Premier League star Gerwyn Price celebrates (credit:PDC Europe)
Round Two of the 2019 Austrian Championship takes centre stage in Vienna on Saturday as the 16 seeds each face off against a qualifier at the Multiversum Schwechat.
Friday’s opening round saw 16 players progress, though the likes of Chris Dobey, Jermaine Wattimena, Stephen Bunting and Jamie Hughes were among the notable names to crash out.
The top 16 seeds from the ProTour Order of Merit (as of June 11) enter the fray on Day Two as they look to stave off an early exit of their own.
Michael van Gerwen is bidding to follow up back-to-back World Series triumphs in consecutive weeks by securing a fifth European Tour title of the season, and the number one seed gets his campaign underway against Australian number two Kyle Anderson.
The pair met in Hamilton a week ago, with MVG sneaking through 6-5 in Round One after Anderson had squandered four match darts.
Austrian number one Mensur Suljovic aims to satisfy an expectant crowd on home soil in Vienna by safely seeing off teenage sensation Adam Gawlas.
Suljovic was a semi-finalist in last year’s Austrian Open but has generally found it tough going in his homeland in recent years, and faces a 17-year-old Czech star who marked a dream debut by knocking out Ross Smith with a 99 average on Friday.
German Masters champion Peter Wright faces a tough opening test against World Youth Champion Dimitri van den Bergh – who averaged 101.7 in dispatching Mark Webster 6-3 on Friday.
Two of the sport’s brightest young natural talents collide as Joe Cullen takes on Luke Humphries – the World Championship quarter-finalist who edged out Jamie Hughes in a decider on Day One.
Vincent van der Voort, the 2014 Austrian Open winner, looks to follow up Friday’s win over Justin Pipe by overcoming Simon Whitlock – who has won nine of their last ten encounters.
Two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis starts out against in-form German Christian Bunse, who held his nerve to edge out Wattimena in a last-leg shoot-out.
Two-time European Tour finalist Ricky Evans opens up with a clash against 2008 world finalist Kirk Shepherd, while former World Champion Steve Beaton meets a resurgent James Wilson in the opening match of the afternoon.
World finalist Michael Smith has been drawn to face his stablemate Cameron Menzies – who continued his impressive Challenge Tour form by thrashing Kevin Munch 6-1.
UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall meets former World Youth Champion Keegan Brown in one of the stand-out ties of the Second Round, while Players Champion Daryl Gurney aims to silence the partisan Austrian crowd by ending the hopes of Rowby-John Rodriguez.
A big day for the Rodriguez family also sees Rowby-John’s brother Rusty-Jake searching for an upset as he faces number two seed Ian White – twice a winner on the Euro Tour this year.
Former Austrian Open champion Jonny Clayton meets Belgium’s Mike De Decker, as former World Matchplay semi-finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan faces number 16 seed Darren Webster.
Grand Slam champion Gerwyn Price faces a tough test against a resurgent Brendan Dolan – who claimed a ProTour title earlier this month, while Danish Open champion Dave Chisnall comes up against host nation qualifier Dietmar Burger.
The action gets underway from midday, with all matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs.
Austrian Darts Championship 2019 Schedule
All times BST (local time one hour ahead)
Saturday August 31
Afternoon Session (12pm-4pm)
Steve Beaton v James Wilson
Simon Whitlock v Vincent van der Voort
Gerwyn Price v Brendan Dolan
Dave Chisnall v Dietmar Burger
Ricky Evans v Kirk Shepherd
Michael Smith v Cameron Menzies
Ian White v Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
Adrian Lewis v Christian Bunse
Evening Session (6.15pm-10.15pm)
Nathan Aspinall v Keegan Brown
Daryl Gurney v Rowby-John Rodriguez
Jonny Clayton v Mike De Decker
Peter Wright v Dimitri van den Bergh
Mensur Suljovic v Adam Gawlas
Joe Cullen v Luke Humphries
Michael van Gerwen v Kyle Anderson
Darren Webster v Jeffrey De Zwaan