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Phil Taylor does it again
11:41am Friday 2nd November 2012 in Sport
PHIL TAYLOR retained the Championship League Darts title with a brilliant 6-4 win over Simon Whitlock to crown a flawless Winners Group at Crondon Park GC on Thursday.
Taylor scooped the £10,000 first prize amongst £26,600 prize money he has claimed during the course of the internet-streamed tournament this year.
He had uncharacteristically failed to win through in the first three groups before claiming glory in Group Four in mid-October, and returned to Crondon Park GC in Essex for Thursday's big-money Winners Group.
The former Crewe resident won all seven league matches, whitewashing Wednesday's Group Eight winner Mark Walsh in one game, before seeing off Dave Chisnall 6-0 in the semi-finals with a stunning 112.73 average.
He then led 2-0 in the final against Whitlock, hitting two 180s in the second leg, before the Australian star finished 61 for a 14-darter to reply.
Taylor hit an 11-dart finish to move 3-1 up, and after Whitlock took the fifth leg on double ten, he finished legs of 13 and 11 darts to move to the brink of glory.
Whitlock finished an 11-darter to keep the match alive in the next after Taylor missed double five for a 130 finish to claim the title, and he continued the fightback on double ten after the world number one missed two more match darts, this time at double eight.
Whitlock then had a chance to force a decider in the tenth leg, but missed the double 16 for a showpiece 132 checkout after hitting two bullseyes, and Taylor stepped in to seal the win on double four.
"I'm absolutely delighted to have won this title again," said Taylor, who was the winner in 2008 and 2011 and the runner-up in the other two years.
"This is the hardest Championship League Darts title I've won but I'm so chuffed to have beaten Simon.
"I made it harder for myself than in previous years because it took me four groups to qualify, and to be in the Winners Group is an achievement in itself.
"I'm very proud to have come through such a tough group because all the players have produced some superb performances today. In the final Simon really pushed me and it was a huge relief to hit the double four."