It’s been a tough few months for Team Unicorn Aussie ace Kyle Anderson but he is back at the scene of his greatest triumph.

12 months ago Anderson beat Corey Cadby in a last leg decider to win the Auckland Darts Masters.

He kicks off the defence of his title against former pro golfer Haupai Puha at the Trusts Arena on Friday night.

“It was a real emotional rollercoaster to be honest,” he said. “I had a lot of support from friends I hadn’t seen for a long time and it was a magical weekend. Hopefully I can reproduce that here.”

Of course he had that run to the semi-finals of last year’s European Championship and that special 9-darter against Michael van Gerwen, but he has found it tough going in 2018 as he searches for a return to top form.

“Hopefully the three weeks of the World Series here and at home in Australia will be the right recipe for me.”

“I have very fond memories of being in Auckland. I’ve had mixed fortunes since but feel like my game is getting back to where I’d like to be,” he said.

Fresh from his World Matchplay triumph, Gary Anderson plays Australian Tim Pusey in the 1st Round and there is the probability of a 2nd Round clash with Michael van Gerwen. The World No.1 is unseeded here.

Shanghai Masters Champion Michael Smith faces Kiwi veteran Mark McGrath as the Unicorn star bids to make it back-to-back World Series triumphs.

All the action is on ITV4 over the weekend.

Auckland Darts Masters 1st Round:

Rob Cross (1) v John Hurring

Simon Whitlock v Ben Robb

Michael Smith (4) v Mark McGrath

Raymond van Barneveld v Warren Parry

Gary Anderson (2) v Tim Pusey

Michael van Gerwen v Cody Harris

Peter Wright (3) v Tahuna Irin

Kyle Anderson v Haupai Puha

By STUART PYKE in Auckland

Photo courtesy PDC

Posted in Unicorn Darts