Whitlock Aiming To Go One Better In Dublin

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Whitlock Aiming To Go One Better In Dublin

SIMON WHITLOCK is hoping to go one better at this year's Unibet World Grand Prix, as the Dublin event gets underway this weekend.

Whitlock starred in his first televised ranking final since 2013 at last year's event where he led Daryl Gurney 4-3 before going down 5-4 to the Northern Irishman in a hard-fought final.

Despite coming up just last time around, the iconic Australian is in positive mood heading into this year's double-start tournament, which runs from September 30-October 6 at the Citywest Hotel.

"Last year was a good tournament for me - it was a case of 'close but no cigar' as they say," said Whitlock, who will take on James Wilson in the first round on Monday night.

"I actually like the double-start and double-finish, it's one of my favourite tournaments.

"I really enjoyed the week in Dublin last year, it was a dream to get to a major final again after a few years without making one.

"I was in pretty good form leading up to last year's event, I'd won a ProTour so I felt like I was playing at a pretty good level and that's what I showed on the big stage."

Last year's run in Dublin was a mark of Whitlock's darting re-birth, having recovered from a sharp fall down the rankings from 2014-2016.

Now standing proud as world number seven, the resilient Aussie has continued his renaissance with a strong showing in the Premier League and a run to the quarter-finals of the World Matchplay.

"I just love playing darts!" Whitlock added.

"I'm playing and practicing a lot every week, as much as I possibly can.

"There aren't many professional players who play in small tournaments for £50 on Wednesday and Thursday nights!

"I've made two European Tour finals so far this year, I've been throwing pretty well, the confidence is high and the darts are going in really nicely."

The Unibet World Grand Prix will take place at the Citywest Hotel, Dublin from September 30-October 6 and will be shown live on Sky Sports.

Tickets for the Unibet World Grand Prix are still available through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.ie or by calling 0818 903001 (Ireland), 0333 321 9996 (NI & UK) or 00 353 818 903001 (International Customers).

2018 Unibet World Grand Prix
Draw Bracket
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Steve Lennon
Darren Webster v Stephen Bunting
Dave Chisnall (8) v Max Hopp
Ricky Evans v Raymond van Barneveld
Daryl Gurney (5) v John Henderson
Ron Meulenkamp v Joe Cullen
Gary Anderson (4) v Jonny Clayton
Jeffrey de Zwaan v Kim Huybrechts
Peter Wright (2) v Steve West
Jermaine Wattimena v Mervyn King
Simon Whitlock (7) v James Wilson
Michael Smith v Adrian Lewis
Mensur Suljovic (6) v James Wade
Josh Payne v Ian White
Rob Cross (3) v Steve Beaton
Danny Noppert v Gerwyn Price

Schedule of Play
Sunday September 30 (7pm)
First Round

Jeffrey de Zwaan v Kim Huybrechts
Ron Meulenkamp v Joe Cullen
Darren Webster v Stephen Bunting
Ricky Evans v Raymond van Barneveld
Dave Chisnall v Max Hopp
Daryl Gurney v John Henderson
Michael van Gerwen v Steve Lennon
Gary Anderson v Jonny Clayton

Monday October 1 (7pm)
First Round

Jermaine Wattimena v Mervyn King
Josh Payne v Ian White
Danny Noppert v Gerwyn Price
Peter Wright v Steve West
Rob Cross v Steve Beaton
Mensur Suljovic v James Wade
Simon Whitlock v James Wilson
Michael Smith v Adrian Lewis

Tuesday October 2 (7pm)
Second Round

Chisnall/Hopp v Evans/Van Barneveld
Anderson/Clayton v De Zwaan/Huybrechts
Gurney/Henderson v Meulenkamp/Cullen
Van Gerwen/Lennon v Webster/Bunting

Wednesday October 3 (7pm)
Second Round

Suljovic/Wade v Payne/White
Cross/Beaton v Noppert/Price
Wright/West v Wattimena/King
Whitlock/Wilson v Smith/Lewis

Thursday October 4 (7pm)
Quarter-Finals

Friday October 5 (7pm)
Semi-Finals

Saturday October 6 (8pm)
Final

Preceded by Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay final (Approx 7.10pm)
Kevin Burness v Mick McGowan

Format
First Round - Best of three sets
Second Round - Best of five sets
Quarter-Finals - Best of five sets
Semi-Finals - Best of seven sets
Final - Best of nine sets
All sets are the best of five legs, and all legs must begin and end with a double.