Simon Whitlock made it two wins out of two at the 2012 William Hill Grand Slam of Darts when ‘The Wizard’ came out on top in a close encounter with Kevin Painter on Sunday evening.
The recently crowned European Champion, who has also won the Dutch Darts Masters and two Pro Tour events in the last couple of months, triumphed 5-4 against Painter to move two points clear at the top of Group C.
“I scraped through there and I’m over the moon to win that one,” said Whitlock, who will face Dean Winstanley in his final group game on Tuesday evening.
“The last couple of months have been fantastic. I’m in good form but there is still a lot of room for improvement.
“I’m not safe yet and I’ll be going all out to win my next match.”
Whitlock pinned tops to take the opening leg, after setting it up with his first maximum.
‘The Wizard’ then took out 96 to break Painter’s throw but ‘The Artist’ hit straight back with a 103 finish.
Painter levelled up before Whitlock bedded double 15 to edge back in front, only for the reigning Players Champion to make it three legs apiece.
‘The Wizard’ hammered home his second 180 before hitting double 16 to win the seventh leg.
Painter pegged it back to 4-4 with a 116 finish to force a decider.
Whitlock, throwing first in the final leg, opened with a 180 and closed out the match, sinking double four after his opponent had missed a dart for the win.
By Chris Murphy
Images courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC