Phil Taylor produced a brilliant display to thump Raymond van Barneveld 7-1 in the PDC World Darts Championship on Sunday night and claim his 14th world title in London. Taylor had not won the title for three years, but the result was never in doubt as he racked up a three-dart average of 109.76 - breaking his own record for a major final.
He took advantage of some poor finishing from van Barneveld, and has now won 12 of the 16 PDC championships to be held. For Taylor, 48, the night could not have gone any better. He said: "I feel absolutely fantastic, I really do. It was a great game and obviously that score was great for me." A focused Taylor, who was aiming to avenge his 2007 final loss to van Barneveld, won the first two sets without losing a leg.
Though van Barneveld won the third set with a tenacious effort, the Dutchman was always on the backfoot. The Englishman's heavy scoring was proving impossible for van Barneveld to keep up with as he stretched his advantage to two sets again at 3-1. From there on there was no contest as the relentless Taylor won the final four sets to complete his victory. The game was closer than the scoreline indicated as in six of the seven sets Taylor won, the set went to a final leg before Taylor prevailed. Although this was unlikely to have been a consolation to the beaten van Barneveld.
Taylor added: "I feel very sorry for Raymond but one of us has got to lose and I'm glad it's not me." Van Barneveld was generous in his praise for Taylor and admitted that he had no answers to the relentless high-scoring of his conqueror. The Dutchman said: "I played a computer. He's absolutely brilliant. All my congratulations to Phil. Practising 10 hours a day is not enough. But I'll be back." * With Agencies