The PDC debuts in a new country this weekend, as the inaugural Czech Darts Open gets under way in Prague this afternoon.
The PVA Expo hosts the ninth European Tour event of the season, with the likes of world number one Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright, Gerwyn Price, James Wade and Daryl Gurney all featuring in the 48-player field.
Two-time major winner Robert Thornton meets former BDO world champion Stephen Bunting in the pick of the 16 first-round ties, which take place across two sessions on Friday.
Thornton is one of 11 players in the tournament who still have a chance of sneaking into the field for the World Matchplay next month, via the ProTour Order of Merit.
The Czech Darts Open is the last ranking event before the cut-off for Blackpool, as the 32-player line up will be confirmed following Sunday’s final day of action in Prague.
Thornton, along with Jamie Hughes, Ted Evetts, Brendan Dolan, Justin Pipe, Rowby-John Rodriguez and Madars Razma, must win the tournament if they are to make it to the Winter Gardens.
The permutations are simpler for Keegan Brown, who faces Host Nation Qualifier Ondrej Plsek in round one. The former world youth champion can climb above Kyle Anderson and into a qualifying spot with a victory today.
Recent World Cup finalist Willie O’Connor requires a quarter-final to snatch a place, while Ron Meulenkamp and Steve West both need runs to the semi-finals.
Away from the race for the World Matchplay, this weekend will also see the European Tour debut of Australia’s Corey Cadby. He faces Wessel Nijman in round one.
Last weekend’s Players Championship 17 winner Krzysztof Ratajski takes on Ted Evetts, and three-time BDO world champion Glen Durrant opens against Daniel Larsson.
Chris Dobey, runner-up in the last European Tour event, the Danish Darts Open, plays Sebastian Steyer.
2019 PDC Czech Darts Open
June 28 – June 30, 2019
Tournament Draw Bracket (Second Round onwards)
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Ondrej Plsek/Keegan Brown
Darren Webster (16) v Danny Noppert/Stefan Bellmont
Mensur Suljovic (8) v William Borland/John Henderson
Ricky Evans (9) v Krzysztof Ratajski/Ted Evetts
Peter Wright (5) v Stephen Bunting/Robert Thornton
Joe Cullen (12) v Chris Dobey/Sebastian Steyer
Daryl Gurney (4) v Vaclav Shieferdecker/William O’Connor
Jonny Clayton (13) v Jermaine Wattimena/Kevin Garcia
Ian White (2) v Karel Sedlacek/Brendan Dolan
Nathan Aspinall (15) v Andrew Gilding/Rowby-John Rodriguez
Adrian Lewis (7) v Jamie Hughes/Devon Petersen
Steve Beaton (10) v Ron Meulenkamp/Jan Hlavacek
James Wade (6) v Mervyn King/Steve West
Michael Smith (11) v Wessel Nijman/Corey Cadby
Gerwyn Price (3) v Glen Durrant/Daniel Larsson
Simon Whitlock (14) v Madars Razma/Justin Pipe
Today’s Schedule of Play
Danny Noppert v Stefan Bellmont
Madars Razma v Justin Pipe
Jermaine Wattimena v Kevin Garcia
Karel Sedlacek v Brendan Dolan
Wessel Nijman v Corey Cadby
William Borland v John Henderson
Ondrej Plsek v Keegan Brown
Andrew Gilding v Rowby-John Rodriguez
Glen Durrant v Daniel Larsson
Mervyn King v Steve West
Vaclav Shieferdecker v William O’Connor
Krzysztof Ratajski v Ted Evetts
Chris Dobey v Sebastian Steyer
Ron Meulenkamp v Jan Hlavacek
Stephen Bunting v Robert Thornton
Jamie Hughes v Devon Petersen
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