- World Matchplay
Taylor sets up second-round clash with Smith
Phil Taylor kicked off his World Matchplay title defence in impressive style as he blew away former practice partner Darren Webster 10-3 in Blackpool.
Taylor recorded a 101.79 three-dart average, with his victory setting up a second-round meeting with rising star Michael Smith - the man who knocked him out of the last World Championship - after he saw off Justin Pipe 10-8 in the opening match of the evening session.
"It's going to be a cracker. On Wednesday we are in for a treat - I'm going to give Michael a game now," Taylor told Sky Sports. "I want to have a good fight with him and let us see who is the best."
Webster took the first leg against the throw and made it 2-2 with just 12 darts, though Taylor quickly pulled away by taking the next five legs. Taylor then took out 132 before going on to complete the win.
"It was a good game. That's the best I've played all year, to be quite honest with you," Taylor added.
"He was gutsy, he's got a lot of bottle has Darren. He just doesn't give up. I used to practice with him years ago and he's a brilliant little player."
In the final match of the night, Raymond van Barneveld hit eight 180s on his way to a 10-4 victory against fellow Dutchman Vincent van der Voort.
Earlier in the evening session, Wes Newton produced a 144 checkout to seal a dramatic 11-9 extra-time win against Ronnie Baxter.
In the afternoon session, Dave Chisnall beat Dean Winstanley 10-4 while Richie Burnett saw off Brendan Dolan by the same scoreline. Paul Nicholson edged Robert Thornton 10-8 with Andy Hamilton enjoying a comfortable 10-3 victory against Wayne Jones.