GARY ANDERSON will defend his title at the Auckland Darts Masters, presented by TAB & Burger King, in August after being confirmed alongside debutant Michael Smith as competitors in the World Series of Darts treble-header in New Zealand and Australia.
Two-time World Champion Anderson claimed the Auckland Darts Masters title in 2016 amongst three victories in the international World Series events last year. The Scot retained his Dubai Darts Masters title in May with a stunning display in that event, and is hoping to ensure that history repeats itself at the Trusts Arena from August 11-13.
Anderson will also then compete in the inaugural Melbourne Darts Masters from August 18-20 and at the TABtouch Perth Darts Masters from August 25-27, as the world's top players continue their global tour. "It was brilliant to win in Auckland last year and I'm really looking forward to getting back out there," said Anderson. "It's a fantastic place and we've been given a great welcome by everyone in the last couple of years. "It's exciting that we then go to Melbourne for the first time and return to Perth, and it should be three really good tournaments.
"I've had a great start to the World Series by winning in Dubai and I'd love it if I can win again in Auckland." Anderson will be joined in the events by the legendary Phil Taylor, who will be making his final competitive appearances in New Zealand and Australia during August ahead of his impending retirement at the start of 2018. Flamboyant world number three Peter Wright, the 2017 UK Open champion, five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld, seven-time TV event winner James Wade and Australia's most successful ever player Simon Whitlock will also compete in all three events.
In addition, former World Youth Champion Michael Smith - who won a European Tour event in Gibraltar in May - will make his World Series of Darts debut after being included for the first time following his strong recent run of form. "It's really exciting," said Smith, the 26-year-old from St Helens. "I'd have been happy to just be included for one event, but to get all three is really nice. "The PDC have used different players this year and I wanted to get in. I'm working really hard and to be rewarded for the hard work I've put in feels really good.
"Just getting picked is one thing but I don't want to go and not play my best darts - I want to go and hopefully take some titles." The eighth PDC representative will be confirmed at the end of July following the BetVictor World Matchplay, with Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis having requested not to be considered for inclusion with their wives due to give birth around the time of the events.
Each of the tournaments will also feature eight Oceanic Representatives, led by Australian star Kyle Anderson and reigning World Youth Champion Corey Cadby, who topped the DPA's World Series Qualifiers Order of Merit to claim a spot in all three tournaments. New Zealand's Cody Harris has also been invited to compete in the Auckland Darts Masters, while the top two players from the DPNZ rankings and three DPNZ Qualifiers from events on August 3-5 at the Swanson Memorial RSA will also secure spots in the Auckland Darts Masters.
Rhys Mathewson - who made a big impression in the Sydney Darts Masters last year by knocking out Wade on his TV debut - and Justin Thompson will also compete in Melbourne and Perth after qualifying through the DPA World Series Qualifiers standings. In addition, the DPNZ will hold a qualifier in Upper Hutt on July 9 to find one qualifier for the Melbourne and Perth events.
Three places in the Melbourne Darts Masters will go to players in the DPA Qualifiers from July 29-31. Three qualifying places will also be on offer in the Perth Darts Masters from events being staged by local promoters DownUnderEvents. Tickets for the Auckland Darts Masters are available now through www.ticketek.co.nz
Tickets for the Melbourne Darts Masters are available now www.ticketek.com.au or by calling 132 849. Tickets for the TABtouch Perth Darts Masters are available from www.downunderevents.com.au and www.ticketmaster.com.au
Raymond van Barneveld
Plus one player TBC
Invited Player (Kyle Anderson)
Top three players from DPA World Series Order of Merit (Corey Cadby, Rhys Mathewson & Justin Thompson)
DPNZ Qualifier from event held July 9 in Upper Hutt
Three Qualifiers from events held by DownUnderEvents
Perth Darts Masters
HBF Stadium, Perth
Friday August 25th (7pm)
8x First Round
Saturday August 26th (7pm)
Sunday August 27th (5pm)
Table Row A Vip $295pp (Fully Serviced & Catered)
Table Row B Vip $225pp (Fully Serviced & Catered)
Table Row C&D Gold $165pp (Fully Serviced & Catered)
Table Row E&F $95pp
Table Row G $75
Table Tickets available via www.downunderevents.com.au.
Tiered Seating $57.95pp
Tiered Seating available via www.ticketmaster.com.au.
Three-Day Passes available in all categories
All hotels with be dealt with directly with each player by the PDC
Travel to the Perth, Australia
HBF Stadium, 100 Stephenson Ave, Mount Claremont WA 6010, Perth, Australia
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