When Approved Garages asked 2014 champion Raymond van Barneveld about feeling the pressure to perform in the first game in Leeds, he said: “All my games are full of pressure, so I don’t feel added pressure. Apart from this, the Premier League is not ranked for the World ranking, so there is of course pressure, but at the end it is just a big game, where 10 of us are invited.”
Van Barneveld was clearly in top form last night, as he put in a thrilling display of finishing top as he took out seven doubles from nine attempt as he shot past six-time Premier League winner, Phil Taylor 7-2.
He managed to hit an early ten-darter as he came from a leg down to lead 5-1. Phil Taylor hit 113 in an attempt to come back at him, but Van Barneveld completed the win with a pair of double 16 checkouts.
Van Barneveld told the PDC, “I’m happy with the win. To get two points in the opening match of the Premier League against Phil Taylor, with a 103 average, I’m over the moon.
“The ten-darter gave me a lift and I hit lots of crucial doubles. I tried to keep Phil under pressure and maybe he wasn’t at his best, but I took advantage of that.
“I’m focused on the Premier League because the Premier League and the World Championship mean the world to me. I focus on ever match and I know what I can do – I believe in myself and I hope I can go all the way.”
Prior to the game in Leeds, Approved Garages wanted to know who his favourite was to win:
“To be honest, we all think that Phil Taylor is the best player in the world, this time, you know, every year it is the Premier League and you play each player twice and he hasn’t won it from the last three years. So that says enough. There are more players with fantastic capabilities to lift the trophy.”
Will Van Barneveld take the trophy this year? Tell us who your favourite is to win is on Twitter @approvedgarages with #AGFave