Phil ’The Power’ Taylor overcame his recent faltering form when he claimed an emphatic 10-2 win over Wes Newton at the Stan James World Matchplay in Blackpool.
Taylor was knocked out by Mark Dudbridge in the first round of the Las Vegas Desert Classic V1 earlier this month, with Raymond van Barneveld starting to eclipse his rival.
However, Taylor warmed up by winning the Bobby Bourn Memorial for the fifth successive occasion – and then destroyed local favourite Newton despite a seemingly nervous start at the Winter Gardens.
The pair traded the first four legs, with some wayward throwing, before ’The Power’ went on to take the next eight legs and move into the second round in emphatic style.
Elsewhere, Peter Manley lost out 11-9 in a thriller, with teenager Michael van Gerwen who was making his Matchplay debut.
Manley manfully fought back from 5-2 and 8-4 down before taking the game into a tie-break at 9-9 – but two superb legs from the youngster saw him set up a meeting with Ronnie Baxter.
Dennis Priestley used all his experience to beat Colin Osborne 10-5.