Phil Taylor Trophy Introduced For BetVictor World Matchplay

Six Of The Best – Standing Up To The Power.

JR Lott looked at who really could ‘Fight The Power‘. His ‘Six of the Best’ contains players from different generations with many differing styles. While some are relatively predictable. Others are less so:

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Who really fought ‘The Power’? Very few won even 1/3 of their clashes with the Stoke thrower. (pic: PDC/L Lustig)

Darts World’s ‘Six of the Best’ is not usually my type of writing. But, while researching a different article, I happened upon a review Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor’s career. It was interesting to note that only Rob Cross has a majority of competitive wins against Phil and even that was in their one and only encounter.

So who else performed best against the player many regard as the GOAT? Our friends at offered some clues.

Six: Chizzy (Win rate 28%).

Dave Chisnall has a very solid record vs Phil. Although twenty eight percent may not seem very high, it’s close to one win in three, and includes some superb moments. Chizzy defeated ‘The Power’ in their initial encounters, both on the Pro Tour and TV.

The St. Helens man’s victory at the 2012 World Championship was quite the shock to watching audiences, although those closer to the game, thought it ‘on the cards’.

It is to be noted that Chizzy is a huge 180 hitter and can produce devastating scoring spells. (32 Matches).

Five: Gary Anderson (Win rate 20%).

The Flying Scotsman‘s record against ‘ The Power’ stretches back to 2007 when he won their debut encounter in the World Darts Trophy. Phil reversed this a few weeks later, at the Grand Slam of Darts, and held the upper hand for the next four years.

Between 2011 and 2017 Gary inched closer and won a higher and higher percentage of their matches. His 2015 World Championship victory, in the final, over The Power was, perhaps, the high-point.

Anderson too is a huge scorer. (57 Matches).

Mutual Respect? Both Peter & Phil have expressed a great deal of mutual admiration Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Four: Peter Wright (Win rate 33%)

Snakebite is the first in our list to claim wins more than a third of his encounters with the Stoke-on-Trent legend. Wright lost nine-out-of-ten of their early encounters, the tenth was a draw! Wrighty finally claimed victory in the, non ranked, Dubai Masters. Weeks later Peter gained an important win, the Qtr final of the UK Open of 2015.

The tide had turned, the Scottish thrower gained in successes until he too was winning around half of his tussles with Taylor. These wins partially offset the early defeats and enabled a fine record to be built. (33 Matches).

Peter also features heavily on 180 hitting tables.

Three: Micheal Van Gerwyn (43.33%)

MVG‘s rumbles with The Power cover more than a decade while also charting Micheal’s rise, slump and triumphant return. Early on the young Dutchman did well, claiming two, from three, of their early encounters. Phil, again, learnt adapted and defeated Micheal on the next fifteen occasions that they met. In 2012 a reversal of fortune began.

Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen
From early days to later years. Over a decade of battles between The Power & MVG.

MVG began to get the upper hand and steadily improved his record against the player with whom he will always be compared. Michael racked up more than twenty wins between 2012 and 2017.

Even with this superb spell of form he could not totally conquer ‘The Power’.

Phil used his experience, professionalism and matchplay skills to limit the damage and score major wins during this time. Most memorable were Taylor’s 2013 World Championship (final) win, known to the the Darts World coach as ‘darting rope-a-dope’, and the demolition of Micheal in the 2016 Matchplay.

‘Mighty Mike’ clocks over 40% and solely in the modern PDC era! (60 matches).

Two: Rod Harrington (43.75%)

Harrington is a very unusual player in this list. The former World Master dominated Taylor during their early rivalries. Indeed, Rod claimed six out of eight initial skirmishes. Also unusually he claimed most of those wins in finals and semi finals.

Taylor then reversed the tables and completed a series of heavier and heavier defeats upon Harrington. During their last eight encounter it was Phil who clocked up a seven-one run. Again, most of these encounters were finals or later stage matches.

Their rivalry may not include as many matches others in the games history, but Taylor vs Harrington was conducted during a tough time for the sport and mainly at the highest level. To get even close, to a 50% record, is a remarkable effort and shared by only one other. (16 Matches).

