Simon Whitlock produced another convincing performance as he defeated Colin Osborne in straight sets to reach the last 16 of the Ladbrokes World Championship on Saturday evening.
The reigning European Champion swept past ‘Ozzy’ with apparent ease, posting a 55% double succes rate and taking out finishes of 164 and 104 along the way.
‘The Wizard’, who averaged around 96 in his second round triumph, will meet Dave Chisnall in round three after Christmas.
“It was another solid performance. I just did what I had to do,” said Whitlock, the world number four.
“I missed a couple of doubles early on but I knuckled down and played well.
“I feel really good. I’ve put a lot of work in and I’m definitely a contender for the title.
‘The Wizard’ produced a magical first set, winning all three legs and taking out finishes of 104 and 61.
He then fell two legs behind in the second set but bounced back in some style, hitting his first 180 as he pulled a leg back before drawing level with the help of another maximum and a sensational 164 finish.
Whitlock then took out 65 for another break of throw to take the set.
The Australian star edged ahead in the third set but his third 180 wasn’t enough to break his opponent.
The next three legs were shared, however, as Whitlock moved into a three sets to nil lead.
‘The Wizard’ broke Osborne’s throw with a clinical 68 checkout in the opening leg of what proved to be the final set, with Whitlock going on to win the next two legs to complete a fine victory.
Whitlock will face Chisnall on Thursday 27 December.
By Chris Murphy
Images courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC