Reigning Champion Gary Anderson begins the defence of his Auckland Darts Masters title against the Australian number 2 Kyle Anderson. The number one seed Scot, and former 2-time world champion will be looking to avoid an upset against the in-form Aussie, fresh from his first Pro tour success last weekend. Second seed Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright will also be hoping to avoid an upset against World Youth Champion Corey Cadby. The 22-Year-old Tasmanian native announced himself on the world stage this time last year in the Sydney and Perth Masters, memorably beating Phil Taylor in Perth.
TV Debutant 26-year-old Darren Hereweni from Porirua near Wellington has been handed the tough task of the 16-time world champion Phil Taylor in his first appearance in front of the cameras. The Power, in his retirement year, picked up his 16th World Matchplay title in Blackpool last month and will be hoping to win his first World Series event since Sydney 2016. Second round attention is likely to remain on Taylor should he and Raymond van Barneveld both progress. The 5 time world champion meets kiwi veteran Warren Parry in the first round, knowing that a win could set up the darting equivalent of El Classico.
Elsewhere in the draw, Simon Whitlock plays New Zealand number 3 and World Cup participant Cody Harris, whilst James Wade vs Mark Cleaver and Las Vegas Masters runner-up Daryl Gurney meets Rob Modra to complete the top half of the draw. Former World Youth Champion Michael Smith completes the draw meeting Rob Szabo in the first round.
Delayed coverage is available to UK viewers on ITV4 from 7pm (BST)
Auckland Darts Masters, presented by TAB & Burger King
Gary Anderson (1) v Kyle Anderson
Simon Whitlock v Cody Harris
James Wade (4) v Mark Cleaver
Daryl Gurney v Rob Modra
Peter Wright (2) v Corey Cadby
Michael Smith v Rob Szabo
Raymond van Barneveld (3) v Warren Parry
Phil Taylor v Darren Herewini
Tags: Auckland Darts Masters 2017, Gary Anderson, World Series of Darts 2017
— Auckland Darts (@AucklandDarts) 9 August 2017
Author: Jack Garwood