2018 Melbourne Darts Masters Draw

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2018 Melbourne Darts Masters Draw

AUSTRALIAN rivals Simon Whitlock and Corey Cadby will clash in the Melbourne Darts Masters first round on Friday, as Michael van Gerwen meets debutant Raymond Smith at the Hisense Arena.

The PDC World Series of Darts returns to Australia following last week's Auckland Darts Masters as 16 players compete in Melbourne from August 10-12.

The first round's stand-out tie will see the most successful Australian star in darting history, former European Championship winner Whitlock, taking on former World Youth Champion Cadby.

Melbourne-based Cadby, the UK Open runner-up in March, reached the 2017 Auckland Darts Masters final and is returning to action on the big stage for the first time in five months.

The tournament's other seeded Australian, former Auckland Darts Masters champion Kyle Anderson, has drawn his former schoolmate in Perth, Damon Heta.

Michael van Gerwen, whose win in the Auckland Darts Masters last weekend earned him the top seeding in Melbourne, has drawn Brisbane's Raymond Smith, who is making his TV debut.

World Champion Rob Cross takes on DartPlayers New Zealand qualifier Haupai Puha, who make his big-stage debut in Auckland alongside Tim Pusey, who has drawn Michael Smith.

2018 UK Open and World Matchplay winner Gary Anderson comes up against Brisbane-based qualifier James Bailey, while fellow World Series debutants Mike Bonser and Raymond O'Donnell draw Peter Wright and Raymond van Barneveld respectively.

Following Friday's first round of the Melbourne Darts Masters, the tournament continues across the weekend at the Hisense Arena, with the quarter-finals on Saturday followed by the semi-finals and final on Sunday.

With 2017 champion Phil Taylor - who won the inaugural title in Melbourne with a defeat of Wright in the final - having retired, a new name will be on the trophy on Sunday night.

Following the Melbourne Darts Masters, the Australian double-header sees the World Series of Darts head to Queensland for the first Brisbane Darts Masters from August 17-19.

Tickets for the Melbourne Darts Masters and Brisbane Darts Masters are available from ticketek.com.au.

The Melbourne Darts Masters will be broadcast live on Fox Sports in Australia and through the PDC's international broadcast partners, as well as through PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers.

UK coverage through ITV4 will be from 7pm on each night.

2018 Melbourne Darts Masters

Draw Bracket

(1) Michael van Gerwen v Raymond Smith

Simon Whitlock v Corey Cadby(4) 

Peter Wright v Mike Bonser

Raymond van Barneveld v Raymond O'Donnell(2) 

Rob Cross v Haupai Puha

Michael Smith v Tim Pusey(3) 

Gary Anderson v James Bailey

Kyle Anderson v Damon Heta

Schedule of Play

Friday August 10 (7pm)

First Round

Raymond van Barneveld v Ray O’Donnell

Michael Smith v Tim Pusey

Rob Cross v Haupai Puha

Gary Anderson v James Bailey

Peter Wright v Mike Bonser

Michael van Gerwen v Raymond Smith

Simon Whitlock v Corey Cadby

Kyle Anderson v Damon Heta

Best of 11 legs

Saturday August 11 (7pm)

Quarter-Finals

Best of 19 legs

Sunday August 12 (7pm)

Semi-Finals

Best of 19 legs

Final

Best of 21 legs

ARTICLE BY DAVE ALLEN