After the carnage in Auckland, world no.2 Gary Anderson and the top seeds will be hoping for parity to be restored at this weekend’s Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters.
The Flying Scotsman was one of two top seeds who fell on the opening day as the underdogs led by eventual Auckland Masters champion Kyle Anderson, reigned supreme on the Auckland stage.
Gary Anderson, who is the no.1 seed in Melbourne, succumbed to Aussie Kyle Anderson, while fellow top seed and countryman Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright was also a first round casualty.
Snakebite, a favourite amongst darts fans for his colourful mohawks, was ousted by Aussie young gun Corey Cadby, who went on to make the final against Kyle Anderson.
The Melbourne Darts Masters features 16 players including eight PDC players and eight Oceanic qualifiers spearheaded by world no.28 and wildcard Kyle Anderson and 2017 DPA Order of Merit winner Cadby.
The pair were surprising finalists in Melbourne with Anderson capturing his maiden PDC title after edging his compatriot 11-10 in the final.
Anderson was superb from the outset, maintain a high average while effortlessly nailing his doubles including his favourite finish of ‘double tops’.
The Perth native and Cadby claimed extraordinary victories in their respective semi-finals with Anderson obliterating Premier League star James Wade 11-4 and 22-year-old Cadby downing 16-times world champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor in a fiery semi-final.
Cadby is a fast starter and will need plenty of 180s to make another deep run in Melbourne.
Gary Anderson, Wright, Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld and Wade are the top four seeds with Daryl Gurney, Taylor, Michael Smith and Aussie favourite Simon Whitlock the remaining invited PDC representatives.
Taylor showed a rare vulnerability in Auckland, coming off second best in a niggly tussle with the pugnacious Cadby.
But the Power can never be discounted and he’ll look to turn the tables against whoever he comes up against in Melbourne.
Gurney is a man in form and outside of the top three of Gary Anderson, Taylor and Wright, is the man most likely to lift the trophy in Melbourne.
Popular Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld also knows how to win on the big stage and he’ll be flying the flag for the Orange men with world no.1 and countryman Michael van Gerwen not in the 16-man field.
It will be revenge of the seeds in Melbourne after the underdogs’ day in the sun in Auckland.
While Taylor, Wright and Gurney will be a force to be reckoned with, world no.2 Gary Anderson is poised to stamp his authority after his time on stage in Auckland was cut short in the opening round.
The 2016 Auckland Masters champ and dual world champion is a heavy scorer and it’s no surprise he holds the world record for the most 180s (22) in a single darts match.
Looking to atone for Auckland, the Flying Scotsman will be on target with his relentless scoring and if he can be efficient with his double finishes, he’ll hit the bullseye for another title.
Gary Anderson 3.50, Phil Taylor 4.50, Peter Wright 4.50, Daryl Gurney 10.00, Corey Cadby 12.00, Michael Smith 15.00, Raymond van Barneveld 15.00, Kyle Anderson 19.00, James Wade 26.00, Simon Whitlock 34.00, Cody Harris 67.00, Koha Kokiri 201.00, Dave Marland 201.00, Rhys Mathewson 301.00, David Platt 301.00, Justin Thompson 301.00
Tip: Gary Anderson at $3.50
Long shot: James Wade $26.00
Article provided by Unibet.com.au