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Nic Ladds 6th Oct 2009 - 7:38

Powerful World Grand Prix start for Phil Taylor

Phil Taylor began his challenge for a ninth World Grand Prix title with a 2-0 win over Brendan Dolan on the opening night of this year's £350,000 event.

The defending champion dropped just two legs against the Northern Irish qualifier, and averaged over 98 in the double-start format with a strong performance.

Taylor won both sets 3-1, and included finishes of 120 and 122 in taking the win and now meets Wayne Jones in the second round on Wednesday, following the Wolverhampton man's narrow 2-1 win over Paul Nicholson.

"I'm very happy to be through," said Taylor. "The first round's always tough because it's a short format, and Brendan played really well.

"I can relax a bit now because it's a longer game on Wednesday, best of five sets. Wayne's very consistent and he'll be a tough opponent, but I'm here to win it and I think I'm playing well enough."

However, a string of other players matched Taylor's impressive opening in a high-quality first night of action at the Citywest Hotel IECC.

Scotland's Gary Anderson dropped just one leg in his debut in the World Grand Prix, defeating John MaGowan in straight sets with a 97 average.

He will now take on Adrian Lewis, who overcame Scottish star Robert Thornton in the same manner, in a mouth-watering second round contest.

"I'm looking forward to playing him," said Lewis. "He's beaten me the two times we've played before but it's a different game and I'm a different player now.

"I'm showing now that I can throw fast if I want to, and I can throw slowly too and still hit the same scores. If I hit him with the scores like I did at times against Robert it will put him under pressure."

2004 World Grand Prix champion Colin Lloyd swept aside world number four John Part 2-0, showing clinical accuracy on double top, while two-time runner-up Terry Jenkins lost just two legs in seeing off Wayne Mardle.

Andy Smith will take on Lloyd after he booked a second-round place in a dramatic deciding leg against Holland's Vincent van der Voort, who hit seven perfect darts of a potential nine-darter earlier in the contest.

Jenkins, meanwhile, meets Mark Dudbridge on Wednesday after the Bristol thrower defeated Denis Ovens 2-1.

Tuesday night sees the remaining eight first round games take place, including 2007 champion James Wade against two-time World Champion Dennis Priestley and Raymond van Barneveld up against Alan Tabern.

Irish pride will also be at stake when Mick McGowan and Jacko Barry, who live only a few miles apart in County Dublin, clash for a place in the last 16.


2009 World Grand Prix
Monday October 5

First Round
Wayne Jones 2-1 Paul Nicholson
Andy Smith 2-1 Vincent van der Voort
Mark Dudbridge 2-1 Denis Ovens
Colin Lloyd 2-0 John Part
Gary Anderson 2-0 John MaGowan
Phil Taylor 2-0 Brendan Dolan
Terry Jenkins 2-0 Wayne Mardle
Adrian Lewis 2-0 Robert Thornton

Tuesday October 6
First Round (continued)
6pm Start
Wes Newton v Jamie Caven
Andy Hamilton v Mark Walsh
Kevin Painter v Michael van Gerwen
Mervyn King v Colin Osborne
Jacko Barry v Mick McGowan
James Wade v Dennis Priestley
Raymond van Barneveld v Alan Tabern
Ronnie Baxter v Steve Beaton

(3-1, 2-3, 3-1)

WAYNE JONES tasted victory in the World Grand Prix for the first time with a 2-1 win over Paul Nicholson.

Jones had been a first round loser in his three previous appearances in the double-start event, but overcame Nicholson in a deciding set.

Jones, sporting his new "Wanderer" nickname, took the opener 3-1, holding throw in the opening three legs before taking out 104 on double 16 to break Nicholson for the set.

He also took out a 114 to level in the second set, before Nicholson set up a potential nine-darter in the third leg with scores of 160 to start and 180.

However, he missed the seventh dart of a potentially historic perfect leg, although a 76 checkout eventually put him 2-1 up.

Jones levelled on double five, but then missed a dart at double 16 for the match in the decider as Nicholson hit the same bed to take the set.

