-2 Andy Hodges
Chris Thompson 6-3 Andy Firth
Johnny Haines 6-4 John Scott
Darren Webster 6-5 Simon Burt
Nigel Birch 6-2 Daniel Bunker
James Hubbard 6-1 Barrie Bates
Richie Burnett 6-3 Paul Nicholson
Gaz Cousins 6-3 Ian White
Karl Forrington 6-3 Aden Kirk
Wayne Jones 6-1 Ryan Harrington
Antonio Alcinas 6-5 Mervyn King
Dennis Priestley 6-1 Alan Tabern
Andy Hamilton 6-5 Shaun Griffiths
Adam Hunt 6-5 Jamie Guilfoyle
Jerry Hendriks 6-5 Matt Padgett
Devon Petersen 6-4 Michael Mansell
Adrian Gray 6-5 Ross Smith
Stuart Kellett 6-0 Tom Jones
Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Kevin Painter
Phil Taylor 6-1 Steve Hine
Steve West 6-1 John Walton
Ronnie Baxter 6-1 David Nelson
Jimmy Mann 6-1 Martino Tagliapietra
Wes Newton 6-1 Mark Lawrence
Mark Webster 6-3 Gareth Pass
Andrew Hibbert 6-1 Stefanie Luck
Joe Cullen 6-1 Andrew Palmer
Raymond van Barneveld 6-5 Dave Chisnall
Peter Wright 6-3 Carlos Rodriguez
Adrian Lewis 6-1 Chris Aubrey
William O’Connor 6-5 Darren Johnson
Jason Crawley 6-0 John Henderson
Bernd Roith 6-0 Neville Roberts
Keith Stephen 6-4 Steve Evans
Terry Temple 6-1 Darren Latham
Fred Smith 6-4 Steve Grubb
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Colin Lloyd
Steve Brown 6-0 Paul Hodkin
Mareno Michels 6-3 Kurt Van De Rijck
Dean Winstanley 6-5 Jamie Lewis
Andy Smith 6-5 Andrew Cornwall
Alex Roy 6-4 Darren Whittingham
Brandon Walsh 6-5 Daniel Starkey
Mark Jones 6-2 Steve Maish
Michael Smith 6-3 Anthony Littleton
Dennis Smith 6-4 Adam Smith-Neale
Colin Osborne 6-1 Matthew Tedstone
Peter Hudson 6-3 John Part
Connie Finnan 6-1 Gino Vos
Prakash Jiwa 6-1 Liam Kelly
Gary Anderson 6-0 Andy Brown
Kim Huybrechts 6-4 Mark Walsh
Justin Pipe 6-0 Roland Scholten
Co Stompe 6-2 Joe Murnan
Chris Thompson 6-3 Reece Robinson
Darren Webster 6-1 Johnny Haines
James Hubbard 6-5 Nigel Birch
Richie Burnett 6-3 Gaz Cousins
Wayne Jones 6-2 Karl Forrington
Dennis Priestley 6-5 Antonio Alcinas
Adam Hunt 6-4 Andy Hamilton
Devon Petersen 6-3 Jerry Hendriks
Stuart Kellett 6-1 Adrian Gray
Phil Taylor 6-3 Michael van Gerwen
Ronnie Baxter 6-3 Steve West
Wes Newton 6-5 Jimmy Mann
Mark Webster 6-1 Andrew Hibbert
Raymond van Barneveld 6-2 Joe Cullen
Adrian Lewis 6-5 Peter Wright
Jason Crawley 6-3 William O’Connor
Keith Stephen 6-3 Bernd Roith
Terry Temple 6-3 Fred Smith
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Steve Brown
Dean Winstanley 6-1 Mareno Michels
Andy Smith 6-1 Alex Roy
Mark Jones 6-2 Brandon Walsh
Dennis Smith 6-5 Michael Smith
Colin Osborne 6-4 Peter Hudson
Prakash Jiwa 6-4 Connie Finnan
Gary Anderson 6-4 Kim Huybrechts
Justin Pipe 6-4 Co Stompe
Darren Webster 6-3 Chris Thompson
Richie Burnett 6-0 James Hubbard
Dennis Priestley 6-0 Wayne Jones
Devon Petersen 6-2 Adam Hunt
Phil Taylor 6-3 Stuart Kellett
Wes Newton 6-2 Ronnie Baxter
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Mark Webster
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Jason Crawley
Terry Temple 6-2 Keith Stephen
Dean Winstanley 6-3 Brendan Dolan
Andy Smith 6-4 Mark Jones
Dennis Smith 6-1 Colin Osborne
Prakash Jiwa 6-4 Gary Anderson
Darren Webster 6-5 Justin Pipe
Dennis Priestley 6-5 Richie Burnett
Phil Taylor 6-1 Devon Petersen
Raymond van Barneveld 6-5 Wes Newton
Terry Temple 6-5 Adrian Lewis
Dean Winstanley 6-5 Andy Smith
Dennis Smith 6-1 Prakash Jiwa
Dennis Priestley 6-5 Darren Webster
Phil Taylor 6-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Dean Winstanley 6-2 Terry Temple
Dennis Smith 6-5 Dennis Priestley
Phil Taylor 6-1 Dean Winstanley
Phil Taylor 6-3 Dennis Smith
Final – Leg-By-Leg
0-0 – Phil Taylor wins the bull and will throw first.
0-1 – Taylor opens with a 177 and lands tops for a 13-darter to win the first leg.
0-2 – Taylor applauds a 140 from Smith before hitting back-to-back 180s to leave 48 after nine darts. He misses two darts at double 16 to break but when Smith cannot finish 124 he hits double 16 for another 13-darter.
0-3 – Taylor hits two 140s and lands double four to win the leg, despite pressure from Smith who hits a 180 to leave 98.
1-3 – The pair trade 180s, with Smith leaving 83 following his maximum. Taylor also hits a 140 to leave 81, with both players missing the bull before Smith hits double eight for a 14-darter.
2-3 – Smith hits another maximum, and breaks with a superb 121 checkout which he finishes on the bull for a 12-dart leg.
3-3 – Smith levels, initially missing double 12 in double nine for a 101 finish before returning to land double three at the first time of asking.
3-4 – Taylor opens with two 140s and finishes 78 in two darts for a 14-darter to regain the lead.
3-5 – Smith is first to a finish but misses four darts at double 16 and Taylor breaks by finishing 62 in two darts.
3-6 – Taylor scores 140, 100 and 100 to be first to a finish, opts not to throw for the bull on a 161 finish and lands double 16 for a 14-darter to take the win.