Taylor gets early Grand Prix outing

Phil TaylorPhil Taylor has been drawn to play on the opening night of the World Grand Prix as he looks to defend his title and lift the trophy for an incredible 12th time (Taylor 9/4 Outright Winner).

The 54-year-old is now back to his best after a below-par start to the year and recently claimed two titles in Australia after taking Blackpool’s World Matchplay crown for a 15th time.

It appeared as though Michael van Gerwen was set to take over as the dominant force in the sport after his stellar year in 2013 but, despite his advancing years, ‘The Power’ is as keen as ever to rack up the titles (Van Gerwen 3/1 Outright Winner).

He has ‘owned’ the World Grand Prix over the years, with only four other players having won the Dublin event since its inception back in 1998.

The Stoke thrower will toe the oche opposite Steve Beaton on Monday, October 6 at the Citywest Hotel as he begins yet another quest for glory and is a strong favourite to progress (Taylor 1/9, Beaton 5/1 Match Betting).

Other top names in action on the opening night of the seven-day tournament include James Wade, who faces three-time quarter-finalist Andy Smith, while Gary Anderson will play Northern Ireland’s Brendan Dolan (Anderson 2/5, Dolan 7/4 Match Betting).

Taylor eased past Dave Chisnall 6-0 in the final of the ‘double-in’ format event 12 months ago and ‘Chizzy’ faces the prospect of a mouthwatering clash with Raymond van Barneveld on Tuesday evening, while ‘Mighty Mike’ clashes with compatriot Vincent van der Voort.

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