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MARK WEBSTER hit a nine-dart finish as the German Darts Masters began on Friday - but lost out 6-4 to home favourite Andree Welge as big guns Adrian Lewis, James Wade, Raymond van Barneveld and Simon Whitlock avoided upsets in the European Tour event.

Welsh left-hander Webster made a stunning start to his first round clash with Welge by hitting a nine-darter, landing two 180s to open the game before finishing 141 on double 12.

He went on to lead 4-2 only for Welge to claw his way back, winning four successive legs to claim victory and move into the last 32 at the Glaspalast in Sindelfingen, near Stuttgart.

Welge will now play Northern Ireland^s Brendan Dolan in Saturday^s second round of the £82,100 event, after the World Grand Prix finalist defeated Leon De Geus 6-2 in his first round contest.

World Champion Lewis was a 6-1 winner over Darren Johnson, with a 146 checkout the highlight of his performance as he set up a clash with Peter Hudson, who knocked out Alan Tabern earlier in the day.

"It was a steady start and it^s good to be through to Saturday now," said Lewis. "Like everyone I was probably a little bit rusty as we^ve not had any competitions for a month, but the 146 finish was nice. I can relax a bit now I^m through this game and look forward to playing Peter now."

World number three Wade held off Belgium^s Kurt Van De Rijck with a 6-4 win, five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld defeated Mark Dudbridge 6-3 and Australian favourite Simon Whitlock recorded the day^s only whitewash against Croatia^s Tonci Restovic.

Number four seed Wes Newton saw off Andrew Gilding 6-4 and now plays James Richardson, whose win over Peter Wright was one of 14 where a seeded player from the world^s top 32 was eliminated on the day.

The victims included recent Betfair World Matchplay semi-finalist Ronnie Baxter, who lost 6-2 to former PDC Unicorn Under-21 World Champion Arron Monk, as well as Colin Lloyd and Mervyn King, who were knocked out by Stuart Kellett and Michael Mansell respectively.

Tony West and William O^Connor both hit two 180s in the deciding legs of their wins against Justin Pipe and Kevin Painter, while Nigel Heydon also won 6-5 in his clash with Andy Smith and York^s Terry Temple won six straight legs to come from 2-0 down and knock out three-time World Champion John Part.

Dave Chisnall^s hopes of reaching a third European Tour final in four events were dashed as he lost 6-4 to emerging Belgian Kim Huybrechts, while Sweden^s Magnus Caris knocked out Denis Ovens and Tony Littleton overcame Holland^s Michael van Gerwen.

Ladbrokes World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton defeated Austrian number one Mensur Suljovic 6-2, while Speedy Services UK Open winner Robert Thornton swept past Germany^s Kevin Munch 6-1 and Terry Jenkins saw off another home favourite, Tomas Seyler, 6-3.

Vincent van der Voort was a 6-4 winner against Austrian World Cup ace Maik Langendorf, while Paul Nicholson overcame Dean Winstanley 6-2, Wayne Jones defeated Nick Fullwell 6-3 and Richie Burnett won the all-Welsh clash with youngster Jamie Lewis by the same scoreline.

Former UK Open finalists Colin Osborne and Mark Walsh eased through their games with Reece Robinson and Darren Webster, but Jamie Caven was knocked out 6-3 by Stoke^s Ian White.

Dutch youngster Jerry Hendriks was handed passage into the second round when Mark Hylton withdrew during the contest with hand injury, and he now meets Andy Jenkins, who progressed courtesy of a bye following the withdrawal for family reasons of Phil Taylor.

Play continues on Saturday with the second round split across two sessions, with the last 16 playing off on Sunday afternoon before the destiny of the £15,000 first prize is decided with the quarter-finals, semi-final and final on Sunday evening.

German Darts Masters - European Tour Event Four

Friday September 7
First Round

Afternoon Session
Main Stage
Andy Hamilton 6-2 Mensur Suljovic
Mervyn King 5-6 Michael Mansell
Paul Nicholson 6-2 Dean Winstanley
Colin Lloyd 4-6 Stuart Kellett
Wes Newton 6-4 Andrew Gilding
Dave Chisnall 4-6 Kim Huybrechts
Ronnie Baxter 2-6 Arron Monk
Robert Thornton 6-1 Kevin Munch
Click here for round-up

Stage Two
Wayne Jones 6-3 Nick Fullwell
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Leon De Geus
Michael van Gerwen 4-6 Tony Littleton
Denis Ovens 4-6 Magnus Caris
Peter Wright 2-6 James Richardson
Alan Tabern 4-6 Peter Hudson
Justin Pipe 5-6 Tony West
Andy Smith 5-6 Nigel Heydon
Click here for round-upEvening Session

Main Stage
Vincent van der Voort 6-4 Maik Langendorf
John Part 2-6 Terry Temple
Terry Jenkins 6-3 Tomas Seyler
James Wade 6-4 Kurt Van De Rijck
Adrian Lewis 6-1 Darren Johnson
Mark Webster 4-6 Andree Welge - Mark Webster hits nine-dart finish
Raymond van Barneveld 6-3 Mark Dudbridge
Simon Whitlock 6-0 Tonci Restovic

Stage Two
Jerry Hendriks Bye (Mark Hylton forfeited through hand injury during game)
Jamie Caven 3-6 Ian White
Kevin Painter 5-6 William O^Connor
Colin Osborne 6-2 Reece Robinson
Richie Burnett 6-3 Jamie Lewis
Mark Walsh 6-1 Darren Webster
NB - Andy Jenkins & Steve Beaton receive Byes, with Phil Taylor and Jelle Klaasen not competing in Stuttgart

Saturday September 8
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm)
Andree Welge v Brendan Dolan
Stuart Kellett v Vincent van der Voort
Tony West v Terry Temple
William O^Connor v Wayne Jones
Terry Jenkins v Richie Burnett
Andy Jenkins v Jerry Hendriks
Wes Newton v James Richardson
Mark Walsh v Nigel HeydonEvening Session (7pm-11pm)
Andy Hamilton v Tony Littleton
Raymond van Barneveld v Colin Osborne
Arron Monk v Robert Thornton
Adrian Lewis v Peter Hudson
Simon Whitlock v Magnus Caris
Kim Huybrechts v Ian White
James Wade v Steve Beaton
Paul Nicholson v Michael Mansell

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