Phil Taylor beat Michael Smith 6-4, to win the Austrian Darts Championship in Vienna on Sunday night. This was Taylor’s first European Tour event in over two years, as Taylor has picked and chosen what tournaments he’s played in over recent times. In a final that had more twist and turns than a gymnast, the match saw five breaks of throw and ten 180s in a match that had you gripped from start to finish. Smith had checked out 130 on the bull to lead Taylor 4-3, but the 16 times champion of the world reeled off three legs on the spin using only 37 darts in the process. Taylor was forced to produce some of his best darts in years across the weekend. Taylor sunk Kim Huybrechts in the third round, winning 6-3 but only broke Huybrechts throw with a ten-dart leg, missing double 12 for the perfect nine dart leg. Taylor then railroaded former Lakeside champion Stephen Bunting in the quarter-final winning 6-2.
In the semi-final, Taylor was up against Australian Kyle Anderson. Anderson had blown the Austrian Darts Championship wide open, after beating the world number one and tournament favourite Michael van Gerwen. Anderson was sensational in beating MvG as he checked out three successive bull finishes, to win 6-4. Anderson headed into the semi-final with Taylor full of confidences, and the pair served up a real treat for everyone watching. Taylor won the last leg thriller in a 6-5 victory. However, with the recent world cup and this weekend, it’s clear to see that Anderson is set for big things in the PDC.
The PDC top stars will now head for Auckland and Shanghai as part of the World Series of Darts, before the final Players Championships in Barnsley in early July before the World Matchplay hits the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. The Matchplay is one of the highlights of the darting calendar, and this year’s line up is sure to be the best we have seen.