Phil Taylor became the first winner of the Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters after beating Peter Wright 11-8 in the final at the Hisense Arena earlier today.
The 57-year-old, who won the World Matchplay for a record 16th time in Blackpool last month, continued his recent run of success in Melbourne as he claimed an eighth World Series of Darts title, and a seventh in Australia.
In a repeat of the World Matchplay final, Taylor took on world number three Wright in the decider of the inaugural Melbourne Darts Masters, and at 8-8 the match looked evenly poised.
However, Taylor reeled off three straight legs to seal an 11-8 victory and ensure Wright’s wait for a first World Series title continues.
Earlier in the day Taylor had ended home hopes with an 11-4 thrashing over Australian number one Simon Whitlock in the semi-finals.
The 16-time world champion produced a run that saw him win nine of the last 11 legs, with the victory secured with a 144 finish as Taylor finished with a 57.89 per cent success rate on the doubles.
Wright had earlier booked his place in a fourth World Series final, and a first in Australia, with an 11-4 win over Northern Ireland’s Daryl Gurney.
The Scot fired in a 101 checkout on his way to establishing a 4-1 lead and, despite not hitting any maximums in the contest, he pinned 55 per cent of his attempts at doubles to book his spot in the final.
Taylor had only ever tasted defeat once in the World Series in Australia and began the final in nervy fashion, missing three darts at doubles in the opening leg to break the Wright throw.
The pair traded holds of throw until the sixth leg, where Taylor missed double 19 for a 158 checkout before Wright took out 81, finishing with double 17 and double 20 for a break.
However, the next three legs saw the reigning UK Open champion spurn a total of 12 darts at doubles, which allowed Taylor back in and to gain control of the final.
Wright then produced another double-double finish in the 11th leg to close the gap to one, this time checking out 81 with the help of two double 18s.
Wright was unable to capitalise though, as Taylor then broke again to open up a three-leg cushion at 8-5, before the comeback came with the Premier League runner-up winning the next three legs to level the score up at 8-8.
But once again though, Wright could not regain the lead as Taylor broke the throw to move 9-8 in front, before a 112 finish and then another break sealed the title for the current world number four.
Picture: Tim Murdoch/PDC