PHIL Taylor claimed victory in the inaugural Coral Masters at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh last night, sweeping aside Stoke rival Adrian Lewis 10-1 with a stunning performance in the final.
The 16-time World Champion picked up the £50,000 winner’s cheque and became the first name on the new Masters trophy as he emerged victorious in the event, which featured the world’s top 16 players.
Taylor followed up his earlier victories at the weekend against Terry Jenkins and Wes Newton with a 10-1 rout of James Wade in their disappointing semi-final.
Taylor’s merciless charge to the title continued in the final as he took the first nine legs without reply in a remarkable run, hitting a ten-dart finish and punishing missed doubles from Lewis in four.
The world number three, who had booked his place in the final with a thrilling 10-9 defeat of Raymond van Barneveld in their last four clash, finally got off the mark in the tenth leg after Taylor missed the bull to complete a whitewash win.
The respite, though, was short-lived as Taylor completed an amazing triumph by hitting a fourth 180 in a 12-darter as double 12 gave him the title.
“I’m absolutely over the moon to win this title and it’s special to be the first Coral Masters winner,” said Taylor. “I’m really proud of myself and I’ll give myself a little pat on the back because it wasn’t easy.
“Obviously Adrian hasn’t been feeling great and the semi-final with Raymond took a lot out of him, so I knew that I had to put him under pressure from the start.
“I’m very proud of him because he did brilliantly to get into the final, but I knew it would take a lot out of him. I played well in the final, and when he missed a couple of doubles I took advantage of him.”
Lewis took home £20,000 after reaching the final, and despite suffering from a bout of ’flu throughout the weekend, performed superbly to delight the Scottish crowd.
But despite opening the final with a 180, the 28-year-old ran out of steam as Taylor, who averaged more than 110 for the first half of the decider, proved simply too strong to defeat his local rival.
“Phil was fantastic,” he said. “I had a couple of chances early on but Phil punished me, and if you don’t take your chances you’ll be out of the game, because you can’t give him chances. Phil knew how I felt and he’ll have targeted me tonight. I had no energy in the final, but to get there was a big achievement.”