“The best moment of my darts career.” Those were the words said by Corey Cadby during his unlikely victory speech on the opening day of the TABtouch Perth Darts Masters yesterday.
The 21-year-old, who since moving from Tasmania to Melbourne, has won seven tournaments on the DPA Australian Grand Prix circuit this year, but few could have predicted his latest win, beating 16-time world champion Phil Taylor in the first round of this year’s Perth Darts Masters.
The two had only met seven days ago on the World Series stage, with Taylor winning 6-3 in his first match on route to retaining the Ladbrokes Sydney Darts Masters.
Since the World Series came to Australia back in 2013, Taylor has been the man lifting the trophy at the end of the tournament, but this Saturday we are guaranteed a new winner down under.
Cadby made his television debut in the 6-3 defeat to Taylor in Sydney last week, where he averaged a respectable 92.24.
It is clear to see the young man learns very quickly. Early checkouts of 100 and 110 helped give Cadby 1-0 and 2-1 leads, before a 72 checkout saw him hold throw again to go 3-2 up.
“He’s the greatest player ever and I’m glad I stopped his record in Australia”
The next leg saw the pair trade 180s and then Cadby took out a brilliant 122 checkout to break Taylor’s throw for a 4-2 lead.
More maximums in the next two legs showed that the home favourite did not have any plans to let the defending champion off the hook, as he made it four legs on the spin to seal a memorable win
“I don’t know what to say, it’s an amazing moment,” Cadby reflected. “I’m buzzing, it’s a proud moment and the best moment of my darts career.
“I felt confident last week, for my first TV game I did well and I knew where I went wrong.
“I fixed them this week and it’s paid off. It was revenge, it’s great.
“I knew what I had to throw to beat Phil. He’s the greatest player ever. I’m glad someone stopped his record in Australia.”
This was not an off day for Taylor though, who himself averaged 111.65 over the eight leg contest, and despite his winning record in Australia being over, he will take a lot more positives than negatives from his time in Sydney and Perth.
With Taylor out of the running, last week’s Sydney Darts Masters runner-up Michael van Gerwen is hot favourite to end his search for a first title in Australia.
The world number one avoided a potential banana skin in squeezing past Kyle Anderson 6-4 in the first round yesterday. Van Gerwen’s reward is a clash with James Wade in the quarter-finals today.
Wade got over his shock defeat to Rhys Mathewson in Sydney last week with a 6-0 whitewash win against Rob Szabo.
World champion Gary Anderson was one of Taylor’s victims last week, losing 10-2 to him in the quarter-finals, but he will fancy his chances even more now of adding to his collection of World Series titles this weekend.
The Scot has picked up the trophy in Dubai, Auckland and Tokyo during this year’s World Series tour, and he got his bid for a fourth title underway yesterday with a 6-3 victory against qualifier Kim Lewis.
Anderson wrapped up the win with two 11 darters in the last two legs and is certainly one to keep an eye out for over the next two days.
Dave Chisnall is next up for Anderson today, with Chizzy also looking in good form after he comfortably dispatched New Zealand-born Koha Kokiri 6-1 in the first round yesterday.
Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld will meet in the quarter-finals today after both came through their first round ties, beating David Platt 6-3 and Simon Whitlock 6-2 respectively.
Cadby was the star of the show yesterday and he will return today hoping to continue his run when he takes on Peter Wright in the quarter-finals.
Wright, who changed his darts midway through his hard fought 6-4 win against Adam Rowe in the first round, is not ruling out more alterations with his darts during the next two days.
“It wasn’t great so I’m happy just to get over the line,” he said.
“I’m looking for that extra one or two per cent and the best time to try a different set is under that pressure.
“It would have been my fault if I lost but I took that chance. The darts I used in the first half of the game were a bit up and down.”