Phil Taylor will be looking to continue where he left off in Blackpool as the World Series of Darts returns this week. Starting off in Auckland New Zealand, before two stops in Australia, the international exhibition series will again see eight of the top PDC pros pitted against eight qualifiers.
Taylor will be joined by the likes of Gary Anderson, Peter Wright, Raymond Van Barneveld and Aussie star Simon Whitlock this time competing as a PDC seed rather than a home nation qualifier pick. James Wade, Michael Smith, and an in-form Daryl Gurney, complete the line-up and take the title home with Michael Van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis both missing out due to family commitments.
Kyle Anderson will be leading the line for the qualifiers with a recent maiden pro tour title under his belt, winning Players Championship 17. The world number 28 also hit a 9 darter on his way to taking the title in Barnsley last weekend. He’ll be joined by fellow Aussie sensation and World Youth Champion Corey Cadby who made a name for himself in the World Series events last year beating Phil Taylor 6-2 in Perth, avenging his 6-3 loss from the week before in Sydney.
New Zealand’s World Cup duo of Cody Harris and Rob Szabo will again be present, as will veteran Warren Parry. The top 3 from the DPNZ rankings will all be hoping to fare better than last year, collectively winning just 3 legs in the first round.
The 16 players will be rounded off by Mark Cleaver, Darren Hereweni and Rob Modra all winning a qualifier. Cleaver who appeared in the same event in 2015 won the first qualifying event, beating Modra 6-3. Koha Kokiri then narrowly missed out on appearing in Auckland, losing to both TV debutant Darren Hereweni in the second event 6-4, before Modra avenged his earlier final loss becoming the third and final qualifier with a 6-5 win. Kokiri won’t be too disheartened though, fans of the 2015 World Championships will get to see him in both Melbourne and Perth in the coming weeks.
The Auckland Darts Masters, Presented by TAB and Burger will start on Friday 11th August, with play finishing on Sunday 13th. UK Viewers can watch delayed coverage via ITV4.
Auckland Darts Masters, presented by TAB & Burger King – Final Field
Raymond van Barneveld
Invited Players: Kyle Anderson & Cody Harris
Top two players from 2017 DPNZ Rankings: Rob Szabo & Warren Parry
DPA Qualifier: Corey Cadby
DPNZ Qualifiers: Mark Cleaver, Darren Herewini, Rob Modra
Author: Jack Garwood