Phil Taylor has won the Premier League Darts title on four occasions
Phil Taylor started the 2010 Premier League with a comfortable 8-3 victory over Australia's Simon Whitlock.
The 15-times world champion from Stoke, who had been battling with a virus for much of the week, struggled for form in front of 8,000 fans at the O2 Arena.
"I hadn't thrown a dart for about a week before today and I really had to concentrate," said Taylor.
Meanwhile, Adrian Lewis lost 8-5 to Mervyn King on his first Premier League appearance since 2008.
Elsewhere on the opening night, defending champion James Wade began the defence of his title with a defeat, losing 8-5 to Raymond van Barneveld, while Ronnie Baxter and Terry Jenkins fought out a 7-7 draw.
The Premier League continues on 18 February in Bournemouth, and will run for a total of 14 weeks before the finals night at Wembley on 23 May.