16 Dec 2013

Darts player tipped for the top after pushing The Power

2:39 pm on 16 December 2013

A New Zealand darts player may have lost his opening world championship match - but has come up roses for his fighting performance against the man who has dominated the sport for two decades.

Rob Szabo faced 16-time champion Phil 'The Power' Taylor in the first round of the PDC World Championship at Alexandra Palace in London.

The Wellington builder caught the Englishman on the hop, winning the first set and the first leg of the second set.

However, Taylor roared back and the 48-year-old New Zealander ended up losing three sets to one. But along with bragging rights, he takes home almost $12,000 dollars in prize money.

Szabo says while he came close and battled hard, Taylor was just too good.

Phil 'The Power' Taylor

Phil 'The Power' Taylor Photo: AFP

Szabo's playing partner in New Zealand, Craig Caldwell, says although he lost, his achievements should not be underestimated.

Caldwell says the best darts players in the world struggle to win a set against Phil Taylor, and Szabo should be proud of himself for doing just that.

Caldwell says Rob Szabo has a bright playing career ahead of him and wouldn't be surprised if he returns to the world championships.

A New Zealander has never progressed past the first round of the championship finals.