MICHAEL VAN GERWEN will take on New Zealand number one Rob Szabo in the first round of the TAB Auckland Darts Masters, while World Champion Gary Anderson is set to take on qualifier Rob Modra when the PDC World Series of Darts event kicks off on Friday night.
World number one van Gerwen is bidding to win his fifth World Series of Darts title in the inaugural televised event from New Zealand, which is heading for a sell-out at the Trusts Arena.
The Dutch superstar will face stiff opposition in his first round contest, though, after drawing the DartPlayers New Zealand number one Rob Szabo, a former World Championship qualifier and World Cup of Darts competitor.
New Zealand's Mark Cleaver, who won through Wednesday afternoon's second DPNZ Qualifier in Swanson, will make his big-stage debut against June's Japan Darts Masters finalist Peter Wright.
Wednesday night's third DPNZ Qualifier, Australia's Rob Modra, will make his TV debut against Gary Anderson, the World Champion and Premier League champion who is a three-time World Series of Darts semi-finalist this year.
Thursday's final DPNZ Qualifier is set to take on 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor, who is bidding to win a fourth successive World Series of Darts event following his wins in Japan, Perth and Sydney, where he also landed a nine-darter last weekend.
Adrian Lewis, last weekend's Sydney Darts Masters runner-up, has drawn DPA Qualifier David Platt, while Perth Darts Masters finalist James Wade takes on Australian World Cup ace Paul Nicholson.
Leading Australian Simon Whitlock has drawn number eight seed Stephen Bunting, while Raymond van Barneveld will take on another top DPA star Loz Ryder, who won through Tuesday's opening DPNZ Qualifier in Swanson.
The inaugural TAB Auckland Darts Masters is heading for a sell-out at the Trusts Arena from August 28-30. The remaining tickets can be purchased through Eventfinda viawww.eventfinda.co.nz or through 0800 BUY TIX (289 849).
The draw was made live on Radio Sport's "The Sauce" by presenter D'Arcy Waldegrave. A draw was made at the DPNZ Qualifier on Wednesday night to determine which of the final two qualifiers faced either Phil Taylor or Gary Anderson.
TAB Auckland Darts Masters
First Round Draw & Tournament Bracket
Phil Taylor (1) v DPNZ Qualifier 4
Stephen Bunting (8) v Simon Whitlock
Gary Anderson (5) v Rob Modra
Adrian Lewis (4) v David Platt
Michael van Gerwen (2) v Rob Szabo
Raymond van Barneveld (7) v Loz Ryder
James Wade (6) v Paul Nicholson
Peter Wright (3) v Mark Cleaver
TAB Auckland Darts Masters
Schedule of Play
Friday August 28 (7pm)
Adrian Lewis v David Platt
Peter Wright v Mark Cleaver
James Wade v Paul Nicholson
Phil Taylor v DPNZ Qualifier 4
Raymond van Barneveld v Loz Ryder
Stephen Bunting v Simon Whitlock
Michael van Gerwen v Rob Szabo
Gary Anderson v Rob Modra
Best of 11 legs
Saturday August 29 (7pm)
Order of play TBC
Best of 15 legs
Sunday August 30 (7pm)
Semi-Finals - Best of 19 legs
Final - Best of 21 legs
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