Taylor holds off Caris as Newton& Hamilton secure whitewash wins
Reigning Champion Phil Taylor moved into the second round of the PartyPoker.net European Championship with a 6-3 win over Magnus Caris on Thursday night, as Wes Newton and Andy Hamilton secured whitewashes at the RWE Sporthalle in Muelheim, Germany.
Taylor's bid to win a fifth successive title began as he saw off Swedish number one Caris, who recovered from losing the opening four legs to threaten a fightback when he won three of the next four.
The world number one, though, regained his touch to seal the win, taking out 84 on the bullseye to set up a second round clash with Dutch youngster Jerry Hendriks on Saturday afternoon.
"When I was 4-0 up I relaxed and thought it would be 6-0, and Magnus came back at me," admitted Taylor. "His confidence was growing with every leg that he won, and I should have killed him off sooner.
"It's a good start though and I'll get myself ready for the second round now because Jerry's a good young player and he'll be full of confidence."
Hendriks, a 23-year-old from Venlo in the Netherlands, impressed with a 6-2 victory over Austrian number one Mensur Suljovic earlier in the opening night of this year's £200,000 event
"It's probably the biggest match I've played and it's an awesome feeling," said Hendriks. "The start I made helped me to settle down, and I felt very comfortable on stage."
He added: "I like playing Phil - I'd play him every day if I could because you learn a lot from him. It will be hard but I'm not a player who's afraid of playing him, and it's exciting."
World number five Wes Newton produced the night's most impressive performances, hitting five 180s in whitewashing Germany's Tomas Seyler 6-0, ending the game with a ruthless end average of over 106.
"It feels really good to finish that with a 106 average, and I'm very happy to be in the next round," said the former UK Open finalist. "I knew Tomas would have the German crowd behind him so I got my head down and did a good job.
"It's nice to be playing so well but I can't get carried away."
Newton now plays Kevin Painter in the second round, with the Players Championship Finals winner seeing off Mervyn King 6-4 in their clash.
"I thought I played OK there and I got the job done well," said Painter. "This is probably what I needed after how things have gone for me since the Premier League finished.
"The Premier League's so exciting that I've had a lot of difficulty enjoying the other events, which has been a wake-up call for me. I knew I'd have to play well against Mervyn and it will be the same in the second round because Wes is in great form."
Andy Hamilton matched Newton in taking a whitewash win with his romp against Paul Nicholson, as the World Championship finalist picked up his first victory against the Australian World Cup of Darts star.
"Paul wasn't really at the races there and I probably expected more from him, but I knew I couldn't let him back in and I finished pretty well," said Hamilton.
"I know I play my best darts on TV and I'm looking forward to coming back for the second round on Saturday - bring it on!"
Hamilton's second round opponent will be Ronnie Baxter, who was clinical in taking the first five legs of his clash with German hope Michael Rosenauer before running out a 6-1 victor.
Germany's Andree Welge thrilled his home crowd at the RWE Sporthalle with a 6-4 win over Mark Webster, coming from 4-3 down to win the next three legs in sealing a popular victory.
"This is the best moment of my career," admitted Welge, a 40-year-old from Bremen. "I was so nervous because I have all the crowd behind me, but I'm very happy with my performance and it's not a surprise for me to beat Mark."
He will now play Northern Ireland's Brendan Dolan in the second round, after the 2011 World Grand Prix finalist was a 6-3 winner against Justin Pipe.
"It will be tough playing Andree on Saturday," said Dolan. "He's a brilliant player and a very good finisher, so I'll have to outscore him and take my chances.
"We played in Stuttgart a fortnight ago but I've got more match practice under my belt since then and I'll be confident."
The first round will conclude on Friday night, with the eight matches including the all-Stoke clash between World Champion Adrian Lewis and in-form Ian White.
World number three James Wade plays Colin Lloyd, Simon Whitlock faces Mark Walsh, Terry Jenkins meets five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld, who is one of five Dutchmen in action on the evening.
Vincent van der Voort plays Kim Huybrechts, Michael van Gerwen meets Andy Smith, Co Stompe plays Richie Burnett and Gino Vos will make his European Championship debut against Dave Chisnall.
Friday's games will be screened live on ESPN HD in the UK, as well as on Fox Sports in Australia and online via Sport1 in Germany, RTL7 in the Netherlands and LIVEPDC.TV.
PartyPoker.net European Championship
Thursday September 20
Jerry Hendriks 6-2 Mensur Suljovic
Mark Webster 4-6 Andree Welge
Justin Pipe 3-6 Brendan Dolan
Andy Hamilton 6-0 Paul Nicholson
Wes Newton 6-0 Tomas Seyler
Phil Taylor 6-3 Magnus Caris
Mervyn King 4-6 Kevin Painter
Ronnie Baxter 6-1 Michael Rosenauer
Friday September 21
8pm start (local time)
First Round - Bet Now
Michael van Gerwen v Andy Smith
Richie Burnett v Co Stompe
Dave Chisnall v Gino Vos
Simon Whitlock v Mark Walsh
James Wade v Colin Lloyd
Adrian Lewis v Ian White
Terry Jenkins v Raymond van Barneveld
Kim Huybrechts v Vincent van der Voort
All games the best of 11 legs
Jerry Hendriks v Mensur Suljovic
0-0 - Jerry Hendriks has won the bull and will throw first
1-0 - Hendriks is first to a finish and takes out double 18 with his first dart to lead.
