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GSOD: Taylor Powers Over Nixon With Whitewash Victory

Photo courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Defending Grand Slam of Darts Champion Phil Taylor made a powerful start to this years challenge with a whitewash of Phill Nixon on the tournament’s opening afternoon.

Taylor showed no mercy in seeing off the former BDO World Championship runner-up with a 107.36 average, and used 15 darts or less in every leg.

“It’s a great start and I know I can look forward to the next two group games now,” said Taylor. “I put Phill under pressure from the start and kept it up.”

The afternoon session of the first day also featured a win for PDC World Champion John Part, who overcame a dodgy start to defeat Women’s World Champion Anastasia Dobromyslova 5-1.

The female Russian star missed nine darts at a double in the first two legs to let Part off the hook, and the Canadian eventually powered to victory.

“I lost my first game last year and still won the group so Anastasia has still got a chance,” said Part.

Dobromyslova now has to defeat the loser of the clash between Wayne Mardle and Kevin McDine to stay in the tournament, and said: “I missed my doubles and that was the difference – it’s the most important part of the game and I know I can do better.”

Mark Webster, the BDO World Champion, suffered the biggest upset of the opening afternoon with a 5-4 defeat to Colin McGarry.

Northern Ireland’s McGarry, an ITV Wildcard Qualifier, took a 3-0 lead and held off the Welshman’s comeback to claim a memorable victory.

“I started slowly and it’s very hard to come back from being 3-0 down,” said Webster. “I didn’t play well at all and I have to rectify that on Sunday and Monday or I’ll be going home early.”

2007 Grand Slam of Darts runner-up Andy Hamilton hit an impressive 105 average in defeating Brian Woods 5-3, while Denis Ovens defeated Adrian Lewis 5-2 with a strong opening display which leaves Group G, which also includes James Wade and Niels de Ruiter, wide open.

America’s Darin Young came from 3-0 down to defeat Terry Jenkins in a deciding leg, while Darryl Fitton took three successive legs to secure a 5-2 win over Kevin Painter.

Scotland’s Robert Thornton overcame an injured Gary Mawson 5-3, with the American limping through the pain of a broken toe after injuring himself when his Harley Davidson motorbike fell on his foot recently.

Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld begins his challenge in Saturday’s evening session when he meets PDC World Championship finalist Kirk Shepherd.

Gary Anderson, the WDF number one, and PDC world number three James Wade are also in action when they take on Australia’s Paul Nicholson and Holland’s Niels de Ruiter respectively.

PartyPoker.com Grand Slam of Darts
First Round (Group Stage)
Saturday November 15
Afternoon Session (12pm-5pm)
Denis Ovens 5-2 Adrian Lewis
Andy Hamilton 5-3 Brian Woods
Robert Thornton 5-3 Gary Mawson
John Part 5-1 Anastasia Dobromyslova
Phil Taylor 5-0 Phill Nixon
Colin McGarry 5-4 Mark Webster
Darryl Fitton 5-2 Kevin Painter
Darin Young 5-4 Terry Jenkins

Evening Session (6pm-11pm)
Vincent van der Voort v Andy Jenkins
Wayne Mardle v Kevin McDine
James Wade v Niels de Ruiter
Gary Anderson v Paul Nicholson
Raymond van Barneveld v Kirk Shepherd
Alan Tabern v Simon Whitlock
Mervyn King v Michael van Gerwen
Colin Lloyd v Wes Newton

DENIS OVENS 5-2 ADRIAN LEWIS
DENIS OVENS punished a below-par showing from Adrian Lewis to make an ideal start to the PartyPoker.com Grand Slam of Darts with a 5-2 victory.

Lewis, the runner-up in the recent European Championship, kicked off the contest with a 24 score and never hit his stride to leave himself needing wins over James Wade and Niels de Ruiter in his remaining games to progress.

Ovens took out 94 to win the opening leg and then double ten to move 2-0 up before Lewis landed a maximum to set up a 43 finish, which he clinically finished with his first dart.

