It’s been a case of so near yet so far for the Wizard of Oz, Simon Whitlock in 2012.
In January he was eliminated from the World Championships thanks to a mystery breeze blowing into the arena. Then last night along with Paul Nicholson he lost out by the narrowest of margin on being crowned World Cup of Darts champion. The pair lost to England’s Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis.
Taylor beat Nicholson 7-4 and Lewis defeated Whitlock 7-5. Taylor then averaged 106, to edge out Whitlock 7-6 and give England a 3-0 lead.
Nicholson had to beat world champion Lewis to keep the final alive. He did, taking the match 7-4 to reduce the arrears to 3-1.
The final match was a doubles contest and was worth two points, which meant an Australia win would level the scores and force a sudden-death final leg.
Australia swiftly took the doubles match 7-4 to level at 3-3.
A slow start to the leg by England handed Australia the initiative and Nicholson had three darts at 56 to win the competition. He failed to convert. Taylor the also failed from the same score, and, after Whitlock bust on 20, Lewis hit double-five to steal victory.
A tough way to lose but one hopes he will get his reward in the coming years.