Simon Whitlock was in hot form on the Gold Coast on Thursday night.
Simon Whitlock was in hot form on the Gold Coast on Thursday night.

Wizard casts spell on classy darts field

SIMON Whitlock has had the perfect start to his new year with a win in the final of the Gold Coast leg of News Corp's International Pro Darts Showdown Series on Thursday night.


Australia's No.1 defeated compatriot Kyle Anderson 7-4 in the final. The 30-year-old from Perth had earlier defeated 16-time world champion Phil Taylor in the semi-final.


Whitlock was in fine form at the Gold Coast Turf Club, his last leg of the month-long series which heads north to Townsville and Mackay over the next 10 days.


The 48-year-old will now head back to the UK to prepare for the World Masters later this month before the Premier League which begins in Dublin on February 1.


Whitlock, a former world championship runner-up, said winning the tournament was perfect preparation for what comes next in a long season of darts.


"It's been awesome," he said.


"I got to play my Aussie mates and I got to play on TV in front of loads of fans and promote the game, it's been awesome.


"It's just great for confidence. Getting up there, playing good darts in front of a big crowd, it's just a really good experience.


"Winning is good mentally for you."


Earlier in the night, Gold Coast favourite Robbie King was beaten in the first quarter-final by Geelong's Lucas Cameron 7-4.


Whitlock then withstood a comeback from England's Andy Hamilton to win through to the last four before Taylor was too good for Brisbane's Steve Macarthur.


Anderson defeated Brad Thorp from Tasmania to set up a semi showdown with Taylor.


The man they call "The Original" gave "The Power" a 3-0 lead before fighting back to level at 3-3.


Anderson then showed some of his best form, hitting five maximum 180s to knock the Brisbane winner out 7-5 before Whitlock defeated Cameron 7-1 in the other semi.


The final was a tight affair, with Whitlock pulling out to an early lead before Anderson fought back.


The Wizard was not going to be denied and finished a 7-4 winner to take the 20 points for the victory.


The player with the most points at the end of the Townsville and Mackay legs will win the inaugural International Pro Darts Series trophy.

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