PDC World Darts Championship: Phil Taylor and John Part win Ally Pally openers
Last Updated: 23/12/12 6:36pm
Phil Taylor: Far from his best but safely through
Phil Taylor cruised into the second round of the World Darts Championship with a 3-0 victory over Northern Ireland's Michael Mansell at Alexandra Palace.
The 15-time world champion was never troubled by Mansell but he was far from his best as he strolled into the last 32.
Taylor had to visit the 'madhouse' before winning the opening leg, then was pegged back by Mansell who won his first leg on the Ally Pally stage on his second appearance with an 82 finish.
The 52-year-old from Stoke won the next two legs to wrap up the first set but looked rueful as he stalked off the stage with an average of just 84.
There was not a great deal of improvement in the next set, although Mansell was playing woefuly and Taylor swept through it 3-0, the highlight the second leg when he took out 243 with six darts.
By now Taylor's average was up to 90 and Mansell was wilting, another 3-0 set merely a formality for 'The Power', although his 93 average will hardly have his rivals trembling.
Taylor told Sky Sports: "It was a struggle. I was trying to kick in. I don't think I have ever practised better in my life. I have won, I've won 3-0, so it's not a low point. The atmosphere is fantastic."
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Another former world champion also reached the last 32 without dropping a set, John Part seeing off 'The Rockstar' Joe Cullen in emphatic fashion.
The Canadian is chasing a fourth world crown after a slide down the rankings and he impressed with his finishing, hitting three ton-plus checkouts.
Part told Sky Sports: "In a first round you are always a bit at sea, you need to find your sea legs. I was just ahead of him a little bit. I think he played as well as I did, I just got ahead of him.
"He outscored me but it's not about scoring, it's about finishing and I just hung in there."
"The first round really is the hardest round. I stayed a dart ahead of him most times and it got me the win."
Denis Ovens was the other player to progress to the second round on Saturday night, defeating German Max Hopp 3-2 to set up a clash with reigning champion Adrian Lewis.