While double 12 pushed Ovens 3-1 up, Lewis replied with a 12-darter, including a 180, to pull back to one leg behind.

Ovens moved a leg away from the win on double 18, and hit the same bed to secure victory after four missed darts at a double from the Stoke youngster.

“I’m very happy with the win,” said Ovens. “I started well and was pleased with my finishing, and it should be a great group now.”

Lewis admitted: “I never got going and instead of being a BMW I was a Ford Fiesta today!

“Denis played well and hit some good shots but it wasn’t the real me and it was a bad day. I know I have to win my next two games now and that’s the challenge for me.”

ANDY HAMILTON 5-3 BRIAN WOODS
ANDY HAMILTON overcame Brian Woods 5-3 to make a winning start in the PartyPoker.com Grand Slam of Darts.

Hamilton who went all the way to the final before falling to Phil Taylor was in excellent form ending up with a three-dart average of 105.64.

Woods, making his debut in the event, started slowly and Hamilton took an early lead.

However Woods settled in the second leg converting a ‘Shanghai’ 120 finish to level at 1-1.

Hamilton hit a maximum in the third leg to regain the lead and hit a 12-darter completed by a 130 checkout to establish a 3-1 lead.

Woods hit-back with an 11-dart finish of his own, but Hamilton hit another 12 dart-leg, this time hitting a 136 finish.

Woods took the seventh leg with a ‘showpiece’ 90 finish which included two double tops. He then had a dart at double top to take the match into a deciding leg.

But he failed to convert and Hamilton landed double ten at the first time of asking to end the plucky challenge of Woods.

ROBERT THORNTON 5-3 GARY MAWSON
ROBERT THORNTON overcame the challenge of American Gary Mawson in the opening Group E clash in the PartyPoker.com Grand Slam of Darts.

The American made the better start taking the opening leg with a two dart 60 finish.

But the Scotsman, who reached the Semi-Finals of the European Darts Championship a couple of weeks ago, took the next two legs, landing double four on both occasions.

He then stepped up a gear hitting a 124 finish on the bull to build a 3-1 lead.

Mawson, who was playing through the pain of a broken toe, took the fifth leg and landed a fantastic 152 checkout to level the game at 3-3.

But Thornton powered through the next two legs hitting a 104 checkout and a two dart 65 finish to come through.

“The toe wasn’t a factor, Robert was better than me,” said Mawson, who suffered the injury when his Harley Davidson motorbike fell on his foot.

“It’s not over though, it’s a round robin format and tomorrow’s another day. I’ve beaten Barney before so he won’t hold any fear when we eventually meet and I’ve got my own destiny in too much.”

JOHN PART 5-1 ANASTASIA DOBROMYSLOVA
JOHN PART won the battle of the World Champions with Anastasia Dobromyslova – but not without some nervous moments.

The Russian-born Women’s World Champion threatened to cause a major upset when she was first to a finish in the opening two legs of the contest – only to miss a total of nine darts at a double.

Part stepped in to win both legs for a 2-0 lead, and won the third before Dobromyslova landed double 16, ironically at the first time of asking after a 110 score left 32, to get off the mark.

But Part took the next two legs to ensure an opening victory, with Wayne Mardle and Kevin McDine to follow in Group D.

“I missed my doubles and that was the difference,” said Dobromyslova. “It’s the most important part of the game and I know I can do better, and I’ll be back on the practice board.”

Part was full of support for Dobromyslova, saying: “I lost my first game last year and still won the group so Anastasia has still got a chance.

“In the same way I’m not through with one win, but I’m very happy to have that win and can settle down for the next game now.”

PHIL TAYLOR 5-0 PHILL NIXON
DEFENDING CHAMPION Phil Taylor made a brilliant start to his challenge in the 2008 PartyPoker.com Grand Slam of Darts with a whitewash of Phill Nixon.

Taylor showed no mercy in seeing off the former BDO World Championship runner-up with a 107.36 average, and used 15 darts or less in every leg.

A 177 set up a double 12 finish for a 13-darter in the opening leg, with double 16 and double nine following as he moved 3-0 up – with Nixon’s only chance being one missed dart at a double for a 116 finish.

