Raymond van Barneveld secured victory at the inaugural Hong Kong Darts Masters, thrashing Phil Taylor 11-4 in emphatic fashion in Saturday’s final.
Van Barneveld beat Scott MacKenzie 8-1 in Friday’s quarter-final, before he edged out Stephen Bunting 10-7 in a hard-fought semi-final.
Taylor’s early progress was less serene, as he defeated Wes Newton 8-5 in the quarter-finals, before beating fellow Stokie Andy Hamilton 10-6 in the semis, to set up another instalment of Darts’ famous rivalry labelled: ‘El Clasico’.
Van Barneveld led Taylor 4-3 at the first interval, before the veteran Dutchman produced an inspired spell of form, reeling off seven out of the next eight legs to seal victory.
After coming agonisingly close to winning last weekend’s Auckland Darts Masters, this was an extremely welcome triumph for Barney, who heads into the upcoming European Tour event in Germany full of confidence.
This also continues van Barneveld’s fine run of form against the 16-time World Champion. Since defeat to Taylor in last year’s World Championship semi-final, van Barneveld has won 3 of his last 4 meetings against his great rival.
Taylor has been in tremendous form of late, winning World Series events in Perth and Sydney respectively, so to defeat The Power in such comprehensive fashion is indicative of van Barneveld’s form at present.
Barney admitted his delight at returning to the winner’s podium once again. He maintained that he’s eager to compete more frequently on the circuit, as he aims to improve upon his current World Ranking of 16th, which is not an accurate reflection of his immense ability and quality.
Van Barneveld will certainly be aiming to retain his title in Hong Kong next year, as the event is poised to be added to the World Series calendar.
However, more importantly, as the business end of the PDC calendar approaches, this could be just the tonic Barney requires to taste success in the upcoming ranking majors.