Taylor's fairytale finish at the Winter Gardens
Phil Taylor emotionally bowed out at the BetVictor World Matchplay by claiming a 16th Winter Gardens triumph after defeating Peter Wright 18-8 in Sunday's final.
The 56-year-old 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 Michael van Gerwen, 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.
After leading 4-2 and 8-3, Tayloir saw Wright win three straight legs to close the deficit to two legs at 8-6.
Four straight legs gave Taylor breathing room before double 16 gave him a 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.”