The new PDC season officially commences on Friday with the opening round of The Masters taking place in Milton Keynes….
The new PDC season officially commences on Friday with the opening round of The Masters taking place in Milton Keynes.
The £220,000 invitational features 24 of the world’s top players competing over three days at the Marshall Arena for the season’s first silverware.
Players ranked 9-24 will start out in the First Round, while players ranked 1-8 will enter the tournament at the Second Round stage on Saturday.
Former Masters finalist Mervyn King kicks off his campaign against Players Championship Finals runner-up Ryan Searle – one of four debutants in this year’s Masters.
A breakthrough 2021 saw Searle enter the world’s top 16 for the first time, while King began the year by reaching his second Masters final, only to lose out to Jonny Clayton.
Two-time major champion Daryl Gurney opens up against multiple European Tour event winner Joe Cullen in one of the stand-out ties of the First Round.
Gurney heads into the new season ranked 22nd in the PDC Order of Merit, having failed to qualify for the European Championship and Grand Slam in a barren 2o21, while Cullen picked up two Players Championship titles and reached the Semi-Finals of the European Championship.
World number nine Dimitri Van den Bergh is the highest ranked player in First Round action and he starts out against world number 24 Ian White – who has never won a match in this event in seven previous attempts.
Van den Bergh, who recently became a father for the first time, reached the final of last year’s World Matchplay but struggled for form towards the end of the season, culminating in a shock Last 64 exit at the World Championship.
Two-time European Champion Rob Cross looks to start the season on a high by dispatching Brendan Dolan – who is making his first appearance in The Masters since 2015.
The opening match of the tournament sees World Matchplay semi-finalist Krzysztof Ratajski take on debutant Gabriel Clemens with both looking to bounce back from disappointing World Championship campaigns last month.
Dave Chisnall, Masters runner-up in 2016, faces an all St Helens clash with Stephen Bunting – semi-finalist in last October’s World Grand Prix.
Former World Grand Prix finalist Dirk van Duijvenbode marks his Masters debut with a clash against former European Champion Simon Whitlock – who was handed an unexpected call-up to the event after Danny Noppert’s withdrawal.
Devon Petersen also aims to take full advantage of a late call-up in place of the injured Nathan Aspinall when he faces UK Open finalist Luke Humphries in the final match of the night.
The action gets under way from 7pm GMT, with First Round matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs.
Ladbrokes Masters 2022 Day One Schedule
Friday January 28
7.15pm Krzysztof Ratajski v Gabriel Clemens
7.45pm Dave Chisnall v Stephen Bunting
8.15pm Ryan Searle v Mervyn King
8.45pm Rob Cross v Brendan Dolan
9.15pm Dimitri Van den Bergh v Ian White
9.45pm Joe Cullen v Daryl Gurney
10.15pm Dirk van Duijvenbode v Simon Whitlock
10.45pm Devon Petersen v Luke Humphries