Groups A-D of the PDC Grand Slam of Darts kick off on Saturday evening.
Play begins with a meeting of players who earned their spot through the final PDC qualifier. Keegan Brown takes on Mark Webster, who lost out in an agonising nine-dart shootout to namesake Darren last year. Austrian Darts Open winner Jonny Clayton kicks off his Group A campaign against Joe Murnan, knowing he needs points early to avoid needing a win against defending Grand Slam champion Michael van Gerwen.
Ian White has similar worries, knowing Gary Anderson lies in wait. A win against the Muffin Man, Steve Hine, would certainly be sweet. The first BDO representative of the evening is surprise World Masters champion Adam Smith-Neale. He takes on a namesake in Michael Smith, who is desperate to put World Series woes behind him.
James Wade was the beneficiary when Smith suffered a collapse. Now the European Championship and World Series champion could win three televised titles in a row. BDO ace Wesley Harms will hope to overcome previously rocky TV form and prove a spanner in the works. Then comes an intriguing Group B meeting. Krzysztof Ratajski, Tour Card-less but winner of three ranking titles this year, clashes with PDC and BDO legend Raymond van Barneveld.
Anderson’s campaign starts against Lakeside revelation Michael Unterbuchner. And in the final tie of the night, van Gerwen takes on veteran Gary Robson.
Evening session schedule
Keegan Brown v Mark Webster (C)
Jonny Clayton v Joe Murnan (A)
Ian White v Steve Hine (D)
Michael Smith v Adam Smith-Neale (B)
James Wade v Wesley Harms (C)
Raymond van Barneveld v Krzysztof Ratajski (B)
Gary Anderson v Michael Unterbuchner (D)
Michael van Gerwen v Gary Robson (A)
Author: Ed McCosh