DOES IT AGAIN !
Having set the scene with an impressive victory over Peter Manley at the Quebec Open (Retsinas Memorial) in Montreal last week, Phil ĎThe Powerí Taylor thundered his way to a second sucessive title in Saskatoon, beating Andy Fordham in the final.
Taylor breezed through his bracket all the way to the semi finals never dropping a set and taking out Rory Orvis, Peter Manley, Bob Anderson and Rod Harrington in that order along the way.
The reigning champion then played Andy Jenkins in the first semi final match, after Jenkins took out Terry OíConnell, Mocco Maes, Colin Lloyd and Ronnie Baxter to get there. Jenkins gave Taylor his toughest match of the day, taking one set off him in the best of 7 sets.
When asked how he felt about his game against Phil Taylor in the semi final match, Andy Jenkins said, ďI threw appallingly to be honest with you. Philís a good dart player. We all known heís the best in the world. Iíve played on TV before, but Iíve never played Phil before. Itís just amazing to watch him from behind.Ē
After the semi final Taylor was equally complimentary about the up and coming Jenkins;
ďIíve been in the final three times now, sorry, Andy. To be quite honest with you, the field itself has the best players in the world coming to this tournament. This is a hard tournament. Anybody who gets to the semi finals deserves to be there, I can tell you, because itís a real strong field. Iím absolutely proud to be in the final.
"Having won the World Championship in January and the Retsinas Memorial this past weekend in Montreal, Iím enjoying this a bit now. Itís a great living to be honest with you. We travel the world and see all these places, Las Vegas and Canada, and anybody can play darts. Itís just a great way to make a living.Ē
The second menís semi final match was between Roland Scholten and Andy Fordham. Scholten got to the top four through Scott Cummings, Ritchie Burnett, John Part and Chris White. Fordham took out Greg Rogers, Peter Evison, Paul Williams and Jamie Harvey. Fordham got the jump on Scholten in the match going up three sets to nil. It was only a matter of time before he cleaned up the remaining set to advance to the final to meet Taylor.
Roland Scholten said after the match:
ďI just thought of the match as normal, but the darts seemed a bit long to me and it took a long time to adjust to it. After all, I just started to more or less practice and see where they hopefully came in and then I had to keep them going. Andy was a step ahead of me.
"I just did my best and thatís all I could do. Even down three sets, I never gave in. I got one back and I had shots in the next set. I missed that one too, and that was it. He beat me fair and square and I wish him all the luck in the world in the final.Ē
Fordham commented on his run to the final: ďIíve enjoyed the competition here. Itís been brilliant. To reach the final with so many great players here is a great feeling. In my match against Roland, going three sets up was a bonus for me. The last one is always the hardest one they say. Roland took one back, but I just tried to keep going.Ē
When asked what he thinks is the best way to prepare for his match against Phil Taylor, Fordham responded, ďGet a lump of wood and hit him over the head with it. Thatís about it.Ē
Taylor took to the menís final match with such determination, there were more than one or two present who wondered, if what he was doing was humanly possible.
Taylor took the first set, two straight in 14 and 12 darts. He took the second even faster in 13 and 12 darts. The third set went to Taylor in 14 and 13 darts, two straight, and he closed the match with 17 and 15 darters. He had shots in the 17 darter to take it in 12. As it was, Taylor averaged 36.4 points per dart and never allowed Fordham a single shot at a double.
The menís final didnít go the way Fordham wanted, but he reflected, ďWell, I donít think I played that bad really, but when you play someone like Phil, thereís not a lot you can do. I mean heís the best player in the world, and when he has one of his special games, then youíve got no chance. If he keeps practicing heíll be alright !Ē
The importance of winning the Golden Harvest to Taylor was evident in his comments afterwards:
ďItís one of the biggest world ranking tournaments that we do and to win this one is really the beginning of the season. Itís a good bonus and the money is fantastic. It gives you good ranking points, so Iím probably up there now as number two or number one in the world.
ďItís now on to the next one in Belgium or Holland, so itís a good boost for the beginning of the season. As this tournament grows, the standard is improving each year and thereís more and more world-class players that canít get into the tournament, because they wait too long to enter, and to get to the semi finals and finals is really fantastic. Itís as good as being in the World Championship.Ē
After the award ceremonies, Tricia Wright and Phil Taylor were asked to comment on their victories. Wright began by saying, ďIíd just like to thank everyone, and Phil Taylor for the daily practice, even though he slaughtered me. Iíve made so many friends and Iíll definitely be back.Ē
We have been practicing in the morning together and we both won the tournament. Before we go on any further, Iíd really like to thank all the sponsors, and the organizers for putting on this great tournament.Ē