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PDC World Darts Championship 2014 Draw - Taylor and van Gerwen face prelim qualifiers

Phil Taylor begins his quest for a 17th World Championship title against ...... (credit: Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
Phil Taylor will begin the defence of his World Championship title against either Rob Szabo or Ian Moss as the biggest event on planet darts commences on December 13 at the Alexandra Palace.

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Taylor, the reigning and 16-time champion, begins his pursuit of an unprecedented 17th crown against the winner of the preliminary round tie between PDPA qualifier Moss and New Zealand qualifier Szabo.

World number two Michael van Gerwen, last year's beaten finalist and nine-dart hero, looks to pick up from where he left off after winning the recent Players Championship Finals when he takes on the winner of another preliminary round tie between Youth Tour star Ben Ward and Austria's Zoran Lerchbacher.

The pick of the opening round ties sees Belgian brothers Kim and Ronny Huybrechts meet in the first round, with the duo set to put their family loyalties aside as they battle it out in a memorable clash on darts' biggest stage.

Two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis, meanwhile, opens up against the methodical veteran Dennis Smith - a former semi-finalist at the Circus Tavern.

Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld faces a tricky opener against Welsh youngster Jamie Lewis, while three-time champion John Part takes on Holland's Mareno Michels.

Number four seed Simon Whitlock, the 2010 finalist, takes on Challenge Tour winner Ross Smith, 2012 runner-up Andy Hamilton takes on either Spanish debutant Julio Barbero or Germany's Andree Welge, and three-time semi-finalist James Wade, seeded sixth, is draw with Norfolk's Darren Webster.

Dean Winstanley, who hit a roof-raising nine-darter on this stage 12 months ago, takes on former Lakeside champion Richie Burnett, while 2011 runner-up Gary Anderson meets resurgent 2005 finalist - Mark Dudbridge.

October's World Grand Prix runner-up Dave Chisnall takes on Scotland's John Henderson, number eight seed Wes Newton has drawn either Holland's Gino Vos or Hong Kong's Ting Chi Royden Lam and Robert Thornton plays German teenager Max Hopp.

Justin Pipe, who is seeded 11th, will meet former World Youth Champion Arron Monk, 2004 finalist Kevin Painter is drawn with Germany's Tomas Seyler, Mervyn King takes on top American left-hander Darin Young and Brendan Dolan faces either Danish qualifier Dennis Lindskjold or Philippines champion Edward Santos.

Peter Wright, whose progress this year has seen him move up to 16th in the world, has draw Joe Cullen, while Terry Jenkins will meet either Northern Ireland's Colin McGarry or Denmark's Per Laursen.

Ronnie Baxter meets World Youth Championship runner-up Ricky Evans, Paul Nicholson drew Stuart Kellett and Ian White plays Kyle Anderson - the Australian number one whose brother Beau, the Oceanic Masters winner, will take on Colin Lloyd.

Steve Beaton will meet the winner of the preliminary round tie between South African ace Devon Petersen or Malaysia's Mohammed Latif Sapup, with Jamie Caven drawing Jelle Klaasen and Mark Webster up against top Austrian Mensur Suljovic.

Andy Smith takes on Bristol's Steve Brown, Mark Walsh plays Finland's Jarkko Komula, Vincent van der Voort meets PDPA Qualifier winner Matt Clark and Wayne Jones takes on Kevin McDine.

World Youth Champion Michael Smith, the number 32 seed, completes the draw as he faces either Japanese number one Morihiro Hashimoto or Singapore's veteran thrower Paul Lim, who is appearing in his 20th World Championship.

The preliminary round of the World Championship sees the event's International Qualifiers in action alongside the PDPA Qualifier runner-up Ian Moss and Ben Ward, the PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour runner-up.

The tournament will be held from December 13, 2013 to January 1, 2014 at the Alexandra Palace in London, featuring 72 players from around the world and a record first prize of £250,000 from over £1 million in prize money, with the schedule of play to be confirmed in due course.

Ladbrokes World Darts Championship 2014

Preliminary Round Draw

Rob Szabo (New Zealand) v Ian Moss (England)
Devon Petersen (South Africa) v Mohammed Latif Sapup (Malaysia)
Gino Vos (Netherlands) v Ting Chi Royden Lam (Hong Kong)
Zoran Lerchbacher (Austria) v Ben Ward (England)
Dennis Lindskjold (Denmark) v Edward Santos (Philippines)
Morihiro Hashimoto (Japan) v Paul Lim (Singapore)
Colin McGarry (Northern Ireland) v Per Laursen (Denmark)
Julio Barbero (Spain) v Andree Welge (Germany)

First Round Draw

Michael Smith v Hashimoto/ Lim
Justin Pipe v Arron Monk
Adrian Lewis v Dennis Smith 
Mark Webster v Mensur Suljovic 
Paul Nicholson v Stuart Kellett
Richie Burnett v Dean Winstanley
Ronnie Baxter v Ricky Evans 
Ian White v Kyle Anderson
Colin Lloyd v Beau Anderson
Kim Huybrechts v Ronny Huybrechts
Peter Wright v Joe Cullen 
Andy Hamilton Barbero/ Welge 
Robert Thornton v Max Hopp 
Jamie Caven v Jelle Klaasen 
Steve Beaton v Petersen/ Latif-Sapup
Wayne Jones v Kevin McDine 
Gary Anderson v Mark Dudbridge
Kevin Painter v Tomas Seyler
Mark Walsh v Jarkko Komula
John Part v Mareno Michels
Brendan Dolan v Lindskjold/ Santos
Raymond van Barneveld v Jamie Lewis 
Mervyn King v Darren Young
Vincent van der Voort v Matt Clark 
Wes Newton v Vos/ Lam
Phil Taylor v Szabo/ Moss
Andy Smith v Steve Brown
Simon Whitlock v Ross Smith
Dave Chisnall v John Henderson
James Wade v Darren Webster
Michael van Gerwen v Lerchbacher/ Ward 
Terry Jenkins v McGarry/ Laursen
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PDC World Darts Championship 2014 Draw - Taylor and van Gerwen face prelim qualifiers

Phil Taylor will begin the defence of his World Championship title against either Rob Szabo or Ian Moss as the biggest event on planet darts commences on December 13 at the Alexandra Palace.

Read more »