Simon Whitlock cruised through to round three of the Ladbrokes World Championship with another fine performance.
The Wizard, still recovering from a broken ankle, cemented his status as the player of the tournament so far by defeating Steve Beaton convincingly at the Ally Pally.
Whitlock showed once again that he has the game to beat anyone and has to be regarded as one of the major contenders to become World Champion in the New Year.
Beaton hit the bullseye to win the opening leg with Whitlock waiting to pounce. He then broke The Wizard’s throw to double his advantage before The Australian hit double six to save the set. Whitlock then took out a smart 100 finish to level up proceedings before completing the turn around in style. He hit his first 180 and double twelve to take the first set.
Whitlock opened the second set with his second maximum before hitting double eight to hold his throw. He then hit double top to break Beaton’s throw, after setting it up with a brilliant 170. The Wizard wrapped up the set by winning a sixth consecutive leg.
The world number five hit double four for a break of throw to kick off set three, before finding double 15 to double his advantage. Whitlock hit another maximum but his eight-leg long winning streak was halted by The Adonis, who held his throw, before sneaking a break to level the set. Beaton then took out 108 to pull a set back.
Whitlock produced a solid 14 darter to win the first leg of the fourth set. He immediately doubled his advantage with a fabulous eleven dart leg against the throw. Beaton managed to break back and then took out 121 to draw level. The Wizard bounced back by hitting double top to restore a two set lead.
Beaton held his throw in the first leg of set five before Whitlock produced another superb eleven darter to do the same. The Adonis edged back in front and Whitlock levelled, taking out 60 to leave himself a leg away from victory. The Australian hit double top to seal another break of throw and book his place in the last 16.
Whitlock will play Michael van Gerwen tomorrow evening.
By Chris Murphy