Darts
Jake Michaels, ESPN Assistant Editor 91d

Darts master Phil Taylor hands Mark Bosnich trophy

Darts

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Sixteen-time world champion Phil Taylor has claimed the inaugural Melbourne Darts Masters after defeating Peter Wright in a scrappy final at Hisense Arena.

After a slow start, Taylor, 56, made the most of Wright's jitters on the doubles to open up a 6-4 lead at the break before staving off the Scot's comeback to record an 11-8 victory, despite failing to hit a single maximum.

The win, which was Taylor's eighth World Series of Darts title -- seven having come on Australian soil -- was overshadowed when 'The Power' donated his trophy to former Australian goalkeeper Mark Bosnich who had spent the weekend guest commentating for Fox Sports.

"He's the first commentator ever who was actually giving me credit for what I have done over the past 30 years," Taylor said of Bosnich "I don't get that off any other commentator and it actually gave me a lump in my throat.

"I've had commentators running me down for years saying van Gerwen's the best player in the world and he's the first person who has actually stood up for me and I really appreciate that."

Taylor, a massive Manchester United fan, admits he and Bosnich had never spoken until this weekend.

"I'm friends with Roy Keane and Becks but I don't know Mark. I like him, he's a good lad," he said.

Earlier in the night, local hope Simon Whitlock suffered a heavy semifinal defeat at the hands of eventual winner Taylor. The Australian never looked comfortable in front of his home fans and fell to a disappointing 11-4 loss. Daryl Gurney of Northern Ireland also lost his semifinal by the same scoreline.

The World Series of Darts now moves to Perth for the final event on Australian shores before heading back to Europe.

Semi-Finals

Peter Wright 11-4 Daryl Gurney

Phil Taylor 11-4 Simon Whitlock

Final

Phil Taylor 11-8 Peter Wright

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