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Phil Taylor Career

 

Phil Taylor 16 Time World Darts Champion

The most successful player in the history of darts is set to call time on his career at the end of the year but there have been signs in the World Matchplay that ‘The Power’ might yet go out on a high. Wins over Michael Van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis suggest that the 56 year old can still compete with the best but does that mean that Taylor really stands a chance in the PDC World Championships – a tournament that will be his last?

 

Open

From what we saw in Blackpool we may, at the very least, have a more open World Championships than we saw last year. In 2016, Van Gerwen was virtually untouchable, claiming a host of titles before landing what seemed to be an inevitable world title at the start of 2017.

However, the normally likeable Dutchman seemed in awe of Taylor, and a rather hostile crowd in Blackpool that had responded to the controversy surrounding MVG’s win over Simon Whitlock. Van Gerwen had reportedly texted Vincent Van Der Voort with the words ‘Whitlock’s out’ as he lead 8-2.

Taylor urged Mighty Mike to ‘grow up’ and it was certainly unprofessional and very unexpected from the Dutchman. It’s unusual for the crowd to turn on MVG and he couldn’t raise his game as a buoyant Taylor eased to a 16-6 victory.

 

The Big One

Van Gerwen remains favourite to take the PDC title at an odds on price with the bookies. Paddy Power are among those quoting 10/11 on MVG but while there are lots of arrows to be thrown between now and the middle of December, his performance at the World Matchplay raises two specific questions.

Firstly, has Mighty Mike shown his vulnerability and an inability to cope with pressure in front of a hostile crowd and secondly, there must be a few punters questioning whether Phil Taylor is an option for Alexandra Palace at a relatively distant 14/1 with BetBright, check other darts betting odds here.

Taylor himself remains a controversial figure but, as he runs down the clock on a remarkable career, the Power seems to be playing with new purpose and vitality. It would be wrong to say that, as he nears retirement, he’s playing without fear as he’s rarely shown any issues with pressure but there are signs that he is just throwing for sheer enjoyment right now.

 

Shortening

Prior to Taylor stepping on the oche and claiming a stunning 16th World Matchplay title with that win over Peter Wright, the best price on offer for a PDC World Title win stood at 18/1. That figure came from 10Bet and overnight, that particular bookmaker had dropped their price on The Power to 10/1.

Taylor is as short as 9/1 in some places so it’s a mixed market but clearly one that has tightened up after that World Matchplay win. Elsewhere, while we’ve only talked about two players, there is going to be plenty of competition for The Power and Mighty Mike at Alexandra Palace at the end of the year.

 

Contenders

Contenders - Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson

Sandwiched between Taylor and the favourite Van Gerwen, Two time winner Gary Anderson is hoping to add to his previous successes at Alexandra Palace while Peter Wright has often threatened to secure a really big win without ever quite getting over the line.

Outside options could include Dave Chisnall or Stephen Bunting who have both crossed from BDO darts with some success while attention could also fall on Adrian Lewis and Raymond Van Barneveld.

There are a lot of darts to be thrown between now and the middle of December with the Melbourne Masters and the Perth Masters among those tournaments still to be played in 2017. By then we will know if Phil Taylor has carried across his momentum from the World Matchplay but the suggestion from that tournament indicates that The Power could be a genuine contender for the World Title in his final year.

 

PDC Darts World Matchplay Past Champions

Year
Champion  Score Runner-Up 
2017
Phil Taylor 18–8 Peter Wright
2016
Michael van Gerwen 18–10 Phil Taylor
2015
Michael van Gerwen 18–12 James Wade
2014
Phil Taylor  18–9 Michael van Gerwen
2013
Phil Taylor  18–13 Adrian Lewis
2012
Phil Taylor  18–15 James Wade
2011
Phil Taylor  18–8 James Wade
2010
Phil Taylor  18–12 Raymond van Barneveld
2009
Phil Taylor 18–4 Terry Jenkins
2008
Phil Taylor 18–9 James Wade
2007
James Wade 18–7 Terry Jenkins
2006
Phil Taylor  18–11 James Wade
2005
Colin Lloyd 18–12 John Part
2004
Phil Taylor  18–8 Mark Dudbridge
2003
Phil Taylor 18–12 Wayne Mardle
2002
Phil Taylor  18–16 John Part
2001
Phil Taylor 18–10 Richie Burnett
2000
Phil Taylor  18–12 Alan Warriner 
1999
Rod Harrington  19–17 Peter Manley
1998
Rod Harrington 19–17 Ronnie Baxter
1997
Phil Taylor 16–11 Alan Warriner
1996
Peter Evison 16–14 Dennis Priestley
1995
Phil Taylor  16–11 Dennis Priestley
1994
Larry Butler 16–12 Dennis Priestley

 

 

 

 

 

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