Taylor out to Conquer Europe Yet Again
The Professional Darts Corporation’s ever increasing allure on the continent sees the stars of darts jetting off again, this time to Mülheim, Germany for the European Championships.
The tournament has been a big success since its introduction in 2008 and the German fans have proved a big part of it as they have proved every year that they love having the biggest names in the sport performing for them.
One man that has loved performing for them more than any other has been the irrepressible Phil Taylor who has won the competition every year since its debut in Frankfurt four years ago. Whilst others have usurped his crown in other events, the European crown is one that the Power has never looked like losing.
Taylor has not just won this tournament in the past, but he has dominated the competition with an average of over 104 in each of the four finals he has prospered in. This relentless battering of the treble twenty leaves his record in this competition at played twenty, won twenty.
That makes it a cool £200,000 that the world number one has pocketed from his adventures on the continent and that is the prize fund that the 32 men will divvy up over the four days in Germany with the winner again claiming £50,000.
The tournament gets underway on the evening of Thursday 20th with the final four nights later on the Sunday which the bookies expect Taylor to emerge victorious from yet again. The best odds available on the Power making it five in a row are 5/4 and given his record in the event then even this fairly skinny price looks pretty generous especially as a couple of bookmakers have Taylor odds-on.
Next in line, as is so often the case, is Adrian Lewis who is lagging behind at 10/1 with various bookies. Considering that Jackpot has twice reached the final of the European Championships and of course is a double and reigning world champion then these look like great odds, but he will have to outlast the Power.
The usual candidates of James Wade, Simon Whitlock and Raymond van Barneveld follow in the odds but the interesting pick looks to be Michael van Gerwen who has been showing some sensational form in the floor tournaments in recent months. The bookies can’t seem to decide on what his chances are with the likes of bet365 rating him at 28/1 whilst others such as skyBET have him at 40/1. I would certainly have him placed at nearer the former price and at 40s is definitely worth a gamble.
An anomaly of the tournament is that just the top eight players in the world rankings are seeded which has thrown up some very tasty looking first round ties. Van Barneveld has found himself down at ninth in the world and that has seen him handed a stern test in Terry Jenkins first up which may make Barney’s price of around 16/1 look very silly if he falls to the Bull first up. Another two unusual initial ties see Simon Whitlock taking on Mark Walsh and Kevin Painter facing Mervyn King.
After Spain yet again proved their dominance of the continent on the football field this summer, can Phil Taylor do it on the oche?