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Rupert Wyman 4th Jan 2010 - 14:48

Taylor claims his 15th word title

Dave Allen, the PDC's media officer, rounds-up the action from the final of the 2010 PDC World Darts Championship which saw Phil Taylor crowned champion once again. The image is courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC.

PHIL TAYLOR became World Darts Champion for a 15th time on Sunday night with a 7-3 victory over Australian Simon Whitlock in the final of the PDC World Darts Championship.

The world number one successfully defended his title by dropping just four sets during the entire tournament to claim a record £200,000 first prize.

Whitlock was not phased in the early stages of the final and led 2-1, only for Taylor to establish a 6-2 advantage before finally coming through to deny the Australian.

A classic match saw both players end with three-dart averages over 100 and a 170 checkout was hit by both finalists during the contest.

"This means everything to me," revealed Taylor. "I think that was one of the greatest finals I've ever played in.

"Simon made me work really hard throughout the match. When he was 2-1 up I knew I had to hit back at him and I never, ever, gave in."

Taylor kicked off the final in wonderful style, recording a 180 with his first three darts but then missed three darts at doubles for an early break and Whitlock capitalised with a two-dart 70 finish for the leg.

Taylor hit another maximum at the start of the second leg and went to win it in 15 darts, and took the third with the aid of another maximum before winning the set in the next by hitting double 20, despite a 180 from Whitlock.

The second set proved to be a tight affair which saw all five legs won against the darts. It began with a wonderful 170 checkout from Whitlock after Taylor had left himself on 32 after opting to set up a finish.

Taylor won the second leg but Whitlock regained the lead with an excellent 82 finish, defying a maximum from his opponent.

Whitlock missed a dart at double eight to win the set in the next leg, which allowed Taylor to level by hitting double ten, only for the roles to be reversed in the deciding leg as Taylor missed a dart at double top and the Australian stepped in to convert a nerveless two-dart 76 finish and win the set.

That was only the second set that Taylor had dropped in the tournament, and Whitlock began the third set with a 14-dart finish to win the first leg.

Taylor won the second by holding throw comfortably but missed opportunities to break throw in the third leg and Whitlock hit double ten to regain the lead.

Taylor managed to win the fourth leg but Whitlock held throw in the decider by landing double 16 at the first time of asking to take the set.

Whitlock, who defeated Raymond van Barneveld in Saturday's semi-final, hit his second maximum of the game at the start of the fourth set, but missed two darts at double 12 to break and Taylor hit a clinical two-dart 65 to take an early lead.

That was extended by winning the second leg by landing double 16 with his last dart after Whitlock missed double 11 for a 142 checkout.

The Australian managed to win the third leg in superb fashion, courtesy of a 122 finish on the bullseye, but Taylor wrapped up the set on double 16 in the next to square the game.

The fifth set saw Taylor produce some incredible finishing to reclaim the lead, breaking throw in the first leg with a wonderful 167 checkout, hitting double four in the next before taking out 161 for the set.

The fifth set's first leg of went in favour of Taylor on double ten with his last dart before Whitlock took out 88 to level and then 82 for an 11-darter.

He missed a dart at double top by the width of the wire in the next, which would have given him the set, allowing Taylor in on double eight before he landed a 14-dart finish in the decider for a 4-2 cushion.

Set seven began with Whitlock hitting his seventh 180 of the game but Taylor won the leg with an excellent 122 checkout - completed on the bullseye.

A break of throw was secured in the second with a 13-dart finish and a successful attempt at double top put Taylor three sets clear of his opponent by taking the set without reply in 38 darts.

Whitlock won his first leg in six by breaking throw at the start of the eighth set and was in complete command of the second before Taylor hit second 170 checkout of the match.

Taylor won the third leg for a 2-1 lead and then defied a maximum from Whitlock to hit an 80 finish to move one set away from the title.

Both players held their throws in the opening two legs of set nine, before Whitlock converted 108 checkout to take a 2-1 lead.

A dramatic fourth leg saw Taylor miss seven darts to keep the set alive, and Whitlock landed double one with his ninth attempt at a double to reduce the deficit in the match to 6-3.

Taylor won the opening leg of the tenth set with a 68 finish, but missed five darts to break throw in the second leg which allowed Whitlock to level.

Taylor hit the bullseye to record an 86 finish to move to the brink of victory, before a sensational 131 checkout saw Taylor claim his 15th World Championship crown.

Whitlock said: "I'm really proud of the way I played tonight. I think I pushed Phil on a few occasions during the course of the match.

"This tournament has changed my whole life. It's allowed me to play the circuit full-time now and I want to be a contender in major events."

The night also saw Mark Webster defeat Raymond van Barneveld 10-8 in legs to claim the third-fourth place play-off, meaning he collects a £60,000 cheque for the tournament, with the Dutchman taking home £40,000.

"This win means a lot to me," said Webster. "I go into the top 32 now and also the money is important too.

"I'm really pleased and now I can reflect on a great tournament. I've come third in the biggest darts tournament there's ever been, so I'm happy with that."



SET SCORES: 3-1, 2-3, 2-3, 3-1, 3-0, 3-2, 3-0, 3-2, 1-3, 3-1





MARK WEBSTER came out on top in the battle for third place at the 2010 PDC World Darts Championship with a 10-8 victory over Raymond van Barneveld.

Webster put together three excellent legs from 8-7 down to take home a cheque for £60,000 - which sees the Welshman enter the top 32 in the Order of Merit for the first time.

Webster won the opening leg of the match with a confident 72 finish before van Barneveld replied to win the second, with a two-dart 59 checkout.

The Dutchman, who lost a thrilling semi-final to Simon Whitlock a day earlier, won the third leg with the aid of a maximum but Webster broke straight back by hitting double 12 to level the match.

Webster regained the lead in the fifth leg by hitting double top at the first time of asking but van Barneveld won the next leg with an accurate dart at double 18.

Van Barneveld led the game for a second time by winning the seventh leg with an 84 finish but Webster pegged him back again by winning the next to square the game at four legs apiece.

Webster moved 5-4 up by hitting double 12 before van Barneveld hit double nine with his last dart to win the tenth leg.

The Dutchman registered a 113 checkout to with the next leg but Webster hit form in the 12th leg by hitting an 11-dart finish, which included two maximums.

Webster won the 13th leg after van Barneveld burst his score after hitting treble 20 with his first when trying to convert a 52 finish, but he made no mistake in the next leg to leave the game finely poised at 7-7.

The Dutchman took the 15th leg with an excellent 118 checkout after Webster had left himself on tops, but the Welsh ace hit back to level at 8-8 after van Barneveld was guilty of missing two chances to move two legs clear.

Webster then moved 9-8 up with a timely 13-darter and then won the match in the 18th leg by hitting double ten with his last dart.

"This win means a lot to me," said Webster. "I go into the top 32 now and also the money is important too.

"I'm really pleased and now I can reflect on a great tournament. I've come third in the biggest darts tournament there's ever been, so I'm happy with that.

"I was whacked by the best player in the world, Phil Taylor, in the semis and I didn't want to get whacked by the second best either, because then you think you can't play the big players. But this will hold me in good stead and I can kick on now in the New Year."



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