Peter Wright stormed to a maiden World Series title after crushing Phil Taylor 11-4 to clinch German Masters glory on a dramatic day of action at the Castello Arena, Dusseldorf, on Saturday evening.
The world number three had been beaten by ‘The Power’ in his previous two appearances in World Series Finals, but it was a case of third time lucky for ‘Snakebite’, who produced a stunning display to dismantle the 16-time world champion- who was making his final competitive appearance on German soil.
The UK Open champion averaged 102.25, piled in five maximums and converted 58% of his attempts at double to cap off a wonderful display, as a fatigued Taylor was unable to enjoy a last hurrah in Dusseldorf, averaging 93.93 in a rather erratic display.
‘Snakebite’ made a blistering start to the final, drawing first blood with a maximum and a clinical 116 finish for a 12-dart break of throw. The Scot doubled his tally with a 13-darter via D12, before Taylor opened his account on D8. However, Wright regained his two-leg cushion with a 14-darter moments later.
Taylor missed D5 for an 82 finish in the fifth leg and this error was ruthlessly punished. Wright found tops for 4-1, before extending his cushion via D16. Nevertheless, Taylor stopped the rot via D19 after Snakebite missed tops for 6-1, and then crashed in his first maximum and rounded-off a 14-darter to break and reduce the arrears to 5-3.
‘The Power’ was beginning to threaten, but Wright responded magnificently. He dispatched a fine 66 kill to reassert his dominance, before following up his third maximum with a clinical 81 finish for another 12-darter and a 7-3 advantage.
The world number three continued his clinical finishing to establish an almost unassailable 9-3 cushion, and although Taylor fired in a 14-darter to stop the rot, he was unable to conjure up an inspired fightback.
The Scot landed an effortless 14-darter via D8 to move to the cusp of victory, which he duly sealed in the following leg. He posted his fifth maximum to leave 41 after just nine darts and made no mistake; pegging D10 to clinch his maiden World Series crown with a sublime 12-darter.
The colourful Scot rode his luck at times throughout the event, surviving match darts against Dragutin Horvat and Mensur Suljovic in his opening two matches, and coming through a semi-final thriller against Raymond van Barneveld. However, he showed his class in the final to claim his 11th PDC title of the year.
Wright had secured his spot in the final with a hard-fought 11-9 victory over Raymond van Barneveld. The five-time world champion dumped out Gary Anderson earlier in the day, but was unable to topple another Scot as fatigue took its toll, with Wright averaging 94.94, landing six maximums and converting 58% of his darts at double to prevail.
Wright surged into an early 2-0 lead, but Van Barneveld responded by reeling off three consecutive legs to seize the initiative. Snakebite then broke RvB’s throw with a sublime 11-darter, before the next eight legs all went with throw. However, the Dutchman then fired in a majestic 121 outshot to break throw and move 8-7 ahead.
Nevertheless, the Dutchman was unable to close out victory and reach his fourth World Series final, as Wright won four of the remaining five legs, and a stunning 170 set up followed by tops for a 13-darter sealed the win for the UK Open champion.
On the other side of the draw, Taylor booked his place in the final with an 11-7 win over James Wade. ‘The Machine’ received a bye to the semi-finals after Michael van Gerwen’s withdrawal, but he was afforded no such fortune against Taylor, who averaged 95.28, posted three maximums and converted 43% of his attempts at double to triumph.
The first seven legs of the contest all went with throw, but Taylor clinched the first break of throw in the eighth; after Wade uncharacteristically spurned two darts at tops- the first he missed at that particular target throughout the entire tournament.
‘The Machine’ was unable to match Taylor in the scoring department but he conjured up crucial finishes of 98, 64, 76 and 158 to reduce the arrears to 9-7. However, Taylor completed an 82 kill via tops for a 12-darter to move to the brink of victory, which he duly sealed with a clinical 84 outshot moments later.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
2017 German Darts Masters
Saturday October 21
Gary Anderson 8-10 Raymond van Barneveld
Peter Wright 10-9 Mensur Suljovic
Phil Taylor 10-7 Daryl Gurney
James Wade Bye (Michael van Gerwen withdrew through injury)
Best of 19 legs
Evening Session (8.15pm local time)
Raymond van Barneveld 9-11 Peter Wright
James Wade 7-11 Phil Taylor
Best of 21 legs
Peter Wright 11-4 Phil Taylor