He missed doubles in the fourth before double 18, for a 13-darter, gave him a 4-0 lead, and he secured the win with a superb 113 checkout, ending once more on double 18.

“I had the shot at the 116 finish but other than that Phil didn’t give me a chance,” admitted Nixon. “I must do better and have to win my next two games now, it’s as simple as that.”

Taylor said: “I put Phill under pressure from the start and am very happy with my performance. It’s good to get off to a winning start and I can relax now.”

COLIN McGARRY 5-4 MARK WEBSTER
NORTHERN IRELAND’S Colin McGarry defeated reigning BDO World Champion Mark Webster in a final-leg decider in the PartyPoker.com Grand Slam of Darts.

Webster who failed to through the group-stages in last year’s inaugural event will now face a tough challenge to reach the knock-out phase.

McGarry, making his first TV appearance since the 2004 PDC World Championships, came out fast and established a 3-0 lead.

He took the first leg with throw and then broke the Welshman after he missed three darts at doubles.

A 71 finish increased McGarry’s advantage before Webster opened his account in the match landing double ten.

Webster hit the only maximum of the contest in the fourth leg, which he won on double ten. He then levelled matters by landing double top.

McGarry, who won a place in this tournament by finishing as runner-up in last month’s ITV Wildcard Qualifier took the seventh leg to stop Webster’s winning streak.

But Webster hit an 80 finish to ensure the game would go the full-distance.

McGarry had advantage of throw, and the man from Larne made that count by getting to the double first and landing double top to record an excellent win.

After the match Webster said: “I started slowly and it’s very hard to come back from 3-0 down. I didn’t play well at all and I have to rectify that on Sunday and Monday or I’ll be going home early.”

“Colin has a great chance now if he plays like that in his remaining games and he’ll be full of confidence, but I’ve got to pull something out of the bag,” Webster added.

DARRYL FITTON 5-2 KEVIN PAINTER
DARRYL FITTON defeated Kevin Painter 5-2 in the opening clash of Group H in the PartyPoker.com Grand Slam of Darts.

Painter missed key doubles at crucial moments and will now have to work hard to gain one of the qualification places from his group.

Fitton broke throw in the opening leg after both players missed numerous chances to win it.

The man from Stockport then doubled his lead when he hit double top.

However, Painter quickly hit back. He won the third leg after his opponent missed opportunities to take a 3-0 lead, and then levelled the match when he landed double sixteen.

Painter failed to take out doubles to level the match again in the sixth leg and Fitton landed double twelve to regain the lead.

The Stockport man then landed double top for a 4-2 lead, to go one leg away from the match.

Both players hit maximums in the seventh leg but it was Fitton who hit double top for an 80 finish to register a debut victory in the Grand Slam.

DARIN YOUNG 5-4 TERRY JENKINS
DARIN YOUNG caused a major upset at the PartyPoker.com Grand Slam of Darts with a deciding-leg victory over the world number five Terry Jenkins

Jenkins, who reached the Quarter-Finals last year appeared to be coasting to a comfortable victory when he led 3-0. But Young took five of the next six legs to snatch victory.

The American was unable to make much impression in the early exchanges as the man from Ledbury took out finishes of 60 and 80 in taking the first three legs.

Young then began to hit his stride. He hit a 174 to leave double twelve, which he duly converted to win his first leg.

He then hit a fabulous 11-darter in the fifth leg followed by a maximum in the sixth to level the game at 3-3.

Jenkins stopped the rot by breaking throw for a 4-3 lead, but Young immediately broke back by landing double ten.

And with advantage of throw in the deciding-leg, Young took out a 79 finish to round of an amazing win.

“Terry gave me some chances there and I managed to take advantage,” said Young. “I hit some good darts and to beat a man of his calibre means a lot to me.”

Jenkins said: “I started well and everything was going well for me but Darin played some brilliant darts to come back.

“It’s going to be hard now but I’m playing well and just can’t seem to win. It’s frustrating but I’ll keep trying and hopefully I can get back winning.”

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