PHIL Taylor won his first Players Championship of 2012 with a 6-1 defeat of Fleetwood’s Wes Newton in Saturday’s final at the Rivermead Centre in Reading.
Taylor continued his outstanding year, losing more than a single leg in only one of the seven rounds (he beat Andy Smith 6-3 in the fourth) and registering a nine-dart leg en route to claiming the £6,000 prize.
Newton won the third leg of their final on double ten after Taylor had missed a bullseye for a 121 checkout, but ‘The Power’ never gave the Fylde coast favourite a look-in from that point, winning with an average three-dart score of 113.54.
Newton reached the final after fighting back from 3-0 down to defeat Gary Anderson 6-4 in the semi-finals, taking out finishes of 109, 105 and 127 to seal victory.
Newton picked up £3,000 on the day and also defeated Steve Evans (6-3), Brian Woods (6-1), Colin Lloyd (6-2), Connie Finnan (6-3) and Mervyn King (6-3).
Blackpool’s Ronnie Baxter was a fourth-round loser to Dave Chisnall (6-3) after beating Stephen Hardy (6-1), Andy Brown (6-0) and John Bowles (6-3).
Taylor’s nine-darter was his 15th in competition. “It was special because it didn’t involve a 180,” he said. “I missed a couple of others too and it shows I’m playing well.”
St Helens’ Chisnall denied Taylor a Reading double by beating him 6-5 in yesterday’s second Players Championship final at the same venue.
Newton reached the fourth round this team, before losing 6-3 to Chisnall’s semi-final victim Steve Beaton. The Fleetwood ace had survived a first-round scare against Shaun Griffiths 6-5 before beating Steve West and James Richardson, both 6-3. Baxter made a third round exit against Raymond Van B arneveld (6-30 after beating Carlos Rodriguez (6-2) and Jim Walker (6-0)
Saturday’s runner-up Wes Newton was defeated by Beaton in the last 16, while World Champion Adrian Lewis went out to Mervyn King in the first round.
It was Chisnall’s second PDC ProTour in six months and boosts his hopes of qualification for this summer’s World Matchplay in Blackpool.