Premier League Darts: Phil Taylor opens his account with 7-3 victory in Glasgow
Last Updated: 28/02/14 7:18am
Phil Taylor: Had a liking for double 16 in his victory over Simon Whitlock
Phil Taylor finally registered his first win of the Premier League season, seeing off Simon Whitlock 7-3 in week four of this year's competition in Glasgow.
Having suffered a hat-trick of defeats so far in the campaign, the 'Power' finally came to life in front of a full house at the SSE Hydro as he averaged 104.82 against his Australian opponent.
"I beat myself up every day, I'm terrible with myself. But I will put it right, trust me."
After losing the opening leg Taylor took three of the next four, though Whitlock - who himself had come into the clash still without a point to his name - managed to remain on his rival's coat-tails.
He broke the throw by finishing 81 to make it 5-3, but the finishing magic deserted 'The Wizard' in the next when he blew a glorious chance to cut the gap to one in the ninth leg, landing in double 11 when he was actually wanting the bed underneath with 16 left.
The let-off allowed Taylor to take out 60, putting him on the brink of victory. Double 16, for a fourth time, saw the 16-time world champion over the line, much to his relief.
"There is no bigger perfectionist than me," he told Sky Sports. "I beat myself up every day, I'm terrible with myself. But I will put it right, trust me.
"If I can't put it together within the next 12 months then I'll finish because there'd be no point."
Meanwhile, Raymond van Barneveld handed Michael van Gerwen his first defeat with a 7-5 triumph in a thrilling all-Dutch clash.
'Barney' landed his first two attempts at doubles to open up a lead he would refuse to surrender, despite the best efforts of the reigning champion to battle back. 'Mighty Mike' kept himself in contention but could simply never get back on level terms.
Van Barneveld secured at least a point with a 58 checkout in the 10th leg and although he lost the next, held his nerve in the last after seeing his opponent have an unfortunate bounce-out when setting up a finishing opportunity.
With Van Gerwen losing, Peter Wright now holds the only unbeaten record of the 10 competitors, his superb 7-1 demolition of Adrian Lewis in the opening match on stage meaning he leads the way at the summit.
The Scotsman began with a 180 from his first visit and took out 119 to win the leg, though his rival responded in the next to draw level with just 11 darts.
However, it was a rare moment of joy for Lewis on an otherwise disappointing evening. At 6-1 down he missed three opportunities to remain alive, meaning Wright could round out a one-sided match by landing double 10.
"This is the greatest atmosphere ever, better than the World Championship," 'Snakebite' said afterwards. "We're not here to watch paint dry, we're here to entertain the crowd."
Gary Anderson gave the home crowd something to cheer about on their way home as he rounded out the evening with a 7-5 success over Dave Chisnall, while another Scot, Robert Thornton, and Wes Newton drew 6-6.