The PDC World Championship
The Taylor 1st gear was all that was needed to dispense of Michael Mansell and much-fancied Robert Thornton and Andy Hamilton were also easily dispatched. Five-time champion Raymond van Barneveld seemed to be going a similar way when a mini-recovery and pre-match comments seemed to cause ‘The Power’ to short-circuit. His angry reaction showed that he had been genuinely riled and as a result of that and the glittering form of Dutch prodigy Michael van Gerwen, Taylor entered a PDC final for the first time as second favourite.
At 2-0 and 4-2 down, the bookies looked to have called it correctly, but Taylor ground his young opponent into submission to take a 7-4 victory and an unprecedented 16th World Championship. Taylor’s mentor Eric Bristow was quoted as saying that Taylor has ‘one more in him’ and t whilst the long tournament format suits Taylor’s relentless grinding style of darts. One feels that he will have to work harder than ever to win more PDC Championships in the future.
Van Gerwen’s dazzling 2012 form makes him an obvious candidate to be his nearest future challenger, whilst a rejuvenated van Barneveld – after looking a shadow of his former self – now looks to have recaptured elements of the game that saw him become the best player on the planet for a short time in 2007. Lewis, Anderson and Wade have all looked more flat diet-coke than sparkling champagne in recent, but all have the game to win darts’ biggest prizes on their day.
With a major trophy apiece on their respective mantle-pieces, Winmau / Red Dragon stars Robert Thornton Simon Whitlock will be looking for further big-stage glory in 2013. The likes of Mervyn King, Paul Nicholson, Kim Huybrechts and Wes Newton all look to have a big win in them, whilst another Winmau star in Dean Winstanley can be proud of a fantastic nine-darter at Ally Pally, which capped a great first year on the PDC Pro-Tour. 2012 proved to be a great year for the game of darts and the PDC World Championship a fabulous showcase. If 2013 proves to be as good then darts fans around the globe will be saying ‘bring it on’.