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Whitewashed Taylor will recover to make Premier League Darts final

Losing 7-0 to Michael van Gerwen is hardly the ideal start for Phil Taylor from a qualifying or sponsorship perspective in his first outing of Premier League Darts 2014, but history suggests that he can recover to reach the final.

Taylor only signed a lucrative five-year deal earlier this month to jump ship from Unicorn to Target Darts and he was simply blown away by Van Gerwen’s average of almost 110, which included a checkout success of over 77 per cent.

Only three punters at Coral had to foresight to anticipate the 7-0 thrashing in advance and they were rewarded to the tune of 66/1.

The big question now is what does this mean for Taylor’s chances for the rest of the Premier League Darts event, where he is bidding for a seventh victory in 10 years?

There have only been three previous examples of whitewashes in Premier League Darts events – Colin Lloyd beating Terry Jenkins 8-0 in 2007, Taylor dominating Wayne Mardle 8-0 in the following year and James Wade defeating Simon Whitlock by the same score in 2012.

However, Jenkins and Whitlock still went on to reach the finals in their respective years and so taking the 5/2 that Taylor wins the Premier League Darts is still worthy of consideration.

Things can only get better for Taylor, as of the 10 players in action on the opening night of the event, his tally of 13 scores of 100 or more was the lowest, which included just the one 180.

The fixture list doesn’t get much easier for Taylor next either, as he was face Adrian Lewis in second round of fixtures in Bournemouth on February 13th.

Lewis opened with a 7-1 triumph over Whitlock, but Taylor has won seven of his last eight meetings with his protégée, including 7-2 and 7-3 successes in last year’s Premier League Darts.