2-0 - Hendriks lands a 180 to leave 121, with both players unable to finish double top and ten across two visits each before the young Dutchman breaks throw on double two.
3-0 - The youngster lands a 180 and finishes 115 for a 12-darter, taking out the combination with single 19, treble 20 and double 18.
3-1 - Suljovic posts double nine to win his first leg of the game.
4-1 - Hendriks holds his nerve to finish tops with his third dart at the bed to regain his three-leg lead.
5-1 - Hendriks misses two darts to break throw again, but Suljovic is off-target with two darts at double eight to allow him back to post double ten.
5-2 - Suljovic keeps his hopes alive by posting double ten to break back.
6-2 - Hendriks completes an impressive victory by taking out 80 on double five.
Jerry Hendriks: "It's an awesome feeling. I was nervous before the match because it's probably the biggest match I've played, but the start I made helped me to settle down, and I felt very comfortable on stage. I'm very relieved now and it's great for my family too because I only live half an hour away just into Holland, so I've got my parents, aunts, uncles and friends here watching!"
Mark Webster v Andree Welge
0-0 - Mark Webster wins the bull and will throw first
1-0 - Welge is unable to take out 111, and Webster posts double ten to win the opening leg.
1-1 - Welge levels the game in style, finishing a 14-darter on double ten.
1-2 - Welge breaks throw, initially missing the bull for a 124 finish only to be allowed to return, with Webster initially setting up 40 with a 170 score only to miss three darts for the leg and allow the German to finish double 12.
2-2 - Webster breaks back immediately, hitting a 180 and confidently taking out tops to level.
3-2 - Welge opens with a 174, but Webster is first to a finish and lands double ten to regain the advantage.
3-3 - Welge narrowly misses tops for a 160 checkout, but returns to finish double ten to square the contest.
4-3 - Webster scores 180, 57, 180 and finishes 84 on tops for a fine 12-darter.
4-4 - Welge is unable to finish 139, but returns to take out double ten to level again.
4-5 - Welge takes the lead with a superb 130 checkout, taking out treble 20, treble 18 and double eight.
4-6 - Welge is first to a finish, and takes out 66 with a bull, double eight combination for a huge victory over the number eight seed.
Andree Welge: "This is the best moment of my career because it's the European Championship and I was playing in front of my own fans against the number nine in the world. I was so nervous because I have all the crowd behind me, but I'm very happy with my performance and it's not a surprise for me to beat Mark. He was the favourite and he deserved to be because he's the number nine in the world. I'll have one day off now and I can't wait to play on Saturday - I know there will be a big crowd cheering me on."
Justin Pipe v Brendan Dolan
0-0 - Brendan Dolan wins the bull and will throw first
0-1 - Both players trade 180s, with Dolan taking the opening leg by landing double five with his third dart to finish 40.
0-2 - Dolan lands a 180, and after initially missing the bull to finish 91 he returns to post double 16.
1-2 - Pipe breaks back by taking out 130 on double eight.
2-2 - Double five from Pipe sees him level the contest.
2-3 - Pipe misses double four to take out 61, and Dolan steps in by finishing double 12 for a 56 checkout.
3-3 - Pipe finishes double eight to square the game.
3-4 - Dolan misses double 16 for a 101 checkout, but returns to take the leg and edge back ahead.
3-5 - Pipe is unable to convert double 16, and Dolan finishes double 19 to break and move a leg away from victory.
3-6 - Dolan hits his third 180 of the match to pull away, and takes out 68 with treble 20 and double four to seal the win and set up a second round clash with Germany's Andree Welge on Saturday.
Brendan Dolan: "It was a real battle of a match. Neither of us played as well as we can, and I knew I had to stand up tall. There was a 180 in the middle of the game which boosted my confidence but I thought the game was going to go all the way to five-all, so it felt good to finish it off. It will be tough playing Andree on Saturday. He's a brilliant player and a very good finisher, so I'll have to outscore him and take my chances. We played in Stuttgart a fortnight ago but I've got more match practice under my belt since then and I'll be confident."
Andy Hamilton v Paul Nicholson
0-0 - Paul Nicholson wins the bull and will throw first
1-0 - Hamilton finishes double eight to secure an immediate break of throw.
2-0 - Hamilton initially misses double 11, but returns to hit the bed under pressure from Nicholson, who scored 170 to leave 40 only to be denied a dart at a double.
3-0 - Nicholson misses the bull to finish 121, and Hamilton steps in to take out 70 in two darts with treble 18 and double eight.
4-0 - Hamilton opens with a 180 and then scores 165 to leave 36, before posting double nine for an 11-dart finish.
5-0 - Nicholson is just off-target on tops for a 160 checkout, and Hamilton finishes 72 on double 16 to move a leg away from a whitewash win.
6-0 - Hamilton completes a comprehensive victory by taking out 88 on double seven.
Andy Hamilton: "It wasn't my best performance but all that matters is being through. Paul wasn't really at the races there and I probably expected more from him, but I knew I couldn't let him back in and I finished pretty well. I know I play my best darts on TV and I'm looking forward to coming back for the second round on Saturday - bring it on!"
Wes Newton v Tomas Seyler
0-0 - Tomas Seyler wins the bull and will throw first
1-0 - Newton makes a confident start, landing a 180 and taking out 32 to win the opener against the throw in 14 darts.
2-0 - The Fleetwood ace lands another maximum and finishes double ten for a 13-dart leg.
3-0 - Newton's superb start continues, as he begins the leg with another 180. He misses double eight for a 127 finish, but when Seyler is off-target on double four to take out 61 he returns to land double two for a second 14-darter.
4-0 - Newton scores a 170 in leaving 11 after 12 darts, and posts double two to win a fourth successive leg, maintaining an average of 107.
5-0 - The number four seed posts his fourth 180, and finishes double eight to move a leg away from the win.
6-0 - Newton's brilliant performance concludes with another 180 and double 16 to complete the whitewash with a 106 average.
Wes Newton: "It feels really good to finish that with a 106 average, and I'm very happy to be in the next round. It's nice to be playing so well but I can't get carried away and I've got to concentrate on the next game because that average has gone now. I knew Tomas would have the German crowd behind him so I got my head down and did a good job."
Phil Taylor v Magnus Caris
0-0 - Magnus Caris wins the bull and will throw first
1-0 - Taylor makes a fine start, hitting a 180 in the opening leg and finishing tops for a 13-darter.
2-0 - Double 12 sees the reigning champion move two legs up.
3-0 - Taylor posts another maximum, and when Caris misses a dart to get off the mark he steps in to land tops.
4-0 - Caris misses the bull for a 164 finish and darts at double 16 and eight to allow Taylor in to finish double ten.
4-1 - Caris posts double five to win his first leg.
5-1 - Both players miss darts at the bullseye before Taylor returns to hit double eight and move to the brink of victory.
5-2 - Caris misses four darts to win the leg, but when Taylor narrowly misses the chance to seal victory - being off-target for a second double top needing 100 - the Swede returns to land double ten with his third dart to stay in the game.
5-3 - Caris posts double 16 to break throw and reduce the gap to two legs.
6-3 - Taylor seals the win by taking out 84 on the bull.
Phil Taylor: "When I was 4-0 up I relaxed and thought it would be 6-0, and Magnus came back at me. His confidence was growing with every leg that he won, and I should have killed him off sooner. It's a good start though and I'll get myself ready for the second round now because Jerry's a good young player and he'll be full of confidence after his win over Mensur."
Mervyn King v Kevin Painter
0-0 - Kevin Painter wins the bull and will throw first
0-1 - King posts a 180 to open the match but Painter finishes double 16 to hold throw.
1-1 - King levels by winning the second, hitting another maximum and finishing 84 on double 12.
1-2 - Painter wins the third to edge back ahead.
2-2 - Double 12 sees King level again.
2-3 - King misses the bullseye to break with an 86 finish, and Painter takes out 76 in two darts on double eight.
2-4 - Painter secures the game's first break of throw, with King unable to take out 120 to allow him in to finish double ten.
3-4 - Painter misses a dart at tops to finish 114, and King steps in on double eight to hit back.
4-4 - King levels the match with a fine leg, hitting 171 to leave 32, which he takes out at the first time of asking.
4-5 - Painter regains his lead by finishing tops.
4-6 - Painter sets up a second round clash with Wes Newton by finishing 95 on double 16 to secure victory.
Kevin Painter: "I thought I played OK there and I got the job done well. When you draw a player like Mervyn you know it's going to be tough but this is probably what I needed after how things have gone for me since the Premier League finished. The Premier League's so exciting that I've had a lot of difficulty enjoying the other events, which has been a wake-up call for me. I knew I'd have to play well against Mervyn and it will be the same in the second round because Wes Newton is in great form."
Ronnie Baxter v Michael Rosenauer
0-0 - Ronnie Baxter wins the bull and will throw first
1-0 - Rosenauer lands a 180 but is unable to prevent Baxter taking the opening leg with a 138 checkout.
2-0 - Double four from Baxter sees him break throw and double his lead.
3-0 - Baxter maintains his flawless start on finishing by landing tops.
4-0 - The pair trade 180s, and double four from Baxter sees him move four legs clear.
5-0 - Baxter kicks off the leg with 180, 137 and 168 to leave 16 after nine darts, and although he misses six darts at doubles he has enough cushion to return and finish double two for the leg.
5-1 - Rosenauer hits his third 180 of the game, and finishes tops to get off the mark.
6-1 - Baxter posts a maximum, and although he initially misses four match darts, Rosenauer is unable to convert a 77 finish and the Blackpool man returns to finish double two for the win.