Gary Anderson will start his quest for World Matchplay glory in Blackpool against Dutchman Christian Kist. 

The Unicorn man is desperate to lift the trophy at the Winter Gardens. Last year he reached the semi-finals and is again seeded No.2 as he prepares to take on qualifier Kist. 

"It is arguably the toughest field ever assembled in Blackpool. I know I will have to perform consistently but if I can do that, there is no reason why I shouldn't have a good run." Anderson said. 

The draw was conducted by darting legends Rod Harrington and Peter Manley at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas - the venue for the US Darts Masters - the latest stop on the World Series tour. 

In all, seven Team Unicorn stars will bid for World Matchplay glory in Blackpool. 

And there could well be an all Unicorn 2nd Round clash between James Wade and Michael Smith. In the 1st Round Smith will face Steve West, while Wade will be hoping to put last year's shock 1st Round exit behind him when he takes on Darren Webster.

Kyle Anderson features in an all-Aussie showdown against Simon Whitlock. If he wins he faces a possible clash with defending champion Michael van Gerwen. 

Joe Cullen will be full of confidence after his Players Championship victory at the weekend and he will feature in one of the ties of the round against Raymond van Barneveld. 

Kim Huybrechts plays Alan Norris in what is sure to be a rapid entertaining affair, while Ian White has been drawn to play Matchplay debutant Rob Cross. 

Full 1st Round draw:

Michael van Gerwen (1) v Stephen Bunting

Simon Whitlock (16) v Kyle Anderson

Phil Taylor (8) v Gerwyn Price

Raymond van Barneveld (9) v Joe Cullen 

Dave Chisnall (5) v Mervyn King

Kim Huybrechts (12) v Alan Norris

Adrian Lewis (4) v Steve Beaton

Ian White (13) v Rob Cross

Gary Anderson (2) v Christian Kist

Benito van de Pas (15) v Daryl Gurney

Mensur Suljovic (7) v John Henderson 

Jelle Klaasen (10) v Justin Pipe

James Wade (6) v Darren Webster 

Michael Smith (11) v Steve West

Peter Wright (3) v James Wilson

Robert Thornton (14) v Cristo Reyes

 From STUART PYKE in Las Vegas

Image courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC


Posted in Unicorn Darts