World Darts Championship: Phil Taylor makes odd choice for ‘star’ of the tournament

Phil Taylor breezed into the third round of the World Darts Championship last night with a convincing 4-0 victory over Justin Pipe.

But it was not plain sailing for the 16-time winner who had to cope with a hostile crowd at the Alexandra Palace.

The punters had turned against Pipe, booing and jeering throughout, following accusations he deliberately coughed to distract his first-round opponent Bernie Smith.

And Taylor admitted it was difficult to concentrate and said referee Russ Bray was the real star on the oche.

“It was very difficult to concentrate even for Russ Bray,” he said after the match.

“I think Russ did a fantastic job up there for concentration, for calling the scores out, for doing what he did.

“It was hard work for Russell and I think he was the star of the show tonight!”

Taylor will now face Keegan Brown in the next round but feels he must improve if he is to win the title this year.

The 57-year-old plans on retiring after the tournament and has insisted he wants to bow out on a high with his 17th world crown.

“I am really looking forward to finishing but I want to win it,” Taylor added.

“But I am not playing good enough to win it. 

“It is about resting now for me.”