Taylor powers to fifth title
Phil Taylor won a record fifth Speedy Services UK Open title with an 11-4 victory over Andy Hamilton in Bolton on Sunday.
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After Hamilton won the first leg with double 16, that was the last time he was ahead in the clash, with world No. 1 Taylor proving too strong in the battle of Stoke players and dashing his opponent's hopes of a first major title.
Hamilton hit a 140 check-out to level at 2-2 and could have taken a 3-2 lead but missed tops and The Power made him pay, winning four legs in a row - including a 167 finish - to take a commanding 6-2 advantage.
While Hamilton took the next leg to reduce the deficit, Taylor pushed on, winning three successive legs to move 9-3 ahead.
Hamilton pulled another leg back with double five, but Taylor, averaging 107, hit a 104 checkout to move with a leg of the finish-line.
Taylor, who avergaed over 100 in each of his seven games at the tournament, then sunk double four to clinch the title and the £40,000 winner's prize.
He told Sky Sports: "I've proven to myself that I can still win a major tournament which is fantastic."
Earlier in the evening, Hamilton reached his first UK Open final with a thrilling 10-9 victory over Raymond van Barneveld.
The Dutch thrower sunk treble 20 and tops to send the clash into the deciding leg but then missed six match darts to make the final.
First needing 170, Barney hit two treble 20s but missed the bull and then came back requiring 45 to win - but missed two match darts at double 16.
Hamilton missed double 16 himself to win, allowing Barney back but the Dutchman missed double eight with all three of his darts and The Hammer made no mistake, sinking double 16 to seal the victory.
In the other semi-final, Taylor dominated Peter Wright, leading throughout and averaging 106.84 to post an easy 10-5 win.
He sunk an 11-darter to go 8-3 ahead and then made the final with another 11-darter - hitting 180, 140 and 165 before finishing with double four to seal victory.