Fifty not out for Taylor
Phil Taylor may have notched his 50th major title in Bolton, but he has warned his rivals he can still improve his game.
Last Updated: 12/06/09 8:12am
Phil Taylor sent out a scary message to the rest of the darting world, by claiming he can still improve despite notching up his 50th major title victory.
'The Power' beat Colin Osborne 11-6 in Sunday's UK Open final to bring up his half-century of major tournament titles, including, his astonishing 14 World Championship successes.
Although age is against him, Taylor's standard of darts is better than ever, with two match averages over 115 during his victory in Bolton, coupled with his televised record of 116.01 during the Premier League.
Taylor admits that the all-action UK Open format took it out of him, and he will be doing everything to improve his overall game with two more majors coming up in quick succession.
"It's not all the time that I'm getting better, it's a bit spontaneous at the moment," said Taylor.
"I'm doing 103 and 104 then 115 and I've got to keep 115 up all the time - and get even better to 116 and 117. I can do it and I know I can do it - if I get my preparation right.
"I've realised after the UK Open that I'm not fit enough or strong enough. I've got to get better, get fitter and concentrate on my career more.
"In the final I started to feel the tiredness and Colin kicked off fantastically. I couldn't seem to grind him down but I got a few chances and got back into it.
"Colin won his semi-final and had a sleep for an hour, and he was fresh and ready for the final.
"I played, had half-an-hour and was back on again, and it makes a difference - but I had to keep grinding. He went a little bit during the middle session and I picked up on that."
Taylor did lose his Premier League crown this year when beaten by Mervyn King - who himself was beaten by James Wade in the final - meaning he lost out in his bid to hold all of the major TV titles.
Wade is leading the charge of the new breed of young darts starts trying to take on Taylor, although the veteran is still at the top of the tree as he remains on target to win all eight major ranking events.
"Obviously, I am still disappointed about that loss in the Premier League because it would have been a real achievement to hold all the current 'Major' titles but it gives me the motivation to keep on winning and I am still targeting the clean sweep," Taylor said.
"All these players are preparing themselves properly. They are practising, dedicating themselves and trying to get better.
"It's different to years ago, when they just practised - now they are practising to get better. They concentrate, write things down and check them day in, day out. That's the difference."
The Stoke thrower now has to defend two more titles next month with the Las Vegas Desert Classic and World Matchplay both coming up.
"I still have the hunger and desire to win and I want to successfully defend both titles. I love Vegas and Blackpool is my favourite event," said Taylor. "If I lose that, I'll be gutted.
"It's like a second World Championship to me and I love it."