2016 Coral UK Open Draw

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2016 Coral UK Open Draw

THE draw for the first two rounds of the Coral UK Open has been made, with former champion Robert Thornton set to star on the main stage at the Butlins Minehead Resort when the tournament kicks off on Friday March 4.

The £300,000 Coral UK Open Televised Finals see 128 players competing at the Butlins Minehead Resort, with play in the early rounds being split across eight stages simultaneously, live on ITV4.

A total of 96 professional players won through the six £60,000 Coral UK Open Qualifiers held in Wigan during February, while a further 32 Rileys Amateur Qualifiers complete the field after coming through open knockouts held in Rileys Sports Bars.

The top 32 players from the UK Open Order of Merit - including reigning UK Open champion Michael van Gerwen, World Champion Gary Anderson, 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor and 2014 UK Open champion Adrian Lewis - will enter the action in Friday evening's third round.

Friday afternoon's first round sees the players ranked from 65-96 in the UK Open Order of Merit joined by the 32 Rileys Amateur Qualifiers, with the players ranked from 33-64 coming in for the second round.

The first round draw will see former UK Open finalist Wes Newton kicking off the event on the Main Stage in the Skyline Pavilion against Mark Cox.

Belgium's Ronny Huybrechts will play Rileys Qualifier Mark Rice, before veteran star Dennis Smith meets Alex Roy, who also won through the Rileys Qualifiers, before Andy Smith plays Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena.

Stage Two, which is situated in Reds Bar, will kick off with a trio of matches as professional aces meet Rileys Qualifiers, with Andy Boulton up against Lee Grimshaw, William O'Connor playing Mark Jodrill and Sweden's Magnus Caris facing Jason Mold, before Ireland's Mick McGowan plays former World Youth Championship finalist Nathan Aspinall.

Stages Three to Eight will be located in the Centre Stage area, with the stars in first round action including former World Youth Champion Arron Monk against Rileys Qualifier Stewart Rattray, former UK Open semi-finalist Alan Tabern facing youngster Harry Ward and Paul Hogan - a Rileys Qualifier who reached the last 32 a year ago - taking on Daniel Day.

The second round action on the Main Stage will include 2012 UK Open champion Robert Thornton's meeting with either Monk or Rattray, while former Players Championship Finals winner Kevin Painter meets Rileys Qualifier John Scott or Dean Winstanley.

Austrian youngster Rowby-John Rodriguez will play Lee Evans, while UK Open debutant Jeffrey de Graaf takes on either William O'Connor or Mark Jodrill.

Stage Two's second round games include Mark Dudbridge - who hit a nine-dart finish in the UK Open Qualifiers - up against Dutchman Joey Ten Berge and Northern Ireland's Brendan Dolan taking on one of two Rileys Qualifiers, Steven Rose or Scott Marsh.

Andrew Gilding, a semi-finalist at the 2015 UK Open, will open his challenge in the second round against Ryan De Vreede or Nathan Derry, while two-time UK Open quarter-finalist Jamie Caven plays Gary Stone or Johnny Haines.

The third round draw for Friday evening's matches, which feature the top 32 players from the UK Open Order of Merit plus the second round winners, will be made on stage at the conclusion of the afternoon session.