One: Peter Evison: (Win rate 50%)

The Fenn Tiger sits alone in our table of those who fought ‘The Power’. Over a thirteen year time-span the two clashed in the Winmau World Masters, the early PDC (WDC) Lada Masters, The World Matchplay and The World Grand Prix.

Across all formats, both BDO and PDC events, and during different stages of their careers. Peter Evison comes out even.

Each player handed the other a terrible beating, or two, with Evison’s 8-1 demolition of Taylor, at his ‘home’ venue in Blackpool, at the World Matchplay being his high-point.

Later, Taylor (once more!) turned the tide and inflicted heavy defeats of his own. But, despite his best efforts, ‘The Power’ was unable to was unable to best ‘The Tiger’ overall. (8 Matches).

To illustrate how difficult it was to get even a single win, vs The Power, here are the six who suffered most his hands.

Nigel Heydon80100.00%
Shayne Burgess110100.00%
Kevin McDine110100.00%
Dennis Smith140100.00%
Alan Tabern160100.00%
Roland Scholten
See Roland’s full record & get more info at dartsdatabase.

The Winmau World Masters Returns to the Bridlington Spa

This Week – Masters of The Eighties! 20th-26th Oct.

THIS WEEK’s glance into darting history we are going to visit, that glorious darting decade, the 1980’s. We feature Eric, John, Dave Whitcombe, and a certain Peter Evison. A Masters pattern emerges along the way.

1981 – Bristow Claims Hatrick at The Masters

The ‘Crafty Cockney’ was in superb shape in the early 80s, indeed much of the legend that is Eric Bristow was formed during these years. This week in ’81 part of me thinks Eric was simply trying do-over, John Lowe, again! The previous year Lowe had become the second player to claim more than one title. Being as they met, one more, in the final Eric must have wanted to exert his dominance and again set records.

Serious players should watch the final as an example of match play, set play, game management. Both players are aware of the threat from the other. Eric subdues much of his flamboyance in order to ensure consistency. Lowe does tremendously, too hold on and produces some superb single legs. Watch it here:

In the end, though, I suspect that this game is a perfect summary of the two players. Both outstanding but, all other things being equal, Eric had that little more.

Claiming Majors in Dave Whitcombe’s peak time was not easy. Dave claimed his 1st ‘This Week’ in 1985!( Pic: Dave claiming the News of the World event in 1989).

1985 – Whitcombe Joins Multiple Masters!

Dave had managed to break the dominance of Lowe and Bristow, in The Masters, during 1982. This week, in ’85, he did it again! In claiming his second title he joined the club of players, yep you guessed it, John & Eric!, to have picked it up more than once. Whitcomb had a mixed run to the title. He had to defeat Mike Gregory in the Qtr-Final and then Bob Anderson in the Semi.

In the final, however, he faced Ray Farrel. Ray was having a superb run, reaching his first, and only, major final. It is fair to say Dave was a different class of player, from those Ray had met so far, and he wrapped up a 3-0 win in style. Dave has often been overlooked due to the remarkable players in his era. But you don’t win Two Masters’ and The News of the World Title, against those guys unless you are a top draw player.

1989 – Fenn Tiger Tames Legends.

Sticking with a Masters theme, how many players can claim to have won their first major by defeating Phil Taylor in the semi-final and Eric Bristow in the final! The diminutive Peter Evison, aka ‘The Fenn Tiger’ did just that this week in 1989.

Peter is perhaps the only player to “come from nowhere” twice! Almost a decade after this superb performance he did it again. In 1997 he returned to his very best and claimed the PDC World Matchplay in the qtr final he produced an 8-1 thumping of a certain Mr Taylor! He also had to squeak past Dennis Priestley to claim that one. A bit of an expert, in taming the legends, was Mr Evison.

Following Peter’s win, in 1989, none of the quartet of early darts greats; Eric, John, Jockey or Bob claimed another Masters title. Even Taylor claimed his only title in 1990.