- PDC World Championship
Taylor begins with a win
Phil Taylor cruised through to the second round of the PDC World Championship with a 3-0 sweep of Haruki Muramatsu.
The Englishman was far too strong for the Japanese No. 1, finishing with an average of 99.98. Taylor broke in the opening leg of the match before Muramatsu hit a 14-dart leg to restore parity. However, Taylor claimed the following two legs to clinch the set.
Taylor gained momentum through the second set with a 13-darter, and sealed it with a double 18. He then completed the sweep with an 11-dart leg which featured three 140s and an 81 checkout.
Earlier, Muramatsu had earned the right to meet the 15-time world champion after defeating former Sweden's Strongest Man Dennis Nilsson 4-2 in the preliminary round at Alexandra Palace.
Also through to the second round is Dutchman Co Stompe, who raced into the last 32 with a 3-0 win over Michael Smith. Stompe suffered a first-round exit at the hands of Peter Wright last year, but the Dutchman had steel in his eyes as he fired an early statement of intent with a 180 in the opening leg.
Although Smith took the first leg, Stompe took advantage of Smith's failure to take his chances as he won the first set in comfortable fashion, before opening the second with his third maximum of the match. Smith got himself back in the match after three missed doubles from Stompe, but the Dutchman recovered to take a two-set lead before closing out the match after only a small hiccup.
Wes Newton wasted little time in booking his place in the second round after easing to a 3-0 victory over Kurt Van De Rijck. The UK Open finalist started strongly, and wrapped up the opening set with a clinical 108 checkout. Van De Rijck hit a superb 136 checkout to take the second set to a deciding leg, but Newton held firm to establish a two-set cushion before closing out the game.
Justin Pipe had to work hard for his 3-1 victory over Australian qualifier Sean Reed. The Australian burst out of the blocks to snatch the first set without reply, but Pipe dug deep to level. The match was finely poised with Reed leading 2-1 in the third set, but Pipe won five legs on the trot to wrap up victory.