Players Championship Finals Darts 2015 Draw - Phil Taylor to face Gary Anderson in first round epic

Rivals Taylor and Anderson face off (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Gary Anderson will begin the defence of his Players Championship Finals title against Phil Taylor in a mouth-watering first round show-down at the Butlins Minehead Resort.

Anderson's victory in the ITV4-televised event last November provided the perfect platform for his World Championship triumph at Alexandra Palace - when he defeated 16-time World Champion in the final.

The pair will clash on the Butlins Minehead stage next month in the first round of the £300,000 event, which sees qualification based on the 35 ProTour events held during 2015.

Anderson had moved himself up to 12th in the final ProTour Order of Merit with victory in Sunday's Players Championship 20 in Coventry - his second victory of 2015 - while Taylor ended 21st in the standings after winning one ProTour and one UK Open Qualifier.

World number one Michael van Gerwen topped the 2015 ProTour Order of Merit with an incredible £215,000 in prize money, which included five European Tour victories, three UK Open Qualifier wins and two Players Championship triumphs.

Van Gerwen will open up in Minehead against Keegan Brown, the 2014 World Youth Champion who won his first senior title at a Players Championship in Coventry in May.

Another former World Youth Champion, Michael Smith, finished second on the ProTour Order of Merit after winning two European Tour events and a UK Open Qualifier, with his reward being a first round tie with Jamie Caven.

Third seed Peter Wright, a three-time Players Championship winner during the year, will face Steve Beaton, while number four seed James Wade takes on Mark Webster and Belgium's Kim Huybrechts - who finished fifth in the standings after winning a recent European Tour event - takes on Northern Irish debutant - Daryl Gurney.

Adrian Lewis, who won two Players Championships and one UK Open Qualifier to finish sixth in the standings, will meet Scottish ace John Henderson in Minehead, with his Stoke rival Ian White - who won event and reached three other finals - set to face Dutch legend Raymond van Barneveld.

Number eight seed Dave Chisnall takes on Joe Murnan - who won his first senior title at a Players Championship in May - while number nine seed Robert Thornton, the recent World Grand Prix winner, plays Wales' Jamie Lewis.

Two-time Players Championship winner Jelle Klaasen finished tenth in the final standings and will take on emerging Welsh ace Gerwyn Price in Minehead.

Evergreen Terry Jenkins - a Players Championship winner in Barnsley on his 52nd birthday in September - seeded 11th as he takes on Players Championship Finals debutant Alan Norris, who won his first PDC title in Dublin earlier in October.

Emerging Dutch youngster Benito van de Pas, a two-time finalist this year as he finished 13th in the final standings, will meet Stephen Bunting, while Brendan Dolan faces Simon Whitlock, Mensur Suljovic takes on Mervyn King and Justin Pipe plays Vincent van der Voort.

The Players Championship Finals will take place at the Butlins Minehead Resort in Somerset from November 27-29.

The first round will take place across two sessions on Friday November 27, with the second round being held on Saturday November 28 in two sessions, before Sunday afternoon's quarter-finals are followed on Sunday evening by the semi-finals and final.

The final session on Sunday November 29 will also feature the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship Final between Max Hopp and Nathan Aspinall.

Players Championship Finals 2015 - First Round Draw 

Michael van Gerwen (1) v Keegan Brown (32)
Justin Pipe (16) v Vincent van der Voort (17)
Dave Chisnall (8) v Joe Murnan (25)
Robert Thornton (9) v Jamie Lewis (24)
Kim Huybrechts (5) v Daryl Gurney (28)
Gary Anderson (12) v Phil Taylor (21)
James Wade (4) v Mark Webster (29)
Benito van de Pas (13) v Stephen Bunting (20)
Michael Smith (2) v Jamie Caven (31)
Mensur Suljovic (15) v Mervyn King (18)
Ian White (7) v Raymond van Barneveld (26)
Jelle Klaasen (10) v Gerwyn Price (23)
Adrian Lewis (6) v John Henderson (27)
Terry Jenkins (11) v Alan Norris (22)
Peter Wright (3) v Steve Beaton (30)
Brendan Dolan (14) v Simon Whitlock (19)


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Players Championship Finals Darts 2015 Draw - Phil Taylor to face Gary Anderson in first round epic

Gary Anderson will begin the defence of his Players Championship Finals title against Phil Taylor in a mouth-watering first round show-down at the Butlins Minehead Resort.

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