Whitlock rules in Germany
Wizard casts spell over rest of the field to land European crown
Last Updated: September 24, 2012 8:23am
Simon Whitlock powered to his maiden major title with an 11-5 triumph over Wes Newton in the final of the European Championships.
The Australian has lost on his three previous major final appearances but proved too slick for Newton, whose eight maximums were not enough to save him from defeat.
Having seen off Colin Lloyd 10-7 in the quarter-finals then beaten Kim Huybrechts 11-9 in the semis, Whitlock carried his momentum into the final.
He quickly established a 5-2 lead then landed a 167 check-out to go 9-4 up at the RWE Sporthalle in Muelheim.
Newton hit a 180 and a 140 to take the next leg but it was merely prolonging the agony as Whitlock took out 94 to put him on the brink and wrapped up victory on double eight.
"I've been so close to winning a major in the last couple of years and to finally win one, I'm absolutely ecstatic," said a tearful Whitlock.
"I came into the weekend confident after winning a Players Championship last weekend and I've taken that form into this tournament."
Phil Taylor's reign as PartyPoker.net European champion was ended earlier on Sunday when he slumped to a 10-6 defeat to Brendan Dolan in the quarter-finals.
Taylor has won all four previous European Championship titles and had been the favourite to take the £50,000 first prize yet again.
However, after producing below-par displays in wins over Magnus Caris and Jerry Hendriks the 15-time world champion averaged only 89.88 as he went down 10-6 to Northern Ireland's Dolan, who defeated Taylor for the first time in 14 attempts.
"I've got no excuses, Brendan was the better player and deserved to win," said Taylor. "My form wasn't good enough in my first two games as well as the quarter-final, but my preparation wasn't good enough.
"I'm not happy with my form at all and I've got to up my game for the World Grand Prix in a couple of weeks."
Meanwhile, emerging Belgian Huybrechts produced a sensational performance to defeat five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld 10-8.
Huybrechts had found himself 6-4 down against the Dutchman, but landed seven 180s and two 177s in the match as he reached his first major semi-final.
Dolan missed out on a place in the final after losing a dramatic semi-final 11-9 to Newton.