Template - Date: BetVictor World Matchplay
PHIL TAYLOR emotionally bowed out at the BetVictor World Matchplay by claiming an incredible 16th Winter Gardens triumph by defeating Peter Wright 18-8 in Sunday’s final in Blackpool.
The 56-year-old Stoke great has dominated the history of the World Matchplay, and said his farewell to the the tournament ahead of his impending retirement in style with a brilliant display to claim the £115,000 title.
Having knocked out reigning champion Michael van Gerwen and former World Champions Raymond van Barneveld and Adrian Lewis en route to the final, Taylor found another huge performance to reclaim the prestigious trophy.
Wright was bidding to add his second career TV title to add to March’s UK Open victory, but the number three seed was unable to match his rival’s superior finishing on the night.
Taylor secured an immediate break of throw in the opening leg on double eight and moved two legs up before Wright took out 101 to get off the mark.
The 15-time champion won two of the next three legs to move 4-2 up before Wright finished 100 with two double tops to respond – only to see Taylor take out 72 and a brace of 81 finishes, both for 12-darters, and 82 on the bull to lead 8-3.
Wright responded superbly with a barrage of big scores to win the next three legs in 12, 14 and 11 darts to pull back to 8-6 – only for Taylor to fire in two maximums in an 11-darter of his own to take leg 15.
Taylor also won the next three legs to move 12-6 up before a 13-darter from Wright saw him hit back briefly, with two further 14-darters moving the 56-year-old four legs away from the title.
After hitting a 13-dart finish, Taylor capitalised on five missed doubles from Wright on double ten to lead 16-7 and hit the same bed to move to the brink of victory.
Wright took out 95 to keep his hopes alive, but Taylor hit his seventh 180 to pull clear in the next leg before hitting double 16 to seal his 16th title.
Taylor, who averaged 104.24 in the final, said: “This has capped everything off for me. It couldn’t have come at a better time for me and it’s a bonus for me.
“It’s lovely, it really is and I’ve loved every minute of it. To win a major at my age is fantastic.
“I’ll miss this place tremendously – I’ve loved it here since the first time I walked through the door.
“During the final I was watching every bit of Peter’s body language and he showed every sign of being a little bit tired and I wanted to keep putting him under pressure. He came back but I was playing ok and I kept him under pressure.”
After being left in tears following the final, Wright said: “I learned a lesson today and I’m grateful to be in the final. Phil is still the best in the world and he’s showed that this week.”
BetVictor World Matchplay
Sunday July 30
Phil Taylor 18-8 Peter Wright
Best of 35 legs
1-0 – Taylor misses the bull for a 161 finish but cleans up double eight for an immediate break.
2-0 – Both players miss doubles in two visits before Taylor returns on double ten to move two legs up.
2-1 – Wright finishes 101 on double 16 to hit back.
3-1 – Both players open with 180s before Taylor regains his two-leg lead on double eight.
3-2 – Tops sees Wright claim his second leg.
4-2 – Wright applies the pressure with a 180, but Taylor hits double ten to keep the advantage.
4-3 – Wright takes out 100 with two double tops.
5-3 – Taylor finishes 72 on double 16 to hold throw once more.
6-3 – Wright fires in a third 180, but Taylor takes out 81 on the bull for a second break with a 12-dart finish.
7-3 – Taylor extends his advantage to four legs with another 81 finish, this time landing tops for a 12-darter.
8-3 – Wright misses five darts at double 12 and six, and Taylor follows another 180 by breaking throw again with an 82 finish on the bull.
8-4 – Wright opens with two 180s, and though he is unable to complete a nine-darter he pins double 16 to win the leg in 12 darts for his first break.
8-5 – Wright scores 174, 140 and 171 to leave 16, while Taylor opens with 140 and 180 – but the 15-time champion misses double 13 to break throw to punish further misses from the Scot, who posts double one to continue his revival.
