VAN GERWEN TO MEET KYLE ANDERSON IN TABTOUCH PERTH DARTS MASTERS OPENER
The first World Series of Darts event to be held in Western Australia, which is set to be a sell-out this weekend at the Challenge Stadium, sees 16 players competing from Friday-Sunday.
The eight PDC stars - headed by World Champion Michael van Gerwen, who won last weekend^s Singapore Darts Masters - are drawn against the eight Oceanic Qualifiers for the first round.
The draw was made at a sponsors^ launch on Wednesday night in Perth, with van Gerwen set to begin his bid for a third successive World Series of Darts victory against local hero Kyle Anderson.
Anderson - who was raised in Perth - shot to fame by hitting a nine-dart finish at the 2014 World Championship and has since moved to the UK to compete full-time on the PDC circuit, but is back home to take on the current World Champion.
"Kyle^s a fantastic player, one of the best in Australia, and I^m really looking forward to it," said van Gerwen. "This is going to be a great tournament and I^m going to try my best to win it."
The Australian ace said: "I^ve been back home for a month or so now and there^s been huge interest in this tournament, and it^s a really exciting time.
"I feel I^m in good form, I^ve proved I can handle it while I^ve been in England and I^m ready to go!"
Anderson^s brother Beau - who also competed in the 2014 World Championship - will take on seven-time major champion James Wade, and said: "It^s been a long time coming to have a big event in Perth and I^m just happy to be involved in such a big event here in front of such great crowds and my family and friends."
16-time World Champion Phil Taylor was drawn with David Platt, who emigrated to Perth from England and is now ranked third on the DPA Australian Grand Prix Order of Merit.
"It^s ironic that David actually used to live about ten miles from me back in the UK and we^ve had to come halfway around the world to play each other!" said Taylor, who lost to Dave Chisnall in the Singapore Darts Masters quarter-finals last week.
"I^m feeling okay and I^m playing well enough, and David will have to be on his toes on Friday."
Australian number one Simon Whitlock, the world number four and former European Champion, will take on Perth-based qualifier Vinay Cooper in their first round tie on Friday night.
Whitlock^s World Cup of Darts team-mate Paul Nicholson has drawn Queensland left-hander Shane Tichowitsch, while Dave Chisnall meets Perth^s Justin Miles and Raymond van Barneveld takes on Loz Ryder, the current DPA number one.
The TABtouch Perth Darts Masters kicks off with the first round being held on Friday night at the Challenge Stadium in Perth.
The quarter-finals will take place on Saturday night, with the semi-finals and final being held on Sunday evening as the World Series of Darts title is decided.
Tickets for the TABtouch Perth Darts Masters have nearly sold out, and remaining can be purchased online through http://www.ticketmaster.com.au/Perth-Darts-Masters-tickets/artist/1981791.
For VIP and Floor table seating, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0416 120 765.
TABtouch Perth Darts Masters
Friday August 22 (7pm local time)
First Round Draw & Order of Play
Paul Nicholson v Shane Tichowitsch
Raymond van Barneveld v Loz Ryder
Dave Chisnall v Justin Miles
James Wade v Beau Anderson
Peter Wright v Warren Parry
Simon Whitlock v Vinay Cooper
Phil Taylor v David Platt
Michael van Gerwen v Kyle Anderson
Best of 11 legs
Saturday August 23 (7pm local time)
Best of 15 legs
Sunday August 24 (5pm local time)
Best of 19 legs
Best of 21 legs
Tournament Draw Bracket
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Kyle Anderson
Paul Nicholson (8) v Shane Tichowitsch
James Wade (5) v Beau Anderson
Peter Wright (4) v Warren Parry
Phil Taylor (2) v David Platt
Raymond van Barneveld (7) v Loz Ryder
Dave Chisnall (6) v Justin Miles
Simon Whitlock (3) v Vinay Cooper