Last night saw the climax to
a wonderful tournament where the standard of play has been high throughout and
the final of the PDC Darts World Championship did not disappoint. There is a
new name on the trophy after the "Flying Scotsman", Gary Anderson
joined the illustrious list of former winners, most prominent of which being
the darting legend, Phil Taylor whom he defeated in an epic final by 7 sets to
6 last night at the Alexandra Palace.
Taylor started in impressive form with a high three-darts’ average approaching 110 in the early sets at one point but was crucially missing doubles, especially in set 4 where he seemed to suffer a mental block around double 8 in one leg. It was to be his Achilles heel much of the night as he missed several chances at double eight and double sixteen, with an up and down performance.
Anderson capitalised with classy finishes of 120 and 121 to take set one and went into a 3-1 set lead with his self-confidence growing, as he began to believe that the title could be his for the first time. Taylor's tickling of Anderson's chin after taking the second set seemed particularly premature and out of character, given his previous aversion to similar antics by old foe Raymond van Barneveld in past battles with him.
It seemed to provide a fresh impetus to the Scot as he moved into a two set lead at 6-4 shortly afterwards with the title in sight. Taylor wasn’t giving up on the world crown without a fight though and he tenaciously fought back yet again to level at 6-6, throwing some of his best darts of the match as his average rocketed over 110 again.
In the deciding set it was the younger man, Anderson who took the first leg to pile the pressure back on to “The Power” and this time he could not respond as he missed an opportunity on double 16, allowing his opponent to gleefully step in to take the final leg and with it the title. A welcome bonus for Anderson along with the world crown was the first prize of a massive £250,000, reflecting the growing status of the game all across the globe.
It has been a wonderful event for Anderson after also defeating world number one, Michael van Gerwen in another marvellous match in the semis, and he paid tribute to the man he conquered in the close final afterwards: “Phil is the best and always will be the best, so that makes it more special”. One wonders what the late Sid Waddell, famous for his witty one-liners at past finals, would have made of it all as he no doubt “looked down” favourably on proceedings. #CelebritiesThe rival BDO World Championship continues this week at the Lakeside, but will have to go some way to match the excitement and amazing darts in the PDC event, although it can boast a women’s tournament to go alongside the men’s event, something the PDC does not.