8-6 – Wright fires in another 180 and lands double 16 for an 11-darter to pull back to just two legs behind with another break of throw.
9-6 – Taylor lands two 180s in an 11-darter to halt Wright’s charge.
10-6 – A 14-darter from Taylor moves him clear of Wright once more.
11-6 – Wright misses double six for a 126 finish, and Taylor capitalises on double 16.
12-6 – Taylor claims his fourth successive leg, landing a 177 in a 12-darter.
12-7 – Wright hits double ten to respond with a 13-darter.
13-7 – Taylor lands his sixth 180 before tops for a 14-darter regains his six-leg cushion.
14-7 – Taylor breaks throw once more, finishing 62 on double 16 for another 14-darter.
15-7 – A 13-darter moves Taylor three legs away from the title.
16-7 – Five missed doubles from Wright allow Taylor in on double ten.
17-7 – Wright posts a 180, but double ten moves Taylor to the brink of victory.
17-8 – Wright takes out 95 on double five to keep his hopes alive.
18-8 – Taylor hits his seventh 180 and lands double 16 to seal his 16th World Matchplay win.
2017 BetVictor World Matchplay RESULTS
Saturday July 22nd
95.45 Michael Smith 5-10 Steve West 99.94
96.08 James Wade 11-13 Darren Webster 96.48
101.95 Gary Anderson 10-7 Christian Kist 99.96
89.26 Peter Wright 10-8 James Wilson 90.51
Sunday July 23rd
89.34 Jelle Klaasen 5-10 Justin Pipe 90.94
90.82 Robert Thornton 3-10 Cristo Reyes 101.29
89.53 Benito van de Pas 9-11 Daryl Gurney 96.98
94.42 Mensur Suljovic 10-4 John Henderson 86.35
95.16 Dave Chisnall 10-7 Mervyn King 89.22
94.04 Phil Taylor 10-5 Gerwyn Price 88.68
92.42 Raymond van Barneveld 10-8 Joe Cullen 96.95
93.45 Kim Huybrechts 6-10 Alan Norris 90.59
Monday July 24th
95.77 Simon Whitlock 10-5 Kyle Anderson 96.64
95.07 Adrian Lewis 10-7 Steve Beaton 94.51
98.55 Michael van Gerwen 10-4 Stephen Bunting 94.54
94.61 Ian White 7-10 Rob Cross 95.72
Tuesday July 25th
Second Round (21)
95.57 Mensur Suljovic 11-6 Justin Pipe 92.07
95.39 Darren Webster 11-7 Steve West 95.39
105.17 Gary Anderson 9-11 Daryl Gurney 103.26
104.18 Peter Wright 11-4 Cristo Reyes 93.64
Wednesday July 26th
Second Round (21)
96.90 Dave Chisnall 12-14 Alan Norris 98.61
100.93 Adrian Lewis 11-8 Rob Cross 104.08
102.27 Phil Taylor 11-3 Raymond van Barneveld 98.92
99.97 Michael van Gerwen 11-3 Simon Whitlock 91.37
Thursday July 27th
97.18 Daryl Gurney 16-13 Mensur Suljovic 99.45
95.55 Darren Webster 12-16 Peter Wright 100.19
Friday July 28th (7pm)
101.07 Michael van Gerwen 6-16 Phil Taylor 101.85
91.31 Alan Norris 16-13 Adrian Lewis 94.16
Saturday July 29th (7pm)
102.74 Phil Taylor 17-9 Adrian Lewis 93.50
94.40 Daryl Gurney 15-17 Peter Wright 93.92
Sunday July 30th (7pm)
104.24 Phil Taylor 18-8 Peter Wright 99.74
Last 16: £11,000
Last 32: £7,000
Each game must be won by two clear legs, with up to a maximum of five additional legs being played before the sixth additional leg is sudden-death. For example, should a First Round game (best of 19 legs) reach 12-12, then the 25th leg would be the final and deciding leg.