Live Darts on Friday August 3: Auckland Masters 2018 Day One preview and order of play

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Gary Anderson celebrates (credit:DPA/PDC)

The fourth World Series event of the season gets underway in Auckland on Friday as the PDC stars each take on a regional qualifier at the Trusts Arena.

The field is comprised of eight PDC invites and a further eight regional qualifiers as they vie for the £20,000 top prize and world series ranking points.

Kyle Anderson claimed his first televised title here 12 months ago and he kicks off his title defence with a clash against DPNZ Order of Merit qualifier Haupai Puha.

Anderson has struggled for form this season amid eyesight problems, reaching just two ranking event Quarter-Finals.

Puha, meanwhile, is no stranger to professional sport having previously been a professional Golfer on New Zealand and Australian Pro-Am circuit.

Newly-crowned World Matchplay champion Gary Anderson commences his quest for back-to-back TV titles when he faces Australia's Tim Pusey.

Anderson, who also won the U.S Masters in Las Vegas last month, is seeded number two and is on a collision course with rival Michael van Gerwen in the Quarter-Finals.

Van Gerwen, who is licking his wounds after a First Round defeat to Jeffrey de Zwaan in the World Matchplay, takes on New Zealand's top-rated talent - Cody Harris.

Van Gerwen heads to Auckland unseeded after failing to reach a World Series final so far this season and faces a tricky opener against Harris - who has claimed a Challenge Tour title this year.

Following the withdrawal of 2017 runner-up Corey Cadby due to visa issues, Ben Robb - third on the Dart Players New Zealand ranking list - steps in to face Simon Whitlock in the opening match of the tournament.

Michael Smith, the most recent winner on the World Series in Shanghai last month, faces 50-year-old Kiwi Mark McGrath - who has featured in both the PDC and BDO World Championship.

World Champion Rob Cross, a finalist in both Shanghai and Las Vegas, will be looking to go one better as he takes on Christchurch thrower John Hurring.

Raymond van Barneveld, the 2015 runner-up, takes on 54-year-old Warren Parry in a repeat of their clash in last year's opening round which saw Barney prevail 6-4.

Number three seed Peter Wright faces 21-year-old hot prospect Tahuna Irwin as 'Snakebite' begins his bid to reach a fourth consecutive World Series Semi-Final this season and potentially beyond.

The action gets underway from 8am BST, with all matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs.


Auckland Darts Masters 2018 Schedule


All times BST (Local time eleven hours ahead)

Friday August 3 

First Round

8am-12pm
Simon Whitlock v Ben Robb
Rob Cross v John Hurring
Michael Smith v Mark McGrath
Raymond van Barneveld v Warren Parry
Kyle Anderson v Haupai Puha
Peter Wright v Tahuna Irwin
Michael van Gerwen v Cody Harris
Gary Anderson v Tim Pusey


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Live Darts on Friday August 3: Auckland Masters 2018 Day One preview and order of play

The fourth World Series event of the season gets underway in Auckland on Friday as the PDC stars each take on a regional qualifier at the Trusts Arena.

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