2016 PDC World Darts Championship
The PDC World Darts Championships returns for its 23rd instalment since its separation from the British Darts Organisation. The first PDC event as held in 1994 following a dispute with the BDO, which had run it’s own World Championships since since 1978, leading to ‘rebel’ players breaking off and the PDC’s World Championships being formed. Since 2008, the tournament has been held at Alexandra Palace after previously being staged at the Circus Tavern in Purfleet for its first 14 years.
As you would expect, there are two names that stand out as favourites to win this years World Championships with leading bookmakers. Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen are seperated by last year’s winner Gary Anderson in the PDC Order of Merit table in 2015. Their dominance in the Order of Merit table is reflected in their odds to win the World Championships, with bookies placing them miles ahead of the rest of the field, though Anderson is the next best option.
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Gary Anderson is the defending champion, having won his first world title in 2015, beating Phil Taylor 7-6 in a nail-biting final. He became only the seventh player to win the competition, landing a £250,000 share of the £1,050,000 prize fund. Anderson joins Michael Van Gerwen, Dennis Priestley, John Part, Raymond van Barneveld, Adrian Lewis and of course Phil Taylor. Taylor has dominated this tournament in a similar fashion to the way he’s dominated most tournaments over the last 20-odd years. He’s won a total of 16 World Championships and 14 PDC titles since its inception in 1994. In it’s previous 22 tournaments, Taylor has only missed out on playing in the final five times after also finishing as runner up four times.
PDC World Champions
Phil Taylor – 14 Titles
John Part – 2 Titles
Adrian Lewis – 2 Titles
Dennis Priestley – 1 Title
Raymond van Barneveld – 1 Title
Michael van Gerwen – 1 Title
Gary Anderson – 1 Title
The accolades don’t stop there for Taylor either as his name continues to crop up in the list of tournament records. A 100+ average has been achieved 76 times in a match in the PDC World Championship since 1994 and Taylor has a total of 41 of them. To put that staggering number into context, the closest player to him is Gary Anderson with 10 100+ averages in a match. Taylor also tops the list when it comes to the highest average in a single match, which he achieved in the 2nd round of the 2002 World Championships against Shayne Burgess when he averaged 111.21. Taylor’s dominance continues beyond first place in this list as well. Out of the ten highest PDC World Championship one match averages, eight belong to Phil Taylor, including the top four.
One record that surprisingly doesn’t have Taylor’s name to it is the record of nine-dart finishes. Despite being the only player to feature in all 21 tournaments to date, Taylor has never recorded a nine-dart finish at the PDC World Championship. Only six players have managed that feat, with Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld the only players to do it twice.
To suggest that the 2016 PDC World Championships will be a direct battle between van Gerwen and Taylor might be a little short sighted, but there will be few looking beyond them given their form in 2015.
It is easy to see why the bookies have installed Taylor and van Gerwen as clear favourites for this years PDC World Championship, and given their record in 2015, it would take a brave person to bet against them.