Taylor proves his superiority at UK Open
Phil Taylor proved once again on Sunday night that any talk of him being finished as a force in world darts was absolute nonsense as he stormed to a fifth UK Open title in Bolton with an 11-4 win over Andy Hamilton in the final.
Considering he is the world number one, reigning world champion and only narrowly lost in the Premier League final last month, the words of doubt were ridiculous but it did not stop them being very audible ahead of the UK Open. However, with a ton-plus average in every single game in the competition plus a win over his heir apparent Michael van Gerwen in the quarter-finals, Taylor has proved he is far from finished at the top of the sport.
The Power was clearly thrilled to add yet another trophy to his bulging cabinet saying: “I'm very proud of winning this title and it's great to be the champion for a fifth time.”
Unusually for the 16 time world champion he had to enter at the second round stage rather than coming in on the Saturday afternoon, something he has admitted he didn’t enjoy: "I was absolutely terrified about coming in on Thursday and getting past Kevin Dowling was my main objective, and once the format got longer I could relax, so to come through the whole field and win this is very special.”
Another major final for Hamilton cements his place at sixth in the world and is another fantastic achievement in what has been an incredible couple of years for the Hammer. He is continually under-rated by the bookies and will have won plenty more people some money after big wins over James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld in the quarters and semi-finals. His appearance in the final almost certainly retains his place in the Premier League next year, another feat he will be delighted with.
The Hammer said after the final defeat: “I couldn't be any prouder of myself, I've played some great darts and had a great weekend and I'm happy with what I've done tonight.
“Last year I reached the quarter-finals and I'm happy to have reached the final - and I think I've proved that I'm getting closer to my first major.”
Despite the win Taylor remains behind Michael van Gerwen in the odds for the World Matchplay which is coming up in July. MVG is 5/2 with Bet Victor to claim his first Blackpool title whilst Taylor is out at 11/4 to claim his 14th Winter Gardens crown, something that will attract plenty of money after his stunning displays at the Reebok Stadium.
• Hamilton could just cut the Power
• Barney and Taylor set for UK Open final
• Maximum markets provide quarter-final value
• Klaasen the notable fifth round value
• Newton and Part great value in fourth round
• Chisnall and Painter with main stage potential
• Burnett and Hankey to build on momentum
• More shocks on the cards in UK Open third round
• UK Open opening night: Wade has his work cut out
• Van Gerwen looks unstoppable ahead of UK Open