LONDON: The great Phil Taylor bowed out of professional darts after the 16-time champion lost 7-2 to debutant Rob Cross in the final of the PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace in London on Monday. The 27-year-old Cross, who turned professional at the start of last year, was soon three sets ahead of fellow Englishman Taylor, who is 30 years older and won his last title in 2013. Taylor who battled to stay in the contest, won 10 legs and had 12 180s, one more than Cross, but could not stop the sparkling former electrician who triumphed with a 140 finish. Cross is the first man to win the tournament on his debut since Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld in 2007. Taylor won his first final on debut 28 years ago by beating Eric Bristow. Taylor jokingly lifted the trophy and said of his career: “It’s been marvellous. I’ve had a fantastic career, (with) the youngsters coming through I just can’t do it anymore.”Published in Daily Times, January 3rd 2018.