TAYLOR TAKES RTL7 INTERNATIONAL MASTERS TITLE
PHIL TAYLOR defeated Raymond van Barneveld 8-3 to win the RTL7 International Masters final on Monday night, creating a further slice of history in the process of claiming another televised victory.
Taylor left his Dutch rival floundering with a sensational performance to win the €20,000 first prize, with his three-dart average of 113.60 being the highest ever in a televised final.
He hit only one winning leg over 14 darts in the decider, having come from 3-2 down to defeat Gary Anderson 8-4 in the semi-finals earlier in the night at the Hotel Zuiderduin in Egmond aan Zee.
The win saw Taylor complete a dominant weekend in the inaugural tournament, having overcome Terry Jenkins and Adrian Lewis to win his group, defeated James Wade 8-3 in the quarter-finals and Anderson in the semis.
He saved his best display for the final, though, as he relentlessly outscored van Barneveld, who stepped in to win the opening leg after a miss from Taylor by finishing 80 in two darts.
Taylor hit a pair of 11-darters and broke in 14 darts to win the next three legs and take command, before van Barneveld shaded the fifth to pull back to 3-2.
The Dutchman gave himself the chance to level in the sixth, but missed two darts at double 19 for a 98 finish, which was punished as Taylor took out 68 in two darts.
He then hit his fourth and fifth 180s of the final in back-to-back 13-dart legs in moving 6-2 up, before missing the bull for a 167 finish as van Barneveld landed double 17 to hit back.
Taylor, though, replied with another 11-darter, and hit a seventh 180 and double 18 to wrap up the victory in 13 darts.
"I^m delighted to have won," said Taylor. "To play Raymond in a final in Holland^s a huge honour and I enjoyed it because he brings the best out of me.
"Since I returned to using the darts I did so well with last year I^ve been really pleased with my form and it showed again here.
"The key leg was the sixth when Raymond missed two darts to take out 98, and after that I dug in and got the job done. I^ve really enjoyed the tournament and it^s a great way to finish."
Van Barneveld had won through to the final with a brilliant 8-2 win over Vincent van der Voort in their all-Dutch semi-final, averaging almost 102 in the process.
He won the opening four legs and also hit seven 180s in the victory, and took home €12,000 as runner-up to Taylor - his seventh successive defeat to the Stoke legend in a final since claiming the 2007 World Championship title.
Van der Voort and Anderson earned €8,000 for reaching the semi-finals of the tournament, shown live on Dutch TV channel RTL7 and played in front of a sold-out crowd at the Hotel Zuiderduin.
RTL7 International Masters Monday March 21
Vincent van der Voort 2-8 Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor 8-4 Gary Anderson
Raymond van Barneveld 3-8 Phil Taylor
VINCENT VAN DER VOORT 2-8 RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD
0-0 - Vincent van der Voort wins the bullseye and will throw first.
0-1 - van Barneveld makes a brilliant start, opening the game with a 180 and finishing 89 on the bull for a 12-dart finish.
0-2 - van der Voort misses five darts at double top to level, with van Barneveld returning after one miss at the same bed to hit tops and double his lead.
0-3 - van Barneveld breaks for a second time in the game, finishing 86 in two darts for a 14-dart leg.
0-4 - both players hit 180s, with van Barneveld missing the bullseye for a 121 finish but being handed another reprieve when van der Voort misses double eight for a 136 finish, and the five-time World Champion hits the same bed to win a fourth straight leg.
1-4 - van Barneveld misses two darts at double 12 to break again, and van der Voort lands double 16 to get off the mark.
1-5 - van Barneveld lands tops for a 13-dart finish.
2-5 - van Barneveld hits a 180 to leave 81 after nine darts, but misses two darts to break and van der Voort psots double ten to win his second leg.
2-6 - van Barneveld edges towards victory, hitting another 180 and finishing 61.
2-7 - van Barneveld opens with six perfect darts, and although a potential nine-dart slips away he wins the leg in 12 to move a leg away from the final.
2-8 - van Barneveld hits his seventh 180 of the game to open the leg, and hits double top to seal an impressive victory in 14 darts.
Final Match Averages: Vincent van der Voort 92.98, Raymond van Barneveld 101.92
PHIL TAYLOR 8-4 GARY ANDERSON
0-0 - Gary Anderson wins the bullseye and will throw first.
0-1 - Anderson hits a 180 and double top in drawing first blood against the 15-time World Champion.
1-1 - Taylor levels with double top.
1-2 - Anderson hits a second 180 to leave 48, which he finishes in two darts on double top.
2-2 - Anderson opens with a 180, but Taylor hits scores of 134, 134 and 137 before hitting double 18 for a 14-dart finish.
2-3 - Anderson adds another 180 before landing tops for a 14-dart leg.
3-3 - Anderson kicks off with his fifth 180 of the game, but when on a 121 finish hits the treble 20 but sees his dart at treble 11 drop out of the bed, denying him a dart at a double as Taylor steps in to finish 107.
4-3 - Taylor takes advantage, opening with seven treble 20s to set up a possible nine-dart finish, although he misses the treble 19 and leave 32 after nine darts. Anderson then misses the bullseye for a 130 checkout and Taylor lands double 16 for a 12-darter.
5-3 - Taylor posts double top to move two legs clear.
6-3 - Anderson hits a 174 to leave 32, but misses three darts for the leg and Taylor steps in on double eight to break again.
7-3 - Taylor hits double eight to move a leg away from victory.
7-4 - Anderson lands his sixth 180 of the game and posts double top for a 13-dart finish.
8-4 - Taylor wraps up the win comfortably, landing double nine with his fourth match dart to set up a final with Raymond van Barneveld.
Final Match Averages: Phil Taylor 95.56, Gary Anderson 96.12
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 3-8 PHIL TAYLOR
0-0 - Raymond van Barneveld wins the bullseye and will throw first.
1-0 - Taylor opens with a 180 but misses a dart at tops, and van Barneveld finishes 80 in two darts.
1-1 - Taylor begins with another maximum, and hits tops for an 11-darter.
1-2 - Taylor breaks throw in 14 darts on double 16.
1-3 - Taylor kicks off the fourth leg with scores of 137 and 180, before checking out 89 in two darts for an 11-dart finish.
2-3 - van Barneveld wins his first leg in four with a 14-darter, finishing on double 16.
2-4 - van Barneveld misses two darts at double 19 for a 98 finish to break, and Taylor checks out 68 in two darts.
2-5 - Taylor opens with another 180 and breaks in 13 darts on double top.
2-6 - Taylor moves two legs away from victory with another 13-dart finish, opened with his fifth maximum of the game and completed on double 14.
3-6 - Taylor misses the bullseye for a 167 finish, and van Barneveld lands double 17 for a 14-dart leg..
3-7 - Taylor hits another 180 and finishes 84 in two darts for an 11-dart leg.
3-8 - Taylor seals victory with a double 18 finish to take the title
Final Match Averages: Raymond van Barneveld 94.38, Phil Taylor 113.60