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Phil Taylor turns back the clock to secure sensational sixteenth World Matchplay triumph

Taylor kisses the famous trophy (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Phil Taylor culminated his last World Matchplay campaign with a fairy-tale 16th title at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool courtesy of an 18-8 rout of Peter Wright in the final.

Twenty-two years on from his first triumph, the Stoke legend rolled back the years at his favourite venue to claim a crowning glory before bowing out of the sport at the end of 2017.

Having brushed aside three multiple World Champions en route to the final, 'The Power' surged to the £115,000 top prize after another dominant display in which he averaged 104.2.

"It's fantastic," said Taylor. "This has capped everything off for me. It couldn't have come at a better time 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, and I've had a tough week when you look at the draw.
 
"I'll miss this place tremendously - I've loved it here since the first time I walked through the door. It's great to win again and it will go down in history, and I'm delighted for everyone who's supported me."
 
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.
 
Crowd favourite Taylor won two of the next three legs to move 4-2 up before Wright finished 100 with two double tops to respond - only to see Taylor take out 72, a brace of 81 finishes, both for 12-darters, and 82 on the bull to lead 8-3.
 
Wright responded superbly with a barrage of big scores to win the next three legs in 12, 14 and 11 darts to pull back to 8-6 adrift, but Taylor fired in two maximums in an 11-darter of his own to take leg 15.
 
Taylor also won the next three legs to move 12-6 up before a 13-darter from Wright saw him hit back briefly, with two further 14-darters moving the 56-year-old four legs away from the title.
 
After hitting a 13-dart finish, Taylor capitalised on five missed doubles from Wright on double ten to lead 16-7 and hit the same bed to move to the brink of victory.
 
Wright took out 95 to keep his hopes alive, but Taylor hit his seventh 180 to pull clear in the next leg before fittingly hitting double 16 to seal his 16th title.
 
After being left in tears following the final, an emotional Wright admitted: "Phil is still the best in the world and he's showed that this week.
 
"I've watched Phil demolish other players in finals and I was on the other end of that big stick that he normally bashes everyone with - but it was a privilege in his last game here.
 
"I learned a lesson today and I'm grateful to be in the final. A couple of years ago I watched Michael getting beaten by Phil in the final and he was in tears, and that's how much it meant to him.
 
"It's exactly the same for me and I'll go back to the practice board, become better and I'll come back stronger. I'm still learning and it was great to learn off the master there in the final."
 

BetVictor World Matchplay 2017 Result


Sunday July 30

Final
Phil Taylor 18-8 Peter Wright


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Phil Taylor turns back the clock to secure sensational sixteenth World Matchplay triumph

Phil Taylor culminated his last World Matchplay campaign with a fairy-tale 16th title at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool courtesy of an 18-8 rout of Peter Wright in the final.

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