Nicholson then took out 120 to break throw in the final set, only for Jones to land a 180 and double eight in breaking back.

A two-dart 100 finish put Jones 2-1 up, and he punished a missed double 18 from Nicholson to land double ten for the victory.


(3-2, 1-3, 3-2)
ANDY SMITH won a final-leg shoot-out to deny Vincent van der Voort and progress to the last 16 of the World Grand Prix with a 2-1 victory.

After the pair shared a tight opening two sets, Smith looked on course to cruise to the win after leading 2-0 in the decider.

The Dutchman hit back to level, and gave himself a chance in the final leg, only to miss two darts for the match and give Smith his chance, taking out double top at the first time of asking to move into the second round.

Van der Voort started the stronger and took the first break of throw to lead 2-1 in the opening set.

Smith took out double 13 to break and then landed a 180 and a 102 finish to win the set.

A 136 checkout put Van der Voort ahead in set two, with Smith levelling on double four before the Dutchman hit top gear.

He opened the third leg with a 160 and took out double 16 to lead 2-1, before opening with scores 160 and 180 in the next to set up a potential nine-darter.

Needing 161, he hit the treble 20 but missed the treble 17, leaving 24 after nine darts before returning to win the leg in ten after Smith, who had also posted a 180, left himself 16 following 12 darts in a high-quality leg.

But the Dutchman was unable to maintain the momentum, with Smith taking the first two legs of the decider following misses from his opponent.

Double three kept him in the game and double eight saw him level and ensure a decider.

He edged in front in leg five, but missed darts at double top and ten for the game before Smith - who left 60 with a 140 - landed double top for the win.


(3-0, 1-3, 3-1)
MARK DUDBRIDGE edged past Denis Ovens in a deciding set to win his place in the last 16 of the World Grand Prix.

Dudbridge made a superb start, landing a 180 in taking the first leg, breaking throw in the second and then landing double top to win the set 3-0.

Ovens landed a 180 and double 18 to lead in the second, before Dudbridge posted double ten to level, despite a maximum from his opponent.

Dudbridge then landed a 180 to leave 122 in the third, but missed double seven for that checkout as Ovens landed double 18 for the leg and then double top to take the set.

Missed doubles cost Ovens as Dudbridge took the third set's opener, before double nine levelled.

Dudbridge opened the third with a 160 start, and traded 180s with Ovens before taking out 84 on the bull to lead 2-1.

Dudbridge also hit a 180 in the next, and stepped in following misses at double 19 and double eight from Ovens to seal victory on double ten.


(3-0, 3-2)
COLIN LLOYD powered past John Part in straight sets to set up a second round clash with Andy Smith at the World Grand Prix.

The 2004 champion produced an impressive display to romp into the last 16, hitting six from 11 darts at a finishing double and averaging 94.63 in the contest.

He powered to the first set, winning three legs without reply to take command in the game.

Accuracy on double top helped him to the first two legs, before a 177 finish left 42 in the third, with double 16 sealing the set.

Double top also put Lloyd ahead in the second set, before a miss at the same bed allowed Part in to level matters.

Lloyd began the third with a maximum 160 start, and stepped in on double four after Part landed a 180 but then missed four darts at a double.

Part took out 79 in two darts to save the game in leg four, after Lloyd missed the bull for victory.

However, the Essex man hit his first 180 of the game in the next to leave 61, and landed double 18 to move through.


(3-1, 3-0)
GARY ANDERSON dropped just one leg in an impressive World Grand Prix debut against John MaGowan.

The Scottish ace made a brilliant start to his first bid to win the double-start event, averaging almost 97 and hitting three 180s in a fine performance.

He hit a 160 start to open the game, winning the first leg and then breaking throw in the second, hitting two 180s and a double top finish.

Anderson also opened the third with a 160, but missed doubles allowed MaGowan - a quarter-finalist in the event four years ago - to get on the scoreboard.

But Anderson wrapped up the set in style, kicking off leg four with a 160 and also hitting a 140 and double five to move half-way to victory.

