Sky Poker World Grand Prix - Taylor Claims Eighth Title
PHIL TAYLOR 6-2 RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD
(2-3, 3-2, 3-0, 1-3, 3-0, 3-2, 3-2, 3-2)
PHIL TAYLOR claimed his eighth Sky Poker World Grand Prix title with a 6-2 demolition of Raymond van Barneveld at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin.
Taylor bounced back from his first round exit in the double-start event a year ago to claim the title and pick up a fourth major ranking victory of 2008 in style.
He hit 13 180s and averaged 97.81 in claiming the £50,000 title.
Van Barneveld took out 133 to win the first leg, and though Taylor replied with a 100 finish it was the Dutchman who took first blood with a double 189 finish to win the set.
Legs of 13 and 14 darts from van Barneveld put him 2-0 up in the second before Taylor found his range.
He took out back-to-back 14-darters before then checking out 145 for a 12-darter which sealed the set.
then won the third set without reply, landing maximums in all three legs, before taking out a 13-darter to open set four.
But van Barneveld levelled and then broke Taylor^s throw on double 16 before taking out double eight for the set to level.
Again Taylor lifted, firing in a 12-darter, including his eighth maximum of the game, to lead in set five, and he took advantage of a missed bullseye from the Dutchman to take the set 3-0 for a 3-2 lead.
He opened the sixth with a fine 11-darter, and a 141 checkout put him 2-1 up before van Barneveld checked out 160 in style to level.
But Taylor landed three ton-plus scores in the deciding leg, and hit double 12 to open up a crucial two-set lead.
He then came from 2-1 down in the seventh set, with van Barneveld missing nine starting doubles in leg four before Taylor landed another maximum in taking the decider.
Van Barneveld landed back-to-back 180s in a 12-darter to open set eight, and won the second on double 18.
hit 180s in taking the next two legs to square the set, with van Barneveld missing two darts at double eight for the set before the Stoke star capitalised with a 97 finish.
missed two darts at double top for the same checkout and victory in the next, but van Barneveld was unable to step in - and Taylor this time took his chance to secure victory.
"It^s a really good feeling and caps a great week for me," said Taylor. "It^s amazing what a difference it is from last year.
"I was in tears for an hour and considering quitting after I lost to Adrian Gray, and now I^ve won the tournament against the world number two.
"Raymond started really well and when I got ahead of him he came back brilliantly. His starting was superb throughout the game but I think the long format was hard for him later on, after having two months off.
"I managed to kick in again and got myself the title.
"It^s lovely, very sweet to win this title again and I^m in great shape for the rest of the tournaments this year now."