"Despite what people think I respect him massively" - Chris Mason pays tribute to Phil Taylor after 16-time champ's World Championship career ends with a whimper

Chris Mason has qualified for the second round of the World Seniors Darts Championship. The 54-year-old Englishman was too strong for Darryl Fitton in his opening match 3-1.

Mason fell behind 1-0 in sets, but then turned the lopsided situation around. "I just got away with murder in set 2 and then the break came at the perfect time for me," Mason reflected post-match. "But I'm not a dart player, I'm a commentator! And I'm a much better commentator than I am a dart player, that's proof."

Although Mason would’ve been expecting a second round tie with Phil Taylor, in the end, Taylor surprisingly lost to German Manfred Bilderl in what was the final World Championship of the 16-time world champion.

"He effectively made the sport and ruined my life in the process," Mason laughs. "He laid down a legacy for us all. Despite what people think I respect him massively. I remember him as a dominant machine, like a wrecking ball and he's not that guy anymore."

Finally, Mason gave kudos toward the audience. "They were amazing, it really gave me goosebumps. I also never thought I would play in this iconic venue after my pro career, it felt great to be back."

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