Anyone who doubted that 16 world titles will have dulled the competitive spirit within Phil Taylor is likely to be disappointed.
The Power is heating up ahead of his defence of yet another Ladbrokes World Darts Championship crown, with his victory in Group 1 of the Championship League competition on Tuesday showcasing all of his undoubted quality.
Taylor even managed a nine-darter during the group stage of the competition at Stock in Essex, albeit in a defeat to Adrian Lewis, before beating his same opponent 6-2 in the final to qualify for the Winners Group matches at the end of next month.
Now priced at 7/4 to make it 17 world titles at the tournament at Alexandra Palace over Christmas and New Year, Taylor will be targeting a sixth appearance in the Championship League final in this, the sixth year since its’ inception.
Oddly enough though, each time that the Power has won the Championship League – 2008, 2011 and 2012 – he has failed to add a world crown to it, whilst both times he’s been the beaten finalist in the tournament he has been successful at Ally Pally.
Such logic will ensure that Taylor will be hoping for an appearance in the final in Essex at least, but he’ll know that stiff competition lies ahead for him to even make the last two next month.
Lewis won just one leg less than Taylor on his way to the final, and the 28-year-old is currently the 8/1 third favourite for Ladbrokes World Championship glory behind Taylor and the 11/4 Michael van Gerwen, who struggled in Tuesday’s Group 1 matches, losing three.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication