Taylor tired after triumph
Champion to seek treatment on back injury ahead of UK Open
By Stephen Mills. Last Updated: May 18, 2012 12:41pm
Phil Taylor regained the Premier League Darts title and then admitted the triumph had taken its toll on him physically.
The 51-year-old battled through two tough matches at London's O2 Arena on Thursday night, fighting back from 4-2 down to beat James Wade 8-6 before overcoming Simon Whitlock 10-7 to claim the £150,000 first prize.
The Power led 7-2 in the final before Whitlock, who had thrown a nine-dart finish in his semi-final, battled back to 7-7 and he had to dig deep to become Premier League champion for the sixth time.
Taylor threw two nine-darters in the 2010 final and said injury and tiredness may have prevented him from hitting those heights again.
"I'm satisfied with the win, but I was a little bit disappointed I didn't play a little bit better," he said.
"Simon did a nine-darter in the semis and I wanted to better it, obviously. A couple of years ago I played a lot better, but I can see now it's taken its toll on me a little bit and I've got to do everything right over the next few years of my career.
"I felt shattered. I don't know what's the matter with me. It's horrible when you're getting older.
"I had a tough semi-final and I think the thing that got me through that was experience. Simon felt the pressure when it came back to 7-7; that took everything out of him.
"But I'm absolutely over the moon. It's like being a dad again - it's like your first born has just been born. I've not won anything for a long time and I'm over the moon.
"I just wish I could have been a bit better for the crowd."
Taylor is now setting his sights on winning the sport's next big event, the UK Open, which kicks off in Bolton on June 7.
But he said he will first be seeking treatment for a back injury, which hampered his display in London.
"I pulled my back a couple of weeks ago and I'm hurting a little bit," said Taylor.
"I can't seem to straighten up and I'm trying everything. I'm stretching and I'm taking painkillers, but I'm not going to take that as an excuse because I still played okay.
"But I was really struggling to stand up straight. I had a bounce-out and went down to pick it up, which hurt me. But I'm okay, I've won and I can look forward now to getting ready for the next one.
"I'm going to go and see a physio or an osteopath and try and get it clicked in. I've got to put it right."
"It's like being a dad again - it's like your first born has just been born. I've not won anything for a long time and I'm over the moon. I just wish I could have been a bit better for the crowd."
Phil Taylor Quotes of the week
Minutes before the Premier League Final, Taylor was up on stage at the O2 Arena singing a charity song with Chas Hodges and six other players.
Whitlock opted to remain in the practice room, but Taylor said he was happy with his decision as it was a "one-off" opportunity.
"I really enjoyed that, I thought it was brilliant," he said.
"I love the song, I love being part of it and I think that's a one-off. I don't think that'll ever happen again, not in my lifetime anyway.
"Robbie Williams is lucky, he can do that every other week, but I can't. It's the first time ever that I'll go on stage and sing a song."