MaGowan began set two with a 156 start, but Anderson hit back and landed tops to move in front, and then landed a 180 and double four to move to the brink of victory.

He then stepped in to wrap up the win following three missed doubles from the 68-year-old in the next, landing double 18 to take the win.



(3-1, 3-1)
PHIL TAYLOR began his bid for a ninth World Grand Prix title with a straight sets win over Brendan Dolan.

The defending champion produced a strong display to see off the Northern Irish qualifier, dropping just two legs in the match and averaging 98.33, the highest so far on the opening night.

The duo shared 180s in the first two legs before Taylor landed another maximum and a 120 finish to win the third.

That was then bettered as he wrapped up the first set with a 122 checkout, finishing on the bullseye.

Dolan missed the bull for a 130 finish in the second set's opener, with Taylor taking out double 16 for the first leg and also for the second, which he opened with a 160 score.

Double top gave Dolan the third, and he opened the next with a 160 and 180 to set up a potential nine-darter.

Taylor also fired in a 180, and stepped in after Dolan missed the seventh dart of a potential perfect leg to seal victory on double top.

"I'm very happy to be through," said Taylor. "The first round's always tough because it's a short format, and Brendan played really well.

"He didn't falter at all and was brilliant. I wanted him to hit the nine-darter and it was a shame that he didn't, but he's a cracking player and showed a lot of bottle because there was a lot of pressure on him.

"I've got Wayne Jones next on Wednesday and I can relax a bit because it's a longer game, best of five sets. Wayne's very consistent and he'll be a tough opponent, but I'm here to win it and I think I'm playing well enough."


(3-1, 3-1)
TERRY JENKINS swept past Wayne Mardle in straight sets to secure his place in the second round of the World Grand Prix.

The two-time runner-up made a strong start to his title bid at the Citywest Hotel IECC, dropping just two legs against Mardle.

Jenkins took double 16 for the game's opening leg before landing a 180 and double top to break Mardle in the second leg.

Mardle hit back with a 14-darter, finished on double 18, to get off the mark before Jenkins took out 65 for the set.

Double 16 put Mardle ahead in the second, but a brace of double top finishes saw Jenkins move to the brink of victory.

Mardle then, for the third time in the game, failed to get off with his opening three darts in the next leg, and continued to miss a total of 15 darts at a starting double around the board as Jenkins pulled clear and posted double 16 to whitewash his opponent and claim the win.


(3-0, 3-1)
ADRIAN LEWIS made a high-quality start to his World Grand Prix challenge, dropping only one leg in a 2-0 victory over Robert Thornton.

Thornton went into the game nursing an injured throwing hand, and was punished by a ruthless Lewis, who won a second Players Championship inside a month on Saturday and maintained that form.

Lewis kicked off the match with a 120 score and took the opening leg in 14 darts, before matching that in the second to double his lead, despite a maximum from Thornton.

Lewis then added a second 180 of his own before finishing 72 on double 12 to wrap up the set without Thornton having a dart at a double.

Double nine gave Lewis the opening leg of set two, before Lewis defied a maximum to land double ten for his first leg of the match.

However, he missed his chance in leg three as Lewis moved a leg away from the victory, before hitting a superb 13-darter to ensure the win.

Lewis now meets Scotland's Gary Anderson on Wednesday in a mouth-watering second round encounter, and said: "I'm looking forward to playing him.

"He's beaten me the two times we've played before but it's a different game and I'm a different player now.

"I'm showing now that I can throw fast if I want to, and I can throw slowly too and still hit the same scores.

"I did it in Saturday's Players Championship, which I won, and I'm very deliberate now and concentrate on every dart.

"When I'm throwing fast I sometimes lose concentration but I felt good tonight and stuck to it. I'll do exactly the same against Gary too.

"If I hit him with the scores like I did at times against Robert it will put him under pressure and make him start thinking about it."


Copy courtesy of David Allen, PDC Media Officer
Picture courtesy of Lawrence Lustig, PDC


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