PHIL TAYLOR began the 2010 Championship League Darts with victory in Group One, defeating Colin Lloyd 6-2 in the final of the internet-streamed tournament.
Taylor, the 2008 champion who was the runner-up in last year’s Championship League Darts, booked his place in October’s big-money Winners Group and claimed £3,100 prize money for his day’s work at Crondon Park Golf Club in Essex.
The world number one finished second in the round-robin league phase as the eight players battled it out over best of 11 leg games, with Robert Thornton and Mervyn King defeating him with 6-4 scorelines.
Taylor – who twice missed double 12 for a nine-darter during the day – recovered to win his final three matches, dropping only six legs in the process, before defeating Simon Whitlock 6-1 in the semis and Lloyd 6-2 in the final.
Taylor, who also defeated Lloyd in the Group One final in 2008, made a fine start to lead 2-0 before Lloyd got off the mark on double five in the third.
A 64 finish in the fourth was followed by maximums in the next three legs as he moved 5-1 up.
Lloyd matched his 180 on his way to the seventh, but another maximum from Taylor left him 44 in the next, and double 16 secured his win.
Lloyd, who picked up £2,300 on the day, returns for Group Two on Wednesday having followed up Sunday’s Players Championship win with a strong display.
He won his opening three matches on the day and finished fourth in the league phase before seeing off King 6-2 in the semis.
King won his first six games, but a defeat to Whitlock in his final game was followed by a play-off defeat as he ran out of steam, although £2,150 prize money softened the blow.
Whitlock, on his Championship League Darts debut, finished third in the league table with five wins from his seven games, while Adrian Lewis and James Wade avoided elimination from the tournament.
That duo defeated Mark Walsh and Robert Thornton in the final round of games to knock that duo out of the competition, with Ronnie Baxter, Gary Anderson and Paul Nicholson coming in for Wednesday’s Group Three.
Championship League Darts is screened solely on the internet via 16 bookmakers’ websites and to PDCtv subscribers at the PDC’s official website, www.pdc.tv.
The eight players compete for £50 per leg won in the group phase before prize money increases to £100 per leg in the play-offs, with a place in the Winners Group on offer for the day’s champion.