Darts News and Events

Taylor Claims First PDC ProTour Win of the Year at UK Open Qualifier

2011-Taylor Cullen
Photo courtesy PDC

PHIL TAYLOR defeated Joe Cullen 6-1 to win the sixth Speedy Hire UK Open Qualifier at the Barnsley Metrodome on Sunday.

Taylor claimed his first PDC ProTour win of the year, and a £6,000 first prize, with a comprehensive win in the final, going one better than he had in Saturday’s event when he was defeated by Gary Anderson.

Bradford youngster Cullen had won through to his first professional final with some brilliant displays on home ground in Yorkshire, but saw Taylor gain revenge for a Players Championship defeat in Killarney last October in the decider.

Taylor had stared defeat in the face in the first round of Sunday’s event, when Peter Hudson missed one match dart for a 6-3 win before the world number one hit back to win 6-5.

Taylor then overcame youngster Darren Whittingham, veterans Richie Burnett and Dennis Smith and the Bristol pair of Mark Dudbridge and Steve Brown to reach the final.

There, he capitalised on a nervous opening from Cullen to take the opening leg with a brilliant 11-darter, land double top to win the second and break for a second time in the third on double four.

Cullen hit a 180 in the fourth, but Taylor replied in kind and punished a missed double 16 from the youngster for a 110 finish by taking out double four to lead 4-0.

Cullen then missed a dart at double top to win the fifth, and saw Taylor finish 110 to move a leg away from the victory before the Bradford ace landed tops to keep the game alive after his opponent missed four match darts.

However, Cullen was unable to save the game again in the next leg, seeing eight darts at double top, ten and five miss their intended target before Taylor posted double seven for victory.

“I’m really pleased to have won,” said Taylor. “I love the winning feeling and this is a great way to cap a good weekend.”

Cullen had overcome Scottish duo Robert Thornton and Gary Anderson – Saturday’s winner – in the latter stages in Barnsley, and also defeated Sweden’s Magnus Caris on his way to the final.

Brown’s bid to claim a second UK Open Qualifier win in Barnsley this year had seen him defeat Steve Beaton, Peter Wright, in-form Wes Newton and James Wade on his way to the semi-finals, before he came up against Taylor.

Thornton’s return to form in recent months continued as he overcame former World Championship finalist Kirk Shepherd, Barrie Bates and Paul Nicholson on his way to the last four, while Dudbridge’s run saw him reach his first quarter-final since last September, including a win over Simon Whitlock.

Wade came from 5-3 down to defeat Michael van Gerwen on his way to the quarter-finals, while Newton missed double 12 for a nine-dart finish in his bid to emulate the feat of Wayne Atwood and Dennis Priestley, who hit perfect legs on Saturday.

The final two Speedy Hire UK Open Qualifiers will be held at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan in a fortnight, after which the top 96 players, plus ties, from the UK Open Order of Merit progress to compete in the televised finals in June.

The Speedy Hire UK Open will be played from June 2-5 at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton. Tickets are available now from the Reebok Stadium Box Office in person or via 08448 712932.

Speedy Hire UK Open Qualifier Six
Preliminary Round
Nigel Birch 6-4 Mareno Michels
Prakash Jiwa 6-1 Mark Tiller
Matt Jackson 6-5 Andrew Hibbert
Harry Robinson 6-3 Reece Robinson
Mark Stephenson 6-1 Adrian Gray
Michael Smith 6-2 Michael Mansell
Michael Rosenauer 6-2 Ian Lever
Brian Woods 6-2 Steve Cupitt
Ashley Holgate 6-2 John Walton
Sam Allen 6-3 Ryan Harrington
Scott Rand 6-1 Matthew Edgar
Steve Grubb 6-1 Norman Fletcher
Kevin Dowling 6-0 Dean Jones
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Shaun Griffiths
Geoff Whitworth 6-0 Lee White
Terry Temple 6-3 Stephen Hardy
Ken MacNeil 6-4 Andy Pearce

First Round
Wayne Jones 6-0 Paul Schofield
James Wade 6-1 Andy Pearson
Roland Scholten 6-5 Nigel Birch
Andy Hamilton 6-0 Prakash Jiwa
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Richie Corner
Mark Frost 6-3 Dyson Parody
Colin Lloyd 6-2 Matt Padgett
Matt Jackson 6-5 Tony Ayres
Wes Newton 6-0 Michael Barnard
William O’Connor 6-1 Gary Eastwood
Co Stompe 6-0 Darrell Claydon
Mark Hylton 6-1 Harry Robinson
Peter Wright 6-3 Gary Mawson
Kevin Painter 6-4 Adam Smith-Neale
Steve Beaton 6-1 Adrian Bolitho
Steve Brown 6-2 Mark Stephenson
Brendan Dolan 6-3 Ian Jopling
Peter Manley 6-1 Paul Hodkin
Terry Jenkins 6-1 Arron Monk
Mark Dudbridge 6-4 Michael Smith
Denis Ovens 6-0 Jon Archer
Adrian Lewis 6-0 Dylan Duo
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Martyn Turner
Michael Rosenauer 6-2 Steve Evans
Dave Ladley 6-4 Mick McGowan
Andy Smith 6-3 Andy Hutchings
Dennis Smith 6-1 Nick Fullwell
Brian Woods 6-4 Justin Pipe
Phil Taylor 6-5 Peter Hudson
Darren Whittingham 6-2 Mensur Suljovic
Jelle Klaasen 6-3 David Coyne
Richie Burnett 6-0 Ashley Holgate
Chris Aubrey 6-5 Alex Roy
Tony Eccles 6-5 Mike Gillet
Magnus Caris 6-4 Andy Jenkins
Nigel Heydon 6-4 Sam Allen
Mark Lawrence 6-3 Wayne Atwood
Joe Cullen 6-0 Andy Hodges
James Richardson 6-4 Matt Clark
Scott Rand 6-1 Mark Walsh
Ronnie Baxter 6-4 Mark Jones
Jyhan Artut 6-5 Dave Smith
Dennis Priestley 6-1 Lee Palfreyman
Steve Grubb 6-1 John MaGowan
Jason Crawley 6-5 Colin Monk
Darren Johnson 6-5 Jimmy Mann
Gary Anderson 6-3 Andy Brown
Mervyn King 6-0 Kevin Dowling
Mick Todd 6-3 Steve Farmer
Alan Tabern 6-5 Ian White
Jamie Caven 6-1 Steven Pearson
Dave Chisnall 6-4 John Part
Paul Nicholson 6-1 Andy Relf
Rocco Maes 6-4 Vincent van der Voort
Colin Osborne 6-3 John O’Shea
Geoff Whitworth 6-3 Steve Maish
Barrie Bates 6-4 Gary Welding
Shane O’Connor 6-2 Chris Thompson
John Henderson 6-4 Kevin McDine
Antonio Alcinas 6-5 Terry Temple
Louis Blundell 6-3 Wayne Mardle
Robert Thornton 6-0 Jimmy Chojnowski
Kirk Shepherd 6-3 Nicky Bache
Ken MacNeil 6-4 Steve Hine

