This time last year his power was fading, but Phil Taylor is back to his best and that is worrying news for anyone in his way. Thirteen times he has been crowned world champion, but his failure to reach the final last year, for the first time since 1994, was taken by some as a sign that age had caught up with him. How wrong they were.
He licked his wounds, assessed his mistakes, changed to heavier darts and returned to throw some untouchable arrows on the way to winning nearly every significant trophy on offer. He pulverised his main rivals, throwing an impressive average of about 110 against James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld in the Whyte & Mackay Premier League and Players Championship. Co Stompe showed the size of the task facing the other players when the Dutchman required an average of more than 107 to defeat Taylor in the German Darts Championship final last month.