Michael van Gerwen will begin the defence of his PDC World Championship title against either Jelle Klaasen or Kevin Burness…
Michael van Gerwen is the reigning and three-time champion (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Michael van Gerwen will begin the defence of his PDC World Championship title against either Jelle Klaasen or Kevin Burness at Alexandra Palace in December.
This year’s William Hill World Championship will feature a star-studded field of 96 players competing for £2.5 million in prize money and the iconic Sid Waddell Trophy from December 13 to January 1.
The First Round draw sees the 32 ProTour Order of Merit Qualifiers drawn against the 32 international and domestic Qualifiers, with the winners set to take on the top 32 seeded players from the PDC Order of Merit in Round Two.
Van Gerwen claimed the title for the third time on New Year’s Day courtesy of a 7-3 victory over Michael Smith in the final, becoming the outright second most successful player in the history of the event, behind only Phil Taylor.
The world number one is aiming to retain the title for the first time and will kick off his campaign on opening night at Ally Pally against either 2006 Lakeside Champion Klaasen or Northern Ireland qualifier Burness.
Rob Cross, the reigning World Matchplay champion who famously triumphed here in 2018, has been drawn to face either Belgium’s Kim Huybechts or Holland’s Geert Nentjes.
Gary Anderson, back-to-back World Champion in 2015 and 2016, will start out against either Brendan Dolan or India’s Nitin Kumar.
Raymond van Barneveld, the five-time World Champion making his final appearance in the sport’s show-piece before retiring at the end of the tournament, begins his campaign in the opening round against America’s Darin Young for the right to take on Jeffrey de Zwaan.
Gerwyn Price, the world number three and back-to-back Grand Slam champion, will face either World Cup of Darts finalist William O’Connor or Finland’s Marko Kantele.
Reigning Women’s World Champion Mikuru Suzuki marks her PDC World Championship debut with a clash against James Richardson, while first-time women’s qualifier Fallon Sherrock faces Development Tour winner Ted Evetts for the right to meet Mensur Suljovic in Round Two.
Michael Smith, runner-up in 2018/19, faces a tricky opener against either debutant Luke Woodhouse or Singapore legend Paul Lim – the oldest player in the competition at 65.
Peter Wright, the 2014 runner-up, will await the winner of the tie between Austria’s Rowby-John Rodriguez and Noel Malicdem of the Philippines, while two-time major winner Daryl Gurney plays either Justin Pipe or Slovenia’s Benjamin Pratnemer.
Multiple major champion James Wade will face either Ritchie Edhouse or Russia’s Boris Koltsov, while ninth seed Ian White plays the winner of Lithuania’s Darius Labanauskas or PDPA qualifier Matthew Edgar.
Two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis starts out in Round Two against either Spain’s Cristo Reyes or Philippines ace Lourence Ilagan, as Vincent van der Voort and Irish Matchplay winner Keane Barry clash for the right to face either tenth seed Dave Chisnall.
UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall, semi-finalist here 12 months ago, returns to take on either Stoke’s Andy Boulton or North American champion Danny Baggish, while World Youth Champion Luke Humphries and South Africa’s Devon Petersen collide for the right to play Jermaine Wattimena.
The tournament schedule of play will be confirmed in due course.
William Hill World Darts Championship 2019/20 Draw
Jamie Hughes v Zoran Lerchbacher
Jose De Sousa v Damon Heta
Vincent van der Voort v Keane Barry
Brendan Dolan v Nitin Kumar
Gabriel Clemens v Benito van de Pas
Justin Pipe v Benjamin Pratnemer
William O’Connor v Marko Kantee
Ron Meulenkamp v Ben Robb
Harry Ward v Madars Razma
Ross Smith v Ciaran Teehan
Kyle Anderson v Zong Xiaochen
Kim Huybrechts v Geert Nentjes
Ted Evetts v Fallon Sherrock
Andy Boulton v Danny Baggish
Ryan Joyce v Jan Dekker
Raymond van Barneveld v Darin Young
Luke Humphries v Devon Petersen
Darius Labanauskas v Matthew Edgar
Ryan Searle v Robbie King
Arron Monk v Jose Justicia
Ritchie Edhouse v Boris Koltsov
Mark McGeeney v Matt Campbell
Josh Payne v Diogo Portela
Cristo Reyes v Lourence Ilagan
James Richardson v Mikuru Suzuki
Jelle Klaasen v Kevin Burness
James Wilson v Nico Kurz
Luke Woodhouse v Paul Lim
Steve Lennon v Callan Rydz
Rowby-John Rodriguez v Noel Malicdem
Ryan Meikle v Yuki Yamada
Mickey Mansell v Seigo Asada
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Klaasen/Burness
Rob Cross (2) v K Huybrechts/Nentjes
Gerwyn Price (3) v O’Connor/Kantele
Michael Smith (4) v Woodhouse/Lim
Gary Anderson (5) v Dolan/Kumar
Daryl Gurney (6) v Pipe/Pratnemer
Peter Wright (7) v RJ Rodriguez/Malicdem
James Wade (8) v Edhouse/Koltsov
Ian White (9) v Labanauskas/Edgar
Dave Chisnall (10) v Van der Voort/K Barry
Mensur Suljovic (11) v Evetts/Sherrock
Nathan Aspinall (12) v Boulton/Baggish
Adrian Lewis (13) v Reyes/Ilagan
Simon Whitlock (14) v Ward/Razma
Joe Cullen (15) v J Wilson/Kurz
Jonny Clayton (16) v Joyce/Dekker
Stephen Bunting (17) v Monk/Justicia
Jermaine Wattimena (18) v Humphries/Petersen
Mervyn King (19) v R Smith/Teehan
Darren Webster (20) v Meikle/Yamada
Krzysztof Ratajski (21) v Hughes/Lerchbacher
Chris Dobey (22) v Meulenkamp/Robb
Jeffrey de Zwaan (23) v Van Barneveld/Young
Max Hopp (24) v Clemens/Van de Pas
Steve Beaton (25) v K Anderson/Zong
Keegan Brown (26) v Mansell/Asada
Glen Durrant (27) v De Sousa/Heta
Steve West (28) v Searle/King
Dimitri Van den Bergh (29) v Payne/Portela
John Henderson (30) v Richardson/Suzuki
Danny Noppert (31) v Lennon/Rydz
Ricky Evans (32) v McGeeney/Campbell