2015 Masters Darts - Saturday Night Round-up
TERRY JENKINS knocked Phil Taylor out of The Masters with a 10-7 first round at ArenaMK on Saturday night as reigning champion James Wade began his title defence with a 10-3 win over Mervyn King.
Jenkins picked up only his fourth career victory over the 16-time World Champion as Taylor - competing for the first time since the World Championship final - suffered an off-night on his doubles.
Taylor missed seven darts at doubles as Jenkins won the opening five legs without reply before the Stoke great's switch from aiming at the double 16 area of the board to tops helped him hit back to 7-3.
He then finished 68, an 11-darter and double eight as he reduced the gap to 7-6, only for Jenkins to deny him the chance to level by taking the next two before going on to seal victory.
"I'm happy to beat Phil, but I'm also disappointed with the way I played," said Jenkins. "I've been smashing everything in practice so it was frustrating for me that I didn't play as well as I wanted to - but I did enough.
"Phil is still the man to beat and when Phil came back I just knew that I had to hold my throw and I managed to do that.
"I'm looking forward to the quarter-finals and I'm hoping I can relax and get into the game a bit because if I take my practice game onto stage I can win this."
Reigning Masters champion Wade overcame King 10-3 in their repeat of last year's final, avoiding a repeat of their dramatic clash in Edinburgh with a confident display.
Wade took the game's first five legs without reply in a superb opening, taking out 115 and 130 as well as an 11-darter before King took two of the next three to hit back.
Wade then finished 108 and 138 to restore his cushion at 8-2, and though King traded 14-darters with his rival it was the left-hander who finished 94 to seal his quarter-final spot.
"Mervyn wasn't confident tonight and I could read that in his body language, so when I hit those first two finishes it seemed to rock him a little bit," said Wade.
"My finishing and scoring will have to be a little bit better, but I'm happy to still be in the tournament and I'm enjoying it."
New World Champion Gary Anderson overcame some dodgy doubling as he defeated Andy Hamilton 10-2 to begin his challenge to win a third successive major event.
The Scot now takes on Wade in the quarter-finals, and said: "I'm pleased to get that out of the way
"It's been a busy few weeks and my preparation hasn't been great, so I'm pleased to get through that game because I was panicking a bit beforehand. You want to win and play well, but the main thing is I'm through to Sunday."
World number one Michael van Gerwen also made his return to action - following a post-World Championship holiday in the Maldives - with a 10-5 defeat of Wes Newton.
"In patches I played alright but I know I can play a lot better," said van Gerwen. "The most important thing is that I'm through but I need to do better and it will be a big test tomorrow - I can't make too many mistakes.
"It would be great to win this event but I've got a lot of hard work ahead of me because there are eight great players left."
Van Gerwen now takes on Dave Chisnall, who was the day's most impressive performer with a 106.30 average in his 10-5 win over Robert Thornton, hitting ten doubles from 14 attempts.
"After the World Championship I was a bit disappointed in my game, but I've worked on my game and I played well today," said Chisnall.
"My doubles have been quite good in my last few competitions and my scoring was up there today too so I'm very happy with that.
"I'm here to win and I was ready today, and the hard work showed so I want to carry this on now."
Peter Wright and Adrian Lewis were also in impressive finishing form as they set up a tasty quarter-final clash with wins over Brendan Dolan and Ian White respectively.
Wright dropped only one leg as he stormed past Dolan 10-1, winning the opening nine legs without reply in a comprehensive victory.
"I've been working since the World Championship on a new set-up, so that I can score better and get less deflections, and they've been going pretty well," said the former World Championship finalist.
"It wasn't a bad performance but it can be better and I'll work on that, and I'm still in the tournament.
"Brendan didn't play as well as he can but it's not about the other player, it's about me going through and preparing myself for the quarter-finals."
Lewis, meanwhile, hit ten doubles from 15 attempts in his 10-4 win over Stoke rival Ian White, who was unable to fight back after seeing the reigning UK Open champion take a four-leg lead.
"I missed too many doubles in the World Championship but my finishing today was very good and I improved that today," said Lewis. "I've put a lot of work in over the last couple of weeks and I feel good about my game.
"Ian's a lot better than he showed today and I took full advantage and I'm looking forward to Sunday now."
Reigning Premier League champion Raymond van Barneveld defied a 167 checkout from Simon Whitlock in the opening leg of their game to take a 10-7 win over the gritty Australian.
"Simon hit a fantastic 167 in the first leg but I had to stay focused," said van Barneveld. "Simon's always a fighter and he's awesome, and I know he'll get back there.
"I know what I can do. I hit many 180s and scored well but my game isn't there yet and I have to get stronger. I'm happy to be through and I'll prepare for the quarter-finals now."
The £200,000 tournament concludes on Sunday, with the afternoon's quarter-finals followed in the evening session by the semi-finals and final at ArenaMK, live on ITV4.
Saturday January 31
4x First Round Games
Peter Wright 10-1 Brendan Dolan
Robert Thornton 5-10 Dave Chisnall
Adrian Lewis 10-4 Ian White
Simon Whitlock 7-10 Raymond van Barneveld
4x First Round Games
James Wade 10-3 Mervyn King
Phil Taylor 7-10 Terry Jenkins
Gary Anderson 10-2 Andy Hamilton
Michael van Gerwen 10-5 Wes Newton
Sunday February 1
Afternoon Session (12.45pm-5pm)
Peter Wright v Adrian Lewis
Michael van Gerwen v Dave Chisnall
Terry Jenkins v Raymond van Barneveld
James Wade v Gary Anderson
Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
van Gerwen/Chisnall v Wright/Lewis
Jenkins/van Barneveld v Wade/Anderson
Quarter-Finals - Best of 19 legs
Semi-Finals - Best of 21 legs
Final - Best of 21 legs