Championship League Darts: Phil Taylor hits nine-darter to beat Adrian Lewis
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 24/09/13 9:23pm
Phil Taylor: Nine-darter in winning opening Championship League
Phil Taylor hit his 16th tournament nine-darter as he won the opening group of the Championship League Darts tournament.
The Power defeated Stoke rival Adrian Lewis 6-2 in the final of Group One of the internet-streamed event, which sees players keep returning as one man each time goes through to the Winners Group of the £200,000 event.
The World Champion returned from a three-week break since his triumph in the Sydney Darts Masters in winning form as he topped the league table following the eight-man round-robin phase, edging out Adrian Lewis on leg difference after the pair both won five of their seven games.
Taylor also hit a nine-dart finish - his third in this competition, 12th in a broadcasted event and 16th in a PDC tournament - in his league clash with Lewis, who missed double 18 for a nine-darter of his own before going on to win that showdown 6-5.
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However, it was Taylor who took the spoils when they met in the final with an unstoppable display, as he followed up a 109 average in his 6-2 semi-final win with a 102 mean score for his win by the same scoreline against the European Champion.
"It's fantastic," said Taylor. "I'm pleased to get through because Wes reminded me at the start of our semi-final that he won Group One last year.
"I enjoy this tournament and especially today. I played steady darts and it was a tough challenge because I've not been practising as hard as I should do. I've taken a holiday and relaxed a bit, so I'm pleased.
"Adrian played superbly and he missed double 18 for a nine-darter against me but his energy seemed to drop a little bit during the final. I got to 4-0 up and he started to come back at me, and he showed some class."
Justin Pipe, Robert Thornton and Kevin Painter all come in to join the five survivors from Group One in Wednesday's Group Two at Crondon Park GC in Essex.