Second Round
James Wade 6-5 Wayne Jones
Roland Scholten 6-5 Andy Hamilton
Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Mark Frost
Colin Lloyd 6-2 Matt Jackson
Wes Newton 6-5 William O’Connor
Mark Hylton 6-5 Co Stompe
Peter Wright 6-3 Kevin Painter
Steve Brown 6-2 Steve Beaton
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Peter Manley
Mark Dudbridge 6-2 Terry Jenkins
Denis Ovens 6-3 Adrian Lewis
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Michael Rosenauer
Andy Smith 6-3 Dave Ladley
Dennis Smith 6-3 Brian Woods
Phil Taylor 6-0 Darren Whittingham
Richie Burnett 6-4 Jelle Klaasen
Tony Eccles 6-3 Chris Aubrey
Magnus Caris 6-3 Nigel Heydon
Joe Cullen 6-4 Mark Lawrence
James Richardson 6-1 Scott Rand
Ronnie Baxter 6-3 Jyhan Artut
Dennis Priestley 6-5 Steve Grubb
Darren Johnson 6-5 Jason Crawley
Gary Anderson 6-3 Mervyn King
Alan Tabern 6-3 Mick Todd
Jamie Caven 6-3 Dave Chisnall
Paul Nicholson 6-3 Rocco Maes
Colin Osborne 6-1 Geoff Whitworth
Barrie Bates 6-5 Shane O’Connor
John Henderson 6-1 Antonio Alcinas
Robert Thornton 6-2 Louis Blundell
Kirk Shepherd 6-1 Ken MacNeil
Losers £200

Third Round
James Wade 6-4 Roland Scholten
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Colin Lloyd
Wes Newton 6-2 Mark Hylton
Steve Brown 6-4 Peter Wright
Mark Dudbridge 6-2 Brendan Dolan
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Denis Ovens
Dennis Smith 6-1 Andy Smith
Phil Taylor 6-4 Richie Burnett
Magnus Caris 6-1 Tony Eccles
Joe Cullen 6-3 James Richardson
Ronnie Baxter 6-4 Dennis Priestley
Gary Anderson 6-3 Darren Johnson
Jamie Caven 6-3 Alan Tabern
Paul Nicholson 6-5 Colin Osborne
Barrie Bates 6-5 John Henderson
Robert Thornton 6-2 Kirk Shepherd
Losers £400

Fourth Round
James Wade 6-5 Michael van Gerwen
Steve Brown 6-4 Wes Newton
Mark Dudbridge 6-2 Simon Whitlock
Phil Taylor 6-1 Dennis Smith
Joe Cullen 6-4 Magnus Caris
Gary Anderson 6-3 Ronnie Baxter
Paul Nicholson 6-2 Jamie Caven
Robert Thornton 6-0 Barrie Bates
Losers £600

Steve Brown 6-4 James Wade
Phil Taylor 6-2 Mark Dudbridge
Joe Cullen 6-5 Gary Anderson
Robert Thornton 6-4 Paul Nicholson
Losers £1,000

Phil Taylor 6-3 Steve Brown
Joe Cullen 6-3 Robert Thornton
Losers £2,000

Phil Taylor 6-1 Joe Cullen
Winner £6,000
Runner-Up £3,000

Final – Leg-by-leg
Phil Taylor v Joe Cullen
0-0 – Joe Cullen wins the bull and will throw first.
1-0 – Taylor hits a 180 and finishes 89 in two darts for an 11-dart opening leg.
2-0 – Taylor is first to a finish in leg two and hits double top to extend his lead.
3-0 – Cullen gets his first chance at a finish, but misses double 16 and eight before Taylor posts double four for another break.
4-0 – Cullen hits his first 180 of the game, but Taylor replies in kind before missing four darts for the leg. Cullen then misses double 16 for a 110 finish and Taylor hits double four.
5-0 – Cullen hits two 140s to be first to a finish, but misses double top as Taylor finishes 110 to break again.
5-1 – Taylor hits two 140s but misses four match darts before Cullen posts tops to get off the mark and stay alive.
6-1 – Cullen sees eight chances to stay in the match go begging, and Taylor eventually makes him pay by hitting double seven for the win.

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