Phil Taylor rolled back the years to secure top spot in the inaugural Modus Champions Series, defeating Martin Adams, Fallon Sherrock and Anastasia Dobromyslova with a series of superb displays on Sunday – wiring double twelve for a spectacular nine-darter in a thrilling tussle against Adams.
MODUS introduced the Champions Series following the success of the Icons of Darts weekly league and it featured a decorated quartet – three multiple world champions and a two-time major winner in Sherrock, who has elevated herself to global stardom following her recent exploits.
Taylor was the comprehensive favourite with bookmakers ahead of the event and he justified that tag with a series of dominant performances – dropping just seven legs across the afternoon and boasting a tournament average of 101.65.
However, the highlight of the session saw Taylor run out a 5-3 winner against his old adversary Adams in an epic affair. ‘The Power’ wired double twelve for a nine-darter in leg four, but went on to prevail with a whopping 110.86 average, four maximums and a 45% checkout success rate.
Despite almost achieving perfection in leg four, Taylor remarkably lost the leg as Adams converted a two-dart 81 combination for an 11-darter and the 63-year-old was locked at three apiece with ‘The Power’ courtesy of six consecutive holds of throw, despite Taylor averaging 116 at that stage.
Nevertheless, the 16-time world champion regained the initiative with a 16-dart hold on tops and having wired the bull for a 12-dart clincher, the Stoke-on-Trent legend returned to wrap up victory via double four in a pulsating contest featuring seven maximums.
This put Taylor in pole position to top the group after his earlier 5-1 win over Dobromyslova. The Russian performed with aplomb – averaging over 90 and firing in two maximums, but Taylor averaged 98 and boasted a checkout success rate of 63% to cap off a clinical display.
This meant that the 59-year-old required just four legs from his final tussle against Sherrock to guarantee top spot, although his hopes appeared in real jeopardy as Sherrock landed checkouts of 64 and 104 en route to establishing a 3-1 cushion.
However, the 25-year-old squandered four darts at double for a 4-1 advantage and then spurned further opportunities to lead 4-3, and she was suitably punished. Taylor reeled off the final four legs without reply to complete a 5-3 success with a 96 average and three maximums.
Adams was denied by the irrepressible Stoke star, but the BDO veteran secured second spot courtesy of 5-2 wins over Dobromyslova and Sherrock. ‘Wolfie’ kicked off the afternoon with victory over Dobromyslova, who was punished for a paltry 20% success rate on the outer ring.
The three-time world champion then defeated Sherrock by the same scoreline, averaging 97 and missing just the solitary dart at double. Sherrock averaged almost 92 and performed well despite a tentative start, but Adams was ruthless, taking out finishes of 66, 68, 89 and 161.
Despite this, Sherrock finished in third position after whitewashing her female counterpart Dobromyslova 5-0. The game was temporarily disrupted by Sherrock’s barking dog Squirtle, but she had no problems holding on to a lead, averaging 86, piling in two maximums and registering five 140’s.
Image: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Modus Champions Series
Martin Adams (90.8) 5-2 (83.33) Anastasia Dobromyslova
Fallon Sherrock (91.74) 2-5 (97.04) Martin Adams
Phil Taylor (98.04) 5-1 (90.27) Anastasia Dobromyslova
Fallon Sherrock (86.38) 5-0 (79.11) Anastasia Dobromyslova
Phil Taylor (110.86) 5-3 (96.11) Martin Adams
Phil Taylor (96.05) 5-3 (91.12) Fallon Sherrock