Sixth title for Taylor
The Power holds his nerve in thrilling final
Last Updated: May 17, 2012 11:39pm
Phil Taylor: hit just four maximums all night but still came out on top
Phil Taylor withstood a spirited fightback from Simon Whitlock before wrapping up a 10-7 victory in the final of the McCoys Premier League Darts at the O2 Arena in London.
The 'Power' led 5-1 and 7-2 against the 'Wizard' in the best-of-19 final and looked to be cruising to a sixth Premier League title.
But the Australian - who has still to win a PDC major - roared back to trail 7-5, then watched Taylor miss three darts at 20.
Whitlock took advantage with a 76 finish, then held for 7-7 after taking out 120.
Suddenly Taylor looked vulnerable, but the night's key moment had yet to arrive.
On the Taylor throw, Whitlock just missed double 16 for a 149 checkout and Taylor took out 70 to lead again.
That was as close as Whitlock got, with Taylor hitting a 96 checkout for another break and 9-7.
On his own darts, a 73 finish was good enough for Taylor to regain the title he last held in 2010.
"I am absolutely made up," Taylor told Sky Sports. "He came back at me there and I thought 'I hope he's used up all his energy to come back at me.'
"I just kept thinking 'You've got the darts, so just keep winning your throw.' And I pushed in front and he let me in a little bit.
"It was a strange game. Neither of us were at our best, but we tried very hard, both of us."
Taylor picked up a winner's cheque for £150,000 but he said: "It's not the money, it's winning the title. I feel absolutely shattered, I'm drained tonight... It is so inspiring. I feel fantastic."
After completely dominating the 14 weekly rounds, Taylor was far from his best on finals night, hitting just four maximums in his two matches.
He had earlier struggled to overcome former champion James Wade 8-6 in the semi-finals, while Whitlock beat Andy Hamilton by the same scoreline.
The highlight of Whitlock's win was a nine-darter from the Aussie in just the second leg of the evening's action.