PARTYPOKER.COM GRAND SLAM OF DARTS TREBLE FOR TAYLOR
PHIL TAYLOR claimed a third successive PartyPoker.com Grand Slam of Darts title with a 16-2 demolition of Red Dragon Darts Scott Waites at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.
Taylor followed up his 16-6 defeat of Raymond van Barneveld in Sunday afternoon^s semis with another brilliant display to take the £100,000 title.
The win earned Taylor a 21st tournament victory of 2009 in sensational style, hitting a 170 checkout during the game and missing double 12 for a nine-darter in the winning leg - settling instead for a 10-darter in wrapping up the triumph.
"I^ve put a lot of hard work into this and really dedicated myself," said Taylor. "I love the competition and playing on the big stage against all the other players.
"I^m so proud of Scott. He came through a really tough field this week, and he never gave in."
Taylor kicked-off the match with a 14 darter, before winning the second against the darts by hitting double 16.
The Stoke star converted a two-dart 72 finish to win the third leg despite a 180 from his opponent, and soon increased his lead to 4-0 before Waites got into the game with an excellent 105 checkout to win the fifth.
Taylor^s domination of the match continued as he won three legs on the spin, in legs of 14, 13 and 14 darts, to move 7-1 ahead.
Waites managed to halt his opponent^s flow by winning the ninth leg, after Taylor made rare errors on the doubles, but the world number one won the next two legs to go 11-2 ahead and establish complete command.
He then produced a fabulous 170 checkout after Waites had missed the bullseye for an 81 finish to move ten legs clear.
Double top gave Taylor a 13-2 lead, and he won the next by recording a 116 checkout to go two legs away from the match.
Taylor missed the bullseye by the slimmest of margins for another 170 checkout, but returned to the oche to land double eight and continue the relentless pace, and set up a potential nine-dart finish in aiming to seal the win.
After hitting back-to-back 180s, he returned to land treble 20 and treble 19, but his attempt at double 12 was a whisker under the wire - mirroring a similar attempt in the European Championship final three weeks ago.
However, he returned to the oche to hit double six for a ten-dart finish to claim the PartyPoker.com Grand Slam of Darts trophy once again.
"I^ve put a lot of work into this tournament and I^m delighted to win it," added Taylor. "Scott never gave in and played some fantastic darts throughout the week, and he should be proud of himself.
"It means a lot to me to win another title here and I love the challenge."
Despite his heavy defeat in the final, Huddersfield-based Waites – a joiner who will return to work on Tuesday - was able to reflect on a successful week, taking away a cheque for £50,000 - the biggest of his career.
"Phil is hardest person in the game to play, and proved why tonight," said Waites. "This week has been fantastic and I^m ready to come back next year for more."