The Perth Darts masters returns for it’s second showing after the inaugural tournament was won by Phil Taylor in 2014. The 16 player knockout tournament will be staged over three days at the HBF Stadium and will welcome the worlds best into Australia for a three week tour. Taking the current crop of Masters to; Perth, Sydney and Auckland in three World series competitions.
James Wade will kick off the night against Australian qualifier Adam Rowe, who had to whitewash Graham Parker in a qualifying match to reach this stage. Wade, who is ranked 6th despite his recent World Matchplay final defeat at the hands of Michael Van Gerwen, will fancy his chances of continuing his scintillating from, starting with a first round win over Rowe.
The other qualifier from last weekend Kim Lewis will play World Champion Gary Anderson in the opening round. Lewis defeated Conan Ugle 5-1 to qualify, but a meeting with the Flying Scotsman may prove to be a step too far.
In arguably the most eye-catching clash of the evening, PDC top 10 regular Simon Whitlock squares off against the out of sorts Raymond Van Barneveld. The Dutchman’s performances in the World Cup and World Matchplay, were not what we are use to seeing, together with the pressure that comes with facing a home favourite, Barney could bow out to the 2016 Premier League hopeful.
Current holder of the Perth Darts Masters trophy Phil Taylor, faces Oceanic qualifier Craig Caldwell. The Australian didn’t qualify for last years tournament, but will hope to show what he can do in front of a raucous home following. Taylor, who celebrated his 55th birthday last week, goes into the contest in good form, reaching the semi finals of the World Matchplay and not forgetting his World Cup win with Adrian Lewis. Taylor will hope to breeze through into the second round.
Fellow Englishman Adrian Lewis faces similar task against Loz Ryder. The 48-year-old who was born in Derby, faces his introductory match at the Perth Darts masters but may find it difficult against the back to back world Champion.
Another tasty clash that the Aussie crowd will be more than up for, is the emerging talent of Kyle Anderson facing questionably the weakest of the ‘Masters’, Stephen Bunting. In the Dubai edition of the World Masters Bunting’s scoring went through the roof, but as ever finishing was a problem. Anderson will hope to take advantage of that after a poor showing in Blackpool.
Last year’s runner-up Michael Van Gerwen will face the simple task of beating David Platt in the first round. Platt claimed four legs in his loss to Phil Taylor and has recently won the Victoria open and DPA Australian Matchplay, meaning he is in good form going into the Perth Masters.
Newcastle born Paul Nicholson will fancy his chances against Peter Wright despite his recent form. The shenanigans at the World Cup and failure to qualify for the World Matchplay left the Asset in a precarious position but a positive result here could reignite his career. As for Wright, he was runner up in the recent event in Japan and will look to go one step beyond that with a